Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rain at last!

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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Making do with transportation

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.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Raising bees at Gamboula

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!