Hakuna Matata in Kenya

Jambo, Jambo mwana, hakuna matata!

I'm writting this to you after a 24 hour bus ride from Mombasa to Kampala. Am I grumpy from the long hours being squished on a stinky, and very cold bus? Nope! Thats because I finally got to go to Kenya! I have been trying for so long to make it to the island of Lamu, as many of you remember I was going to go with a course during my days at IWU but the trip got cancelled 3 times so I decided that since I'm living in Uganda I had better make it to Lamu once and for all. I went with Hannah, Courtney, Lisandro (other PCVs in Uganda) and Cathrine (Lisandro's friend from home). We stopped in Narobi,then Mombasa and spent most of our time on Lamu an island off the northern coast of Kenya. The island completely surpassed my expectations. It was more than beautiful with it's sandy beaches, over friendly residents and with the main mode of transport being donkeys, how could you not love it? I promise to write more later and post more pictures, but for now I need to go get ready to go pick up Becca Evans from the airport!!! Thats right, another visitor! Yipee!
Me on the beach at Lamu on the Indian Ocean.
Our last night on Lamu we had a happy birthday to me celebration dinner of crab, lobster and fish on the beach.


Carrots and solar and conservation, oh my!

These days we are facing rather imposing and terrifying world problems: peak oil, global warming and ozone layer destruction. This is only a beginning of a list that could continue for miles. Endless problems that seem to be heading towards inevitably grim outcomes which often times causes us to stick our head in the ground, feeling hopeless to make any difference. Along side of providing care and education for orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda, COU is stepping up to the plate to begin combat against the incoming and present food crisis. For the past three weeks the staff at COU have been making plans with the guidance of expert permaculturist, Rosemary Morrow towards ways to improve our land by increasing food production and decreasing waste. This program was brought to COU by one of our fabulous board members, Jan Smart who had the vi son to make a huge difference in the way we use our land. I am so ecstatic with the opportunity this has brought to the home. The children are learning how to reduce our waste and how to separate that which they do create, better water conservation and a better method of farming the land. Already Sabina Home is running on solar power and without showers and washing machines there is not a lot of water wastage. The biggest problem we face is littering and pollution through burning of black plastic bags which seems to be ubiquitous to Uganda. The children at Sabina (and myself) are buzzing with excitement of the new trash bins which they use to separate organics from plastics. They scold each other when waste is put in the wrong container and delightful continue to as questions about what is organic material. Vegetable gardens are being planted in a small part of the 106 acres that belong to Sabina Home. Other plans for the land include; planting fruit trees, starting cassava plantations and even possibly creating a land conservation area which will provide a home to indigenous animals and plants as well as to provide and educational spot for many students. The goal behind planting all the food is to improve the nutrition of the children in the program and to reduce the budget we have to allocate to feeding of so many. If all goes well we will be able to feed all children and staff of the land we have. Mpola mpola (slowly by slowly) we are coming up with long term, environmentally friendly solutions to a few of the new problems. This program has already made lasting, positive changes in the home. These are exciting times!

To see our permaculture blog please go to www.childrenofuganda-permaculture.blogspot.com


Happy Birthday Mom

Quick update: The library is coming along great! We just got the solar lighting installed which means the kids are now able to study at night!!!! We are still awaiting the arrival of the books and finishing up details on the painting and then we will open! (wow, that was an extreme use of exclamation marks, sorry!) I promise to post photos later.


PS. Happy (early) Birthday, Mom!!! Love you!