Happy to report that thanks to our Global Giving donors we're making great progress on the farm. First, we've hired a caretaker, a husband and wife we've known for several years. The husband is skilled in the building trades and is engaged right now in building an out building on the farm for livestock so we'll soon be able to move our animals to the farm. We are buying a pair of oxen to use for plowing the fields. In Nepal, people use a team of oxen and a wooden plow for their fields. With the sometimes-steep, terraced farming that's practiced and the lack of mechanized equipment in the company, oxen are the most popular choice for plow animals. We will also be adding a cow for milk and some goats as soon as the livestock building is complete, which should be by the end of December.
Another woman and her children have moved in at the farm. She's an experienced farmer, escaping a very abusive marriage and we're so happy to be able to provide her with a good home to live in and prime farmland to grow food on.
A volunteer is arriving at the farm this week to start putting a foundation in for another house on the farm. He will be there for three weeks and is optimistic he can complete the footings in that time. Then, in March our school group from Canada will return and begin construction of another house. We'll be using earth bag building for this as it's inexpensive, earthquake resistant and provides warmth in winter and cool in summer. It's also an easy material to work with for volunteers. Instead of bricks or cement blocks, rice bags are filled with compacted dirt and stacked atop each other with barbed wire in between the bags that acts as a mortar. Once finished the interior and exterior can be plastered with mud, after the local fashion, or cement, a style more popular in the cities of Nepal.The house will have 4 rooms, about 18 feet by 18 feet each. We are building a common kitchen and toilet/bath next to the house. I'll have photos of the kitchen/bath soon as it is under construction now.
For now we have decided to focus on other projects in Nepal. This project is funded and we greatly appreciate the support of our Global Giving donors. Please visit our other Global Giving projects. Thank you.
After ten years of working in the Rasuwa District, we've relocated this project to the Dhading District. Several years ago, the birthing center in the Rasuwa District had no staff and no equipment. We provided both and have operated the government owned birthing center with our staff and equipment the past three years. Now, the government is finally providing staffing to this birthing center. We can't of course predict for how long, but at the moment the staff is there. We've transferred our midwife to the Dhading District where there is a new birthing center, sans staff, and a small healthpost a few hours walk away that needs midwife support as well. We are scouting a location in one nearby area that is too far from either the aforementioned health post or the birthing center with plans to establish a combination first aid station and birthing center. At the time of this report we are in the US and headed for Nepal in two weeks to scout the location. As soon as we have it, I'll post up some photos and more details.