Archive for October, 2012

Day 5 of 5

Friday, October 12th, 2012

12-Oct-2012 11:35, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 7.1, 8.8mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 100

WOW! What a week!

This morning it felt CHilly (with a capital CH) After breakfast, we had an appointment to officially meet the Chief and two Sub-Chiefs of the area to chat about future plans and share ideas about partnership. We were very warmly received in the office and the meeting was constructive and very encouraging. We talked about the Share a Cow project; growing strong Napier grass and developing existing irrigation. As they are also farmers, they had some excellent ideas and were extremely supportive.

Another area we discussed was supporting the local children in their education. There is a huge need for assistance in the nursery schools. Many nursery teachers are earning £30 per month and some even less; resources are scarce and children walk a long way, up very steep hills to reach their schools early in the morning (often through the thick mist on the hills). The Administration were very happy to hear that the Share a Cow project has already started and offered their support and help as we establish a new partnership!

12-Oct-2012 11:32, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100

After the meeting, we set off  to visit Sylvester, Agnellah and their family to be introduced to our newest addition. Our second cow is called “Iwi,” (pronounced “Ibvi” – have a bit of fun and try to say it!) it means “Second.” She looks wonderful and is almost ready to give birth, which will be great news for Sylvester and his family. Not only will she replace the milk yield they’d lost with the cow who had died a day after giving birth; she’ll also become a mama to the sweet, orphaned calf who we’ve grown to love! Sylvester’s family are very excited about this new project and his sons are hard working guys who are already planning ahead. We talked through the partnership agreement together and sealed the deal with a delicious meal of Mseto (rice and beans).

So now it’s time to head back to Mombasa, until next month when we will visit our first born calf and hopefully help another family with a cow, as we seem to be getting a lot of requests to join the project.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our diary over the last few days, so the question now is how can you get involved?

We have already blessed two families with a Dorcas and an Iwi, would you like to help us bless more families? Join our “Share a Cow” project and give a cow a name! Your gift could change the fortunes of a whole family and impact a community!

12-Oct-2012 11:41, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

12-Oct-2012 11:33, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100

 

Day 4 of 5

Thursday, October 11th, 2012
11-Oct-2012 08:57, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

Walking, visiting, praying, learning, thinking, planning… describes much of what we’ve been doing this week and particularly today. After breakfast we visited Ronald and Agnellah’s neighbours. Passing one home, Ronald explained that the mama is a nursery teacher who is paid very little and she’s a single mum of three children. Mama works very hard, the children are very young and although home is their little haven, it’s difficult to live with a polythene sheet for a roof in the temperature of the hills and the damp, misty conditions.

11-Oct-2012 09:12, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 100

Another elderly mama we visited is over 90 years and lives alone on the top of a hill; she struggles to stand upright but still works very hard as a farmer in her shamba (farm land) she’d planted maize, ready for the rain. This mama is called Patience and as she happily welcomed us to her home we tried to imagine what life is like for her! Patience is a happy mama and she’s refused to move in with her son and their family at the bottom of the hill until she’s unable to light her own fire! Stubborn, hard working, happy and patient! Makes you think…

As we climbed up and down the hills visiting each home, we were asked to pray a blessing upon their family – very humbling!

11-Oct-2012 14:03, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.011 sec, ISO 100

In the afternoon we walked to Mgambonyi to experience market day – it’s a real community affair, the farmers bring their produce, some is sold here in the market and some is packed in sacks, to be collected by lorries and taken to the main market in Mombasa, 6 hours away. Agnellah Mwangoji, who we’d visited at her home on Tuesday has a stall in the market selling children’s clothes as well as other material bits and bobs to support their family.

The presence of visitors in the shopping centre caused a bit of a stir and many people greeted us happily. We had some fun with a few small children on their way home from nursery school as they cautiously came to shake our hands, then turned to run away. One little boy, shouted, “Piga Picture” and came running with two other little friends.

A community such as this has many things to teach us; we identify what is easily lost, through progress. Considering this, we continue to plan of how together we can enhance this community and give a helping hand to hard working people, meeting their challenges and putting flesh on the bones of what is already in their hearts and in their hands!

A change of plan meant that we didn’t meet Cow No.2 in her new home today as Sylvester was building a new shelter for the cow. He’s asked us to visit tomorrow when we’ll see her settled in her new home, ready for the birth of her calf.

11-Oct-2012 14:15, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

11-Oct-2012 14:20, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200

 

Day 3 of 5

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Yesterday was a day of walking up and down hills, we left where we are staying at 10am, after the hill clouds had lifted and set off to visit families who are in need of a cow.

09-Oct-2012 11:13, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100

Our first stop was to the family of Saul Mwatika, he lives with his wife and 6 children in a small house made from mud bricks on the side of a hill a few kilometres outside of town.

Saul is a committed farmer who is struggling to feed and educate his children with the little income he is able to get from his 2 cows.

Saul has land with the potential to grow enough Napier Grass to feed at least 3 cows. We are looking to “share a cow” with Saul to help him increase his milk yield and the quality of his herd, at the moment he is only able to produce around 10 litres a day.

09-Oct-2012 13:11, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.007 sec, ISO 100

Our second family is Sylvester & Agnellah Mwangoji who live on an opposite hillside with their children and grandchildren. They had one cow, which gave birth two weeks ago but died the next day (even the vet didn’t know why). They are doing their best and are feeding the calf twice a day with powdered milk, it’s looks very healthy.

We have been told of a very good cow that is due to give birth within the next week, so tomorrow will go and see how she is and see if we can buy her for Sylvester and his family.

09-Oct-2012 12:39, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200

As we walk around we can see the land is very fertile and well looked after, there is a fresh water stream coming out of the mountain that the local community have tapped into to pipe water to all the people in the area. It’s amazing to see. As we climbed to see the source, we could see what a blessing the water is to the community and what can be achieved when a community works together!

As we walked, we were invited into many homes and had a chance to chat and discover some of the challenges of farming in the hills. One of our last stops was to visit a farmer who has four cows and is producing around 80 litres of milk each day, 50 litres in the morning and 30 in the afternoon. It was good to see the different styles of farming and the difference a good breed, in conjunction with plenty of water, makes to the milk yield each day.

 As we walked around we also discussed the need for Bio gas, there is a growing number of cows in the area and an urgent need to protect the forests, which are an essential part of the ecosystem here but obviously people need to cook!  This would be an extremely effective use of resources.

After walking several kilometres, we finally returned at around 5pm! Exhausted but invigorated and excited about the potential here.

Tomorrow we hope to bring you an update from today and some photos of our new cow!

Thanks for checking in our our journey.

Xx Glyn & Janey

09-Oct-2012 11:39, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 7.1, 11.0mm, 0.011 sec, ISO 100
09-Oct-2012 11:12, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

 

 

Day 2 of 5

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Hi, we’re back in the Hills. Yesterday we left the heat and humidity of Mombasa for a 6 hour drive to finally arrive at Mgambonyi around 4pm. We had a few stops on the way for a coffee we had carried with us, giving us a chance to chat to a few people and give a lift to the local town. The roads are a little like an off road driving course, so it’s a lot of fun and amazing scenery.

09-Oct-2012 07:39, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 3.9, 6.4mm, 0.011 sec, ISO 400

We woke this morning to a cool cloud covered hillside, it’s quite a change from Mombasa. As I write this it’s around 14 degrees! Agnella, our host woke early to prepare breakfast for us and cook the water so that we could take a shower. Chav cha (Thank you) Agnella.

Today we are off on foot to visit families that have been identified as in need of a cow.

Battery levels and internet connection allowing I hope to bring you daily updates of our week in the hills.

Thanks for your prayers. Xx Glyn & Janey

09-Oct-2012 07:39, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100

 

A Taste of things to come!

Monday, October 1st, 2012
30-Sep-2012 09:20, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 100

Thanks again Amiran and to Faith who yesterday donated well over 40 kgs of tomatoes to our feeding programme, to give us a taste of things to come!

Our own tomato growing is going well, last week we laid out the irrigation pipes and set about transplanting around 300 seedlings. Each seedling was individually set and fertilized. Once in place they are carefully tendered by Dennis and Martin, this involves regular spraying with a specially formulated insecticide.

The drip system irrigation is turned on for 30 minutes in the morning and again for the same time in the evening to ensure the plants get just the right amount of water.

The tomato plants seem to almost double in size daily, it’s really amazing to watch! We’re really encouraged to see the positive effect this project is having on our students, staff and the surrounding community.

Watch this space for more news! Have a great week from all of us at Tumaini

30-Sep-2012 09:23, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.007 sec, ISO 100
28-Sep-2012 15:49, FUJIFILM FinePix Z700EXR, 6.4, 6.4mm, 0.012 sec, ISO 100