Written by Chloe Gonzalez

Today was a productive day in Paradise! It began in the garden with weeding to ready the soil for the planting of a variety of tropical fruit trees. Banana, mango, pawpaw, grumichama (which tastes sort of like a cherry) and cassava (a starchy root vegetable) seedlings had been waiting patiently from last year’s harvest and were ready to be planted so they could dig their roots into the soil. All of these plants were selected for their hardiness to withstand the winter and to add a fruity diversity to the abundant vegetables already growing in our large gardens.

For lunch, a delicious spread of international food was cooked up with the produce harvested from the garden. This included a tomato-based vegetable and madagascar bean soup, flatbread, hommus, basil pesto, polenta chips, pizza, jalapenos, salad, brown rice, kimchi, marmalade, pickled beetroot and curry. Every dish was made from scratch and was entirely vegan. I think it’s safe to say that there was enough variety and quantity to satisfy everyone!

The afternoon called for a spot of creativity as some volunteers came up with some quirky and colourful signs to help with the organisation of the gardening equipment underneath the community house. We especially like the sign for where the tools are kept that reads, “Don’t be a tool, put your things away”!

Dinner was an Indian-inspired concoction of creamy coconut daahl with a side salad, flatbread and hommus. It is at the dinner table that people from all over the world come together and share stories, laugh together, learn and inspire each other.

Tonight’s after-dinner project was karaoke! After setting up the projector and plugging in the microphones, we whiled away the time belting our favourite tunes while dancing and laughing along. There are always new experiences like this to share with others here in Paradise!