It seems a bit counterintuitive, but some of our best, locally-grown veggies only show up at market in the dry season. You’d think they’d be abundant in the rainy season but too much sporadic rain during and a multitude of pests make gardening difficult. Farmers are also more focused on ploughing, sowing, and weeding their main staple crops of corn, millet, beans, and groundnuts.
In the dry season, those with access to plots by the creek can maintain healthy vegetable gardens if they are willing to do the hard work of irrigating the crops. And it’s hard work! Very few of the gardeners can afford a water pump (or the fuel to run it) so they manually carry 10-gallon jugs of water up and down from the creek. Humidity stays below 10% most of the dry season while temperatures can hit 110F so the plants need a lot of water.
Just south of Nalerigu is the predominantly Bissa village of Nagboo that is known for its dry season gardens. Most of its produce ends up at the Nalerigu market for sale. These gardeners produce cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, hibiscus, and amaranth greens.
I recently biked down to Nagboo with just a DJI Mavic drone and an iPhone and took some photos and video of the gardens. The gardeners were very gracious and happy to show off the fruit of their hard work.
Last year, a colleague in Burkina Faso started launched a Lottie Moon Project (it’s like Kickstarter for IMB) with the goal of raising $30,710 to train women to train women to share God’s stories. Wait what? Train to train to…?
Well, you teach someone Bible stories but how much better is it to teach them to teach others? The coolest thing is that the group consists of 32 women from eight different languages. They’ve already had two five day workshops and have several more planned.
The women not only learn how to tell the stories but they craft indigenous songs based on the stories they learn (see the video below). These worship songs are just another tool that helps them to remember and to teach the Bible stories to others.
Finally, they are learning how to craft additional stories on their own. This means that after this project’s two year limit is up, they can continue crafting and training other women from their ethnic groups.
I had a chance to attend the workshop one day last month and it was really impressive to see how dedicated these women were to learning the craft of storying. If you’d like to contribute financially to this project just follow this link to its project on IMB.org. If you can’t contribute that way, you can definitely pray for the workshop leaders and for the women participating in the training. Between workshops, they go back home and put into practice what they’ve learned – sharing the truth of Scripture with their family and friends in the heart language!
I just got back from a two week trip to South Africa to work on a media project about Africa’s rapid urbanization. After the coverage was wrapped up, my team took a day trip to Pilanesberg National Park to go on safari. I was there in early 2015 but was happy to go back and see the incredible wildlife. It really is the best park to visit to get the most wildlife bang for your buck.
Here’s a montage of video clips from the day followed by some photos.
As in years past, we went out to Kolinvaai to join our friends there for a Christmas morning church service. I was asked to preach and so I read the Christmas story from Luke and then focused on Simeon and Anna’s encounters with the Christ child. There was lots of singing and dancing after the sermon and the youth choir sang a few songs as well.
After the service the church enjoyed a meal of rice balls and ground nut soup together. They always treat us as honored guests and give us our food in fancy dishes to “take away.” Sometimes we wish we could stay and fellowship with everyone else, but it’s also nice to go home and get a little rest before we head to town and spend a few hours greeting all of our friends.
As in years past, the expat doctors at BMC visited patients on the wards on Christmas Eve and passed out oranges. This year it was just the Cahills and us and we were joined by our German friend Mattis.
One thing we did differently this time was that William read the Christmas story in Mampruli in each ward. It was nice to be able to communicate the reason we followers of Jesus celebrate this holiday. For many is was probably the first time they heard the story in a clearly communicated in their heart language.
I thought this guy was a great example of typical dancing in a smock at Mamprusi cultural events.