Day Two of the Workshop – By Shrija, Ina and Savaș, Nepal

The day’s activities started at 11 o’clock, when participants started arriving. We began with an energizer called “Guess the Leader”, where a person stepped out of the room, and while they’re gone the rest chose a leader whose movements and gestures they copy without being obvious. When the person came back in they had to guess the leader. The exercise was well received, and we started the second day of workshop in good spirits.

Ms. Sagarika Bhatta also facilitated today’s sessions, staring with a training on weaving plastic bags into coasters. She explained and demonstrated how first the bottom and the handles of the bags are cut, then folded the bag in half three times, and cut horizontal one inch strips. Once there are enough, a strip of plastic is interested through a needle, and then another two strips are threaded through the first one, knotting them at the end. The strip with the needle is rolled seven times next to the knot, then the ends are bend together to create a circle, and the needle is threaded through the middle, securing the circular shape.

The strip with the needle is rolled again and the needle threaded through the middle again, until there is another complete circle; after that the needle is threaded between the 1st and 2nd circles. Once another circle is completed, the needle is threaded through the 2nd and 3rd circles, and so on, until the desired size is reached. Once done, a knot is made to hold the plastic thread in place. Some of the participants found the process easy, while others had a bit more trouble getting the hang of it.

The second session was about composting and what we can do to reduce and reuse household waste. Ms. Bhatta showcased the tools and materials needed to make compost in one’s home: a bin or a bucket with holes drilled in it, two bowls or buckets, gloves, EM1 solution, sawdust, sugar, water, and organic waste.

Then she demonstrated the process. First the organic waste is cut into small pieces. The the EM1 solution is mixed with water in a 1:20 ratio, and 1L of molasses (or sugar solution) is added. This mixture is mixed with sawdust to create firm round shapes, that are about fist sized, which are called Bokashi. The bin is lined with newspaper and some garden soil, then a layer of bokashi is added, followed by a layer of organic waste. The bin should not be more than 60% full, and should be kept in a shaded place, for at least 20-30 days.

During the sessions, volunteers Sanjay, Shrija, Dragoș and Ina assisted the participants, when they needed help or didn’t understand something about the process. Lunch was prepared by volunteers Megha and Deren, while volunteers Naresh and Savaș documented the sessions, taking photos and notes.

The workshop ended with another energizer, called “Dwarf, Giant, Wizard”, where participants formed two teams, and each team decided on a role, then together they showcased their role and a winner was declared. The dwarf beats the wizard, the wizard beats the giant and the giant beats the dwarf.

The participants were also asked to offer their feedback about the workshop, writing it on the back of cards with smiley/neutral/sad face. The feedback was mostly positive, some of the participants were disappointed with the lack of certificates and the short duration of the workshop, but others said they enjoyed themselves and would like to continue learning how to creatively reuse waste.