Monday, June 30, 2014

Timothy's photos June 28th


Photos from the week 6/28/2014

Posted: 29 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT


I have new baby bunnies! There are only 5, but they all seem to be doing well.

This week we also had a baby cow born at CEFA. It is not quite at the same cuteness level as the bunnies, but at a few days� old its attempts to hop and play are pretty funny. 

Since there is no daycare here, often small kids follow their parents to work. Here is a little boy helping his dad move some beans around.


We have 5 huge drying racks for beans and peanuts on the farm. The beans spend a few days up there before being taken down to make room for more. The dry ones are shelled and put into sacks.


I was able to get half a sack of Moringa leaves from our moringa plot this week. The very nutritious leaves went to the nutrition center to help feed the malnourished kids.


One of Roy�s bat flowers has been blooming the last few days. Quite the unusual looking flower.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Timothy's photos June 17th


17 Jun 2014 12:18 PM PDT

We have many hectares of beans at Somongue and this week they started to be harvested. The seed will be dried and distributed to local farmers.


This week we also harvested another field of higher yielding manioc. Each sack holds many cuttings that will also be distributed to villagers. 


This viper was eating a toad alongside Danforths� porch.


One week ago I was getting about 1 jack fruit a day from my tree. Last week it continued and one day I picked four. This week I got 9 on one day! Here are just 7 of them. All nine of them together weighed over 100 Lbs. The total for this week is 17


One of the nine was a really small one . A fun size jack fruit. 



I have been having fun taming and training this African gray parrot. This week I wrapped him in a towel to trim his wing fathers so he could not try to fly away. Unfortunately a few nights ago my house and yard where invaded by driver ants, and I did not make it in time to save him.
I have lost many hives to driver ants, and this morning they attacked the rabbits and Danforths� house.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Timothy's photos June 8th


Photos from the week 6/8/2014

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 12:37 AM PDT

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Narcisse is a young man from another part of the country where they raise bees in grass hives. It is only a one-time thing as the hive and the bees are destroyed when the honey is harvested. I asked him to make me a few hives, so that I can try to incorporate this kind of technology into my project. Try to find out how to transfer the bees to a real hive rather then kill them.
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Saturday five of our local and national government heads came out for a tour of the farm. A few of them are new since the change of government, and seem to be really good guys.


One of the men working at the farm discovered a bunch of edible caterpillars in a bush.



Roy has been collecting different kinds of hibiscus and planting them out at Somongue. This week this beautiful orange with a red center bloomed for the first time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Timothy's photos from June 1st


Photos from the week 6/1/2014 fruit edition

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:05 AM PDT
Here are a few of the fruits that came in to season this week around Gamboula and Somongue.


It seems the guavas here have multiple bumper crops a year! They are in season again now. No complaints there.
          


Bunchosia is also called peanut butter and jelly fruit, because it kind of tastes just like that. These small trees look like Christmas trees this time of year, loaded with green, orange, and red ornaments. 

Marang has a somewhat sweet but burnt rubbery smell when it is ripe. You can smell it a fair distance from the tree, so this is your clue to go searching for it. The outside of the fruit is hard and bristly, kind of like a sea urchin, while the inside is like a small jack fruit, but sweeter.


Canastel, or egg fruit, taste like boiled sweat potato. They go bad very shortly after they fall from the tree, so you have to snatch them up quickly. 


This pretty looking fruit is a water apple. It is not as good as it looks, and is like eating slightly sweet styrofoam.


Rose apples are small yellow fruit that smell like perfume. I think eating them is like eating perfume too.


The jack fruit tree outside my house is loaded with fruit. This week I had 8 ripen! These also have a distinctive smell to them which alerts you that one is ripe. When you smell it, you climb up the tree in search of it.


Loquats don't really do great here, but this year there are a few.

And I can't leave out the ever present banana.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Timothy's photos 5/25



Photos from the week 5/25/2014

Posted: 25 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT
There are now many organizations distributing seed to farmers who have lost everything in the east of the country. No one is doing this in the west of the country except CEFA.

Here is one of our fields that is planted in cola nuts. The ground cover is perennial peanut. It has smothered out all the weeds, and fixes nitrogen for the trees.  None of the original trees where cut out of the field, so there is a mix of wild trees in there too. Looks kind of like a park. 


This multiplication field was finally ready to harvest cuttings from. This is an improved variety of manioc from Uganda. The stems were cut into sections, and the cuttings were taken and distributed the villages we work with. This manioc grows faster, produces at least 3 times more than local types, and is disease resistant.


There are countless fields around the farm planted in beans and peanuts. This is one with a peanut that produces higher yields. When they are harvested, the seed will be distributed to people in villages as well.


Since it is swarm season, I put together a few small hives this week, in hopes that they would get moved in to.


A hungry medium size spider looks longingly at a huge moth.


This is some kind of tree viper that got in the way of one of the guy’s machetes.

Timothy's photos 5/25



Photos from the week 5/25/2014

Posted: 25 May 2014 01:37 PM PDT
There are now many organizations distributing seed to farmers who have lost everything in the east of the country. No one is doing this in the west of the country except CEFA.

Here is one of our fields that is planted in cola nuts. The ground cover is perennial peanut. It has smothered out all the weeds, and fixes nitrogen for the trees.  None of the original trees where cut out of the field, so there is a mix of wild trees in there too. Looks kind of like a park. 


This multiplication field was finally ready to harvest cuttings from. This is an improved variety of manioc from Uganda. The stems were cut into sections, and the cuttings were taken and distributed the villages we work with. This manioc grows faster, produces at least 3 times more than local types, and is disease resistant.


There are countless fields around the farm planted in beans and peanuts. This is one with a peanut that produces higher yields. When they are harvested, the seed will be distributed to people in villages as well.


Since it is swarm season, I put together a few small hives this week, in hopes that they would get moved in to.


A hungry medium size spider looks longingly at a huge moth.


This is some kind of tree viper that got in the way of one of the guy’s machetes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Timothy's photos from Cameroon


The leaf shelters that many of the Baka live in.
             Danforths and I are back at Somongue, Central African Republic! During our time away a contingent of African Union forces (MISKA) where stationed at Gamboula. Those who were causing most of the trouble around here have since settled down a little.

Mama Lendo, the grandmother at the camp.
Somewhere around 70, she is still a very active
 and fun member of camp.
                When I left, I was unsure how long I would have to be away from CAR, and did not feel like sitting in Yaoundé. So I joined a few missionaries with World Team, who share a small forest clearing with a group of Baka Pygmies in Eastern Cameroon.
            A former ECHO intern has been working there for a few years trying to introduce the Baka to agriculture. There was a fruit tree orchard, new rabbit project, and new bee keeping project. So it is a lot of the stuff I have been working with at Somongue, just on a smaller scale.
                It was a very eye opening experience for me living and observing this hunter gatherer culture I have always heard about. Children start hunting and collecting fruit and other things from almost the time they start walking. Anything is fair game, because if you don’t get it someone else will. In many cases, it did not matter if the fruit was green, and the Baka are excellent climbers, so the orchard was pretty much stripped bare, and explaining ownership, or fruit maturity just does not make much sense.

 Nathan (Left) working a hive with Nestor (Right)

 Nathan, one of the missionaries there has recently become very excited about raising bees. He had 3 hives, and we harvested his first honey while I was there! The Baka are not afraid of bees, and have a real sweet tooth, so they were very interested in seeing this project. They came right up to the hive and looked in while we were working. One of the men has his own hive, and had his first harvest too.


Two bee keepers from another city in Cameroon working with Nestor
on another day. All the curious onlookers are his friends and family.
Even his kids did not seem too afraid of the bees
         There was also a young Baka church emerging that was really interesting to see. I have been reading about the early church, and saw a lot of similarities. There is no bible in the Baka language, but there are likano’s. Bible stories, or epics, that are recited at gatherings. Leadership roles, how to worship, and having meetings are still things that are being figured out. They have the singing and drumming part down though.


The Baka church.
           It was very nice having a change of pace.  Being gone for so long during rainy season was rough though. The grass and weeds are about 3 feet taller, a few of the animals and fowl have died, and there is a lot of catch up to be done. It is fun to see how much everything has grown and changed though.