I decided that Ryan should be in charge of day 2 of the trip and he kind of hit it out the park. He woke up so excited about our plans for that morning and we couldn't help but be excited from his excitement. Please imagine my sheer and utter excitement when I saw this sign.
Turns out that instead of spending a morning with cows, we were in fact getting to enjoy this amazing educational museum space devoted to Heifer International, a non-profit organization who's mission is "to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and care for the earth."
If you are ever near or around Little Rock, this stop is worth your time. First of all, it's FREE and I honestly wouldn't have minded paying to go in and use this as a teaching opportunity for the kids. Yes, it was tons of fun but y'all it was educational and I really felt like Radley "got it", Emmy was "getting it" and Landry was really into all the stuff.
The core of their model is "passing the gift." From their website:
This means families share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.
My favorite exhibit was the interactive display showcasing how their communities work towards sustainability, each part supporting another.
The kids thought it was so crazy that cow manure was then used to fertilize crops AND placed in a way that when it rains, the manure ran off into water that created algae that fed the fish that they farmed to eat and sale.
They had a section honoring education and allowed the kids to pick things that they would find in their own schools and classrooms. The girls of course picked a book about a girl getting a new dress for the new year.
Which was a great conversation starter for this...
Y'all. This is CRAZY. I've been thinking so much lately about the amount of excess that I, personally, create in clothing. I get overwhelmed in stores looking at it all and balancing my desire for that adorable new dress for the girls, athletic shirt for Rad, new shoes for me... with the actual NEED for any of it.
Fun fact: H&M has a great sustainability program. They will actually take your old clothes, recycle them and then reuse them to make items that they will sell in their stores. And y'all - they do this at such a great price. I got the girls two dresses each for under $20 total. Big fat thumbs up to that.
We hadn't planned on purchasing anything during this trip for the kids, but the museum had a fair trade gift shop and we couldn't resist. The girls each picked out these adorable coin purses and Rad snatched up a hacky sac to work on his soccer skills.
Ryan won the day with this little activity and we weren't even close to being finished.