Every once in a while we get a volunteer who wants to do something and they just can't be stopped. Jannick from France is one. He saw a great deal of recyclable material littering the road that we traveled each morning and asked if he could get the kids involved in a recycling project here at the school. Remembering a past project where we ended up with a room full of trash and nowhere to get rid of it....I said sure, as long as we have all the bases covered so that we can complete the cycle.
Yannick did his research well and told me that he was told of a place in Ambato that may accept plastic, which is the biggest problem. I said "that's wonderful", Jannick said, "when can we check it out?". I said, "maybe next week". Yannick said, "which day?". I said, "maybe Wednesday"- The next Tuesday, Yannick asked, "tomorrow, right? So we went. That is not exactly the conversation as he was a little more persistent.
The visit to the recycling center was a whole lot more productive than we had imagened. They take about 20 different kinds of trash and will even pick it up at the school. We may even end up making a little proffit for some project that will be decided once we see how successful we will be.
The next step is to create a place to store the material so that it does not look like a collection of trash. Again....Every day Jannick's questions were the same. Where can we build it and when can we start. He was a man on a mission. We decided on an unused area at the end of the dining room and he went to work.
The place is not 100% finished, however this is Jannick's last day and he took the kids out for their first collection trip. They came back with five large bags of trash which now will be sorted and bagged. What was trash when laying on the side of the roadm is now product and who know what it will become in its next life.
Jannick was not planning on leaving for another three months, the government changed some rules and he had to be out of the country in two days. Visitors from all countries can now visit Ecuador without a visa, but as of a few weeks ago they can only stay for a maximum of 90 days per year where it used to be 180.
I had heard nothing of this new regulation until Yannick went to Baños to have his passport stamped for the second 90 days and they told him that he had to leave the country by the 13th. So we lost a volunteer who in seven weeks made a difference here and everyone will miss him.
I promised him that we would finish the center and keep the program going....And we will. Thank you Yannick.