Saturday, July 17, 2010

36 weeks

you may think i look big but i promise i wish i was bigger. there is just not enough room for this little one inside me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


my dear friend ashleigh came for a visit last week. she just finished a two year term in kenya with nmsi's project called africahope (you may remember that i was there leading a summer intern team in 2008). we hadn't seen each other in a year and a half and she had never really spent time with dan so it was more than lovely to be together for a few days. i would have taken her for weeks but i don't run the universe and her mother and sister may have fought me if they had to wait longer to see her. it was nice to have a friend visit who wasn't phased by africa but enjoyed the differences in our countries, that understood what we are going through as we adjust to life here and helped us dream about how we can continue in ministry here that would be good for us and hopefully meet needs that we see around us. we didn't take lots of pictures but here are a few.

dan giving ashleigh a tour of the FfF demo plots
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Friday, July 2, 2010


It’s a mouthful, and it’s one of the communities in which we work with farmers and church leaders. DZ (which is what most people refer to it as) is on the outskirts of Harare, just next to Kuwadzana (which I might talk about a lot). People are packed like sardines inside the suburb, but DZ is surrounded by huge tracts of open land, most of it too swampy or otherwise unattractive to developers. Consequently every little pieces is grabbed and farmed by someone.One of the farmers we work with is Mr. Gaihai, and he has claim to about an acre in this open space. After coming to our meetings for five months now, his field (“munda”) looks quite different from those around it—primarily because of the absence of WEEDS (“masora”). Most fields at this point in the year are teeming with weeds, some of them still green (because, of course, weeds are skilled at finding any available food and water), all of them stealing these valuable resources from future crops and all of them making (or have made) millions of seeds for next season. Anybody weeding this time of year is constantly approached by bewildered passers-by, making for a great opportunity to share about faithfulness and stewardship. Now, Mr. Gaihai is a good model, but not perfect. He has still held on to his old habit of digging trenches and burying crop residue (very common here). We teach that any undecomposed material is much more effective on top of the soil as mulch, whereas decomposed material (e.g. compost) is better suited to be put under the soil, preferable in individual holes (as soil inversion has more minuses than pluses). But he’s only completed that exercise on half his field, so I think he’s going to leave the other half un-dug as a comparison. I’m thrilled about this, because experimentation on a farmer’s part is a great way to effect lasting change. So I had a great day yesterday, visiting him and two other farmers, stopping for tea and bread, meeting people along the paths, and praying together.

Mr. Gaihai's field--can you tell where it ends??

His go-the-extra-mile compost pile (and my friend Innocent next to him)