Saturdays each month Roy and the CEFA staff are connecting with the community,
bringing different groups and individuals to the CEFA farm to help them to
understand what CEFA is all about. What
is that that you said? What IS CEFA all
about? It's about getting God's love and
provision to the people. It's about
getting better food security into the villages.
It's about trying out new things to see what works here and what doesn't,
teaching new things, helping people to understand new things, and praying that
these new things will catch on! From
fish ponds to bean crops, from reforestation to composting, from poultry to
fruit trees, you name it, CEFA is trying it or is willing to try it!
Last week was Roy's turn to teach, and in the weeks to come it will be Jean Bedel on composting and Nadege on veggie gardening.
Right in the middle of what should be our rainy season we had about 5 weeks of dry weather. Crazy, unusual, unexpected! Seeds had been sowed, trees had been planted, all with the assurance that rainy season would continue. Roy ended up having work crews water the bazillion trees and plants by hand. Now, this week, it seems that the wind has shifted, and we have been getting rain, almost every day. The grass is green again, and we have hope for all the crops and orchards.
We are still in a bit of a state of limbo here, as even though our little corner is peaceful as can be, the country as a whole is not right yet. We have started using the 2 CEFA trucks, the pick-up and the Dyna, which hauls bigger loads.
We are glad that we can use them now, as there has been an unusual drought period right smack in the middle of our rainy season. We have gone weeks without rain now, so the pick-up hauls a big water tank around and the trees you see being transported are now having to be hand watered!
We still are using motorbikes to haul things and get around; here's Roy with his special crate that he piles high with plants, tools, whatever he needs that day, and Nadege with her motorbike piled high with manioc cuttings to plant.
Timothy Chapman is an expert bee raiser, and here he is in the garb to prove it. The box he is holding has a swarm of bees in it. He set up a mosquito net on his back porch, and crawled under it with the bees. He opened the box and started gently brushing the bees out of their swarm, using a regular paintbrush, looking for the queen, who apparently is easy to distinguish from the riffraff by her big red abdomen. He even has a special plastic clip designed to pick up the queen without hurting her - that's what he's holding up to show y'all. It turned out, though, that this swarm was an "orphan" one, no queen amongst them! He is constantly on the lookout for swarms of bees, with the hope of getting them into his hives so CEFA can raise bees and honey!