moved!

We have finally moved out to the village!

We have been able to move right into the small village we will be working in, walking distance from the project land.  For the next months we will be living with Amiss and Marieth, a Rwandan couple who moved from Kigali to be part of this project.  They have generously let us move into their house. I’m not sure how to describe it to you: its a luxury mansion by village standards, with our fridge, multiple bedrooms, and indoor toilet, but significantly different than what we are used to in Canada-no running water,  bare cement floors, and buzzing beetles dive-bombing us at night.  I guess beyond that I’ll just say that we are thankful to be here!  This arrangement works well because it provides Amiss & Marieth with some rental income, and allows us to live somewhere IN Ryabega while we try to figure out what to do about housing long term.Amiss & Marieth's house

We are the only white people here so far, and everyone seems to know us- on the second day I got a little disoriented, and a lady I had never talked to saw it and pointed me in the direction of my home. 🙂

Mike has started digging beds and planting: we are a little late, but think it will be ok.  I have been trying to communicate with people in my limited Kinyarwanda while I walk through the village and pray.  People are mostly amused and friendly.  We have been organizing our stuff, trying to work out the kinks as roommates from different cultures, and collecting rainwater when it starts to pour (you know, so we can do laundry and bathe, things like that).  Bohoro bohoro (slowly by slowly), we will get settled in.

house n mike

 

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Kenya… dig it?

As many of you know, I (Mike) just returned to Rwanda from a month-long adventure in Kitale, Kenya learning about agriculture and nutrition. I was a student in an OATS (Organic Agricultural Training Seminar) with an organization called Organics 4 Orphans. murals 2My initial reason for attending was to learn how best to grow gardens and crops in the rich, clay dense soil of Rwanda, which is so much different then the sand, loam, and silt soil of Saskatchewan. However, I was drawn into much larger and longer term concepts of growing health and growing soil. The idea is that in order to grow good food and make use of all the good nutrients in food, one first needs to have good soil.  In order to have good soil you have to understand the living things involved: bacteria, bugs, molds, fungi, worms, nematodes and more.  I learned about how they interrelate, and how I can work to encourage this living network to create healthy soil.  As well, I wasn’t just learning for my own knowledge, but was taught how to teach others what I’ve learned in order to multiply the understanding of the value of land and its ability to produce so much here in Rwanda. DSC01054 Some of the exciting things I learned that I am bringing back to Rwanda include a more comprehensive understanding of composting, worm composting, manure fertilizing, and green manures. (At least, I’m excited about these things!)  As well, how to grow intensively in small plots of land… which will go far to help the widows we will be working with to support their families and communities.