Hey, so I decided to continue blogging, about some nourish related things but more just about me and what im doing etc. If you are interested check it out.
Home sweet home, or atleast kind of. I am now in my final destination of Hyderabad, India which apart from being my place of birth will also be my home for the next three months. Also this will probably be the last post about the project until later when I may get some updates from the projects themselves however it is the first post with some pictures!! (my family here has broadband)
So after the safari we went back to Moshi and travelled the next day back to Tanga. In Tanga we met with the secretary of the Environmental Committee of Kigombe to purchase the supplies and travel to Pangani to meet the rest of the villagers working with the project. The difference with this project compared to the previous coups we had built is that the committee seemed not only more motivated but more unified therefore we decided upon a large communal coup versus the individual ones we built. This is preferrable because it is more cost effective to vaccinate a large number of chickens versus a small number due to the shelf life after opening which is relatively nothing. Also simply because of numbers if someone loses 50% of there chickens if they started off with fifty chickens they are much better off than if they started with 10. Basically it was nice to finish the trip atleast feeling like the success of this coup was a little more assured. Also since it was at the very end of our trip we only had time to oversee the very early stages of building the villagers themselves had to pitch in and it was wonderful to see them all participating in not only their but our common goal.
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Hello all, this won’t be a very long message because i get kicked off the internet in like 4 minutes because i am using free internet at the airport in Doha, Qatar and there is a 11 minute mandatory log off. But i just wanted to let everyone know that i made it out of Africa and I think that Noreen has too although I would have no way of knowing. Anyway I will write a more elaborate wrap up for the trip once I am in India and unencumbered with mandatory log off times.
I almost made it out of africa with only some itchy skin for a couple days but of course I came down with a cold on my bus ride to Dar es Salaam, hopefully it is only a cold.
So check back soon to hear about our last few days and our last chicken coup project in Kigombe near Pangani.
p.s. to any of you that were concerned I finally got a hold of HP Book 7 in Johannesburg!! Halfway through and the getting is good.
Safari in Manyara was incredible elephants so close you could spit on them, not that any one would or should but they were really close. Also as some of you have noticed there are no pictures up and there will not be until I have access to something better than dial-up because it took literally more than an hour to even attempt to load 3 pictures. We will be going to Pangani tommorow to start work on our final project as well as the final chicken coup. We are all really excited about this project because the villagers their came up with the idea on their own and seem really motivated. Also they are willing to have a communal coup which is generally the best way to go to reduce costs of vaccinations and heating etc. which was big cost for all of the individual coups in the village in Tanga, called Mogombo I believe.
I am running out of time so I will wrap it up, the next time I post will probably be my last post from Tanzania and it will also hopefully have an update on the coups we have built as well as the the project in Pangani, take care and Ulale Salama.
Hamjambo i hope everyone is Bomba Bomba, which among other things means wonderful and fantastic. We are in Moshi after having split with half the team on monday, David and Rachel who are on their way back to the states. We are mainly doing some R&R and sight seeing except that since we have been here it has been too cloudy to see Mt. Kilimanjaro which is basically right next to us. Hopefully it will clear up soon, we are going on safari tommorrow in Manyara which we are all very excited about and returning to Tanga/Pangani on saturday to finish our final coop project in the fishing village. Take care, Hakuna ma tata…they really do say that.
So we have an internet cafe right in our hostel so it is a lot easier for me to get on here while we are in Lushoto also why this is the first post with some pictures.
The first picture is of one of the fish ponds here in Lushoto. These fish farms are the main purpose of our visit here since they are a very sustainable project and seem to be quite successful. The one in the picture is a farm sponsored by Heifer international and the Lutheran church at a school for the mentally disabled and autistic. The pond is cared for and maintained entirely by the students and the fish are harvested and consumed at the school. Ponds such as these can be started by anyone that can dig them near a water source and the church will provide the “fingerlings” or baby fish that in a matter of 6 months will repopulate the pond and from then on be self sustainable. So far we are going to help to rehabilitate a pond for a local farmer and look into sponsoring other ponds in the area.
Since we lack the manpower to create a pond we have been spending our time volunteering at a orphanage also part of the Lutheran church, as you can see in the picture baby Steve and Amina playing in the nursery.
Lushoto as I believe I mentioned in a previous post is a mountain village and therefore provides for some incredible views the most famous being from the Irente Viewpoint which is where I am standing in the last picture. That is all for now, we will be here for the next 4 days after which we will be traveling back to Tanga/Pangani while stopping on the way in Kilimanjaro to check out some parks. Salama.
p.s. internet connections are painfully slow and the power went out on me once already so if there are no pictures rest assured there will be eventually.
Mambo, vipi? We are all well and now in Lushoto which is in the Sambara mountains and absolutely beautiful. So before I get into some good news that we have had about the project in Tanzania and news about Pangani I think it is necessary to bring everyone up to speed about the importance of these chickens.
SO, currently in most villages across the country families own “traditional chickens” which are free-range chickens that do not require coups and run around the village and return home at night. The problem with these chickens is that since they run around everywhere it is not uncommon for them to be stolen, eaten, or killed in other random ways. Also the eggs that they lay require fertilization from other “traditional roosters” so these eggs are not necessarily laid where families can collect them or they hatch i.e. they pose little economic utility. Therefore the core of our purpose here has been to give families “modern chickens” which is the direct translation from Swahili but they are basically the souped up chickens we are used to that lay an egg a day without fertilization. Here is where the coups come in, since these are not as street smart as the free-range chickens most families have if let out they would eat things that would harm them and probably not return home etc. So in building the coups we provide a place for the modern chickens to reside etc. Now another problem with modern chickens is that they are higher maintenance requiring expensive food and vaccinations so our solution is to make hybrid chickens in a process called “upgrading” basically we stick a modern rooster with traditional hens which pop-out hybrid babies that lay an egg per day and are also a littly tougher than pure modern chickens. The end goal being that hybrid chickens grow to lay enough eggs per day for families to more than triple their current income by selling them.
Now then for the good news, on our last day when David and I were distributing the last of the supplies to all the families along with instruction booklets that we made we found out that 1 of the 5 families already had 2 hybrid eggs only a day after we had put the rooster with the hens!!! Hopefully you all share in our excitement.
That same day the rest of the group took a trip to Pangani to the fishing village to see how best we could assist them. After having a harrowing ride there they met with the town council and much to their astonishment found that the villagers most wanted us to help them by providing them with exactly the same project we already did in Tanga! So i suppose more chickens are to come.
Will update about lushoto later but i am out of internet time. Hakuna ma tata.
So it has been a lot longer to get back on here than i thought, but we have been hard at work and eager for shower and bed after long days of building huts. We have finished all 5 of our coups and they turned out extremely well. Yesterday and today we have been purchasing all of our poultry and the associated materials such as food and vaccinations etc. today david and i are fortunate enough to deliver all the chickens to the families who recieved coups and to the other families who we are giving a few chickens to as a gift. Rachel, Noreen, and Boni will be travelling to Pangani for the day to meet with the chairman of the fishing village to sort out exactly how we can help them.
Best news of all is that tomorrow we will be living all these chickens for good to go to Lushoto to the Lutheran Church where we will be working with the fish ponds and the orphanage there. Don’t get me wrong i love chicken but after david was defecated on and a week here i think we are all ready to move on. Tanga will be missed though. Take care and keep it real.
Connected once again. We finally got to our final destination on sunday night after 3 straight days of travelling. We arrived in Tanga to our much better than expected accomodations at the Inn by the Sea which is exactly how it sounds (I also lucked out and got one of the ocean front rooms). We visited the Amboni caves yesterday which are limestone caves that are extremely massive spanning miles. After that we got to business meeting with the local officials who are aiding us in selecting the families that will be recieving aid as well as helping with logistics in construction of the coups. It was a very enriching experience walking through the villages and meeting all the Mama’s (the ladies of the house) and kids along the way. It is amazing how much delight the kids get out of having their picture taken and shown to them. Tomorrow we will begin contruction for the first few families and gather supplies for the rest of the project. Now that we are somewhat settled and learning our surroundings posts should be more frequent. I also hope to get some pictures on here assuming it doesn’t take hours to upload them, I am using dial-up after all. Usiku mwema.
Hello people, everyone has safely arrived in Johannesburg in good spirits and high expectations. Tomorrow the four of us will be flying out of Jo-burg to Dar es Salaam to meet with Boni our guide and then drive straight to Tanga where we will begin the chicken coup/cow pen project. It may be a while before we have internet access again so it may be a while until my next post, but keep checking.