It seems the rains have finally come, the last few days have felt a bit like being back in the UK. Lots of rumbling thunder and lightning to make things a little exciting and of course much relief to farmers in the area and to those with gardens. It has also cooled the high temperatures we had been experiencing, over 100f most days, it’s nice to feel a bit cooler especially at night. Working and getting about can be tricky after a heavy downpour as the sand here just turns to a sticky sloppy mess, but it all adds to the fun!
We had our first monthly meeting with all the families on the projects a couple of weeks ago. An opportunity for them to share things that have gone well and things that hadn’t and a chance to celebrate successes. Also to learn from each other and to build a community feel within the group. It seemed to go well and we look forward to the next one.
Children from Busbridge Junior School had drawn pictures of themselves and written a class letter to children at St Charles Primary school. We spent an enjoyable few hours visiting each class where a pupil read out the letter to the rest of the class. We hope to bring similar pictures and letters back to Busbridge School on our return. There is also a link teacher now at St Charles that should enable both schools to communicate more.
The school curriculum has changed and the biggest problem for the schools we are working with is that they have no resources to teach it, this includes no text books or teachers guides. We are looking to see if we are able to buy a few books but funds are limited. Text books range from $8 to $16 each. If you would like to help, please let us know, thank you.
Work continues on our community project.
Digging 24 holes for fruit trees was back breaking stuff but we now have a small orchard consisting of mango, paw paw, grapefruit, banana, plum, orange, lemon, satsuma, peach, custard apple, guarva & mulberry trees. Most of them are grafted so should start fruiting as early as next year.
This also fits in nicely with our Bee Against Poverty project, which is now up and running. We enjoyed 2 days of fairly intensive training in bee keeping, learning lots about bees and bee keeping. Our woodworking skills were also put to the test (my Granddad would have been impressed!) Building our first 10 Kenyan top bar hives and siting them ready for bees. Each hive has been baited with propolis and lemon grass oil. We have also started to learn what floral calendar we have around the area so we can work out when harvesting etc will be and how we can make sure there is plenty of year round nectar for our bees. The long term plan is to have 20 hives here, which we will use to train others in beekeeping and to also raise funds. It’s safe to say we can’t wait for our first bees.
Note: just this morning 7th Feb we have seen bees exploring our hives – exciting!
Building of the fowl run has been put on hold until things dry up, although we have now sourced enough bricks. It is too wet now to dig pit sand that is needed for the mortar. We will start again once rains have passed.
So it’s been a busy few weeks and still plenty to do over the next few months. But we are pretty happy with how things are progressing and thank God for all we have been able to do so far.