A quick initial look at my volunteer activities

by ray goodlass

A very busy week, for as well as hosting the Dr. Mona El-Farra (from Gaza) visit on Monday, I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work this week.

On Tuesday the BUGS spiritual program and also the Stage 3 (Upper Primary) Education Program, both at Erin Earth, on Wednesday the Ignite Youth Mentoring program, and on Thursday gardening at Erin Earth. I’ll expand on  all in my blog, but I’ll also try to write every day I undertake volunteering activities, as this s such a big part of my life now. I’ll also try to write daily entries every time I do some volunteering, so it doesn’t all come in one hit.

In the meantime, BUGS is the acronym we have adopted for the spiritual program at Erin Earth.  It aims to explore spirituality in relation to ‘Big History’ and the 13 billion year history of the universe. Its an antidote to conventional religion and I’m getting a lot out of it in relation to my own spirituality, which has ‘green’ and Gaia links.

The Erin Earth education program is environmental education, covers years K to 6, and I’m working on putting drama activities into the Years 5 & 6 program, so my (former) career is being put to good use. I’m also getting a lot out of the entire program though, which acknowledges that we an integral part of an ever changing universe.

All these Erin Earth activities have grown out of my initial volunteering activity of gardening, which I do up there once a week, on Thursday mornings. It is my little bit to help this very worthwhile project, sand I’m also learning heaps from it, including about the natural environment and, of course, about gardening activities.

I should mention that Erin Earth is an environment education venture started by a former nun, Carmel Wallace, on a barren site she and others remediated.

The Ignite Youth at Risk mentoring program is exactly that. I volunteered some time ago and, after the usual police background checks, it is now underway. I meet with two or three middle high school boys once a week. They tend to wag school a lot, have no or little concentration, and have very limited ambitions, but they are fun  and are brutally honest about themselves, both of which are good traits in a sea of negative ones. I’m enjoying it! 

This is just a short entry about my retirement life volunteer activities. Now I’m into blogging about them I’ll write an entry each time I do something, as all this activity is very much related to that drive me, starting, of course, with my peace activism, focused on working for a just peace for Palestine