Friday, August 17, 2007

Bushfire Demonstration Garden Aug 17, 07
I’m so happy that we have finally started to train the Bushfire staff in using the oxen to plant in rows. This is a major step towards organizing all farm activities from weeding and spraying up to harvesting. We made the various planting yokes over the past few months and were now waiting for the second growing season to start using the yokes for planting this season’s crops. The rains have come and we are now using the yokes for planting this season’s crops. We started planting a couple weeks ago on a plot which is just across from the Children’s home. This field will be used for a demonstration garden. We have shown in the garden that the yokes can be used for intercropping (planting two crops together- such as maize and beans as in the picture shown above) as well as for mono- cropping (just planting one crop, such as only maize, as in the picture below). The locals like to intercrop so this will work well for them.We are hoping and praying that our demonstration garden will be not only a learning tool for the children and staff but also a stepping stone to reach out to the community. We have already had many curious onlookers – especially with the maize yoke which is seven feet wide (twice as long as the regular yoke used for plowing).

OKM Seed Give Away
With OKM we have also been doing an improved seed distribution recently along with a distribution of Water Guard which is a water purification tablet. Jane and I distributed these to most of the families about a week ago. This will help the families to have more food from their gardens and clean drinking water. The tablets will help the families to reduce on the amount of fuel (charcoal or firewood in most cases) they use in boiling drinking water.

House Update: We are also so happy to tell you about the progress on our house. We are about to put the iron sheets on the roof. We will also start on the plumbing, electrical and installing doors and windows within the next few weeks.
Family Update. We have had two malaria patients lately. Both Jane and Isaiah have been on treatment for malaria and are recovering now. The boys are on Holidays now for three weeks. We are eagerly awaiting my cousin Kerri to come and help us with the boys schooling in September. Please continue praying for our health and safety. Road accidents are SO common and there is so much disease as well. We thank God for all of his protection so far. Please also pray success in our work – we trust God to add his blessing to our efforts. As always, thanks to you all for your prayers, letters and support.
God Bless you all, Chris and Jane, Andrew, Kenny, Albert, and Isaiah