Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women

Mission: Grassroots Uganda- Empowering African Women is an NGO working with Women in the slums and rural areas of Uganda. We provide training in craft making, business skills, and money management, while paying our Artisans fair wages for their work. Our Mission is to give our women a hand up, instead of a hand out, so that they can pull themselves out of poverty. Founding Principles and Our Purpose: Women are the backbone of Uganda. They carry out all the domestic duties of life without running water, electricity, or any of the basic conveniences of modern life. Th...
Mar 5, 2017

We finally named the turkeys

I get attatched to animals easily and once they are named they become friends- NOT food. Hence why for the past year and a half I have been avoiding naming and basically any contact with our turkeys. I was really hoping to eat one at Thanksgiving!!!

Well I lost that battle, and their names are  Tom, Powder Puff (the white one), and Precious- who is currently sitting on a basin of eggs. It looks like they will live long healthy lives and likely die of old age. *sigh*

In other news- we are going to have baby turkeys!!! For the past few weeks both Precious and Powder Puff have been laying eggs everywhere- except in a nest. They lay them in the sweet potato hills, under pumpkin leaves, in the brambles behind the mango tree... And we have been systematically hunting them down and tucking them into a basin. After a lot of coercing, Precious FINALLY agreen to sit on them in a basin next to our storage area, and hopefullly here in a bit we'll have babies! 

Maybe I can eat one of their offspring for Thanksgiving instead... 

Links:

Feb 2, 2017

Backpacks for the kids

As a child, it was always exciting for me to start school with a new backpack. My friends and I would compare ours- the colors, designs, who had the most pockets and zippers, it was really of great importance and entertainment. 

Fred's kids deserve the same, so we brought each of them and Cathy's two girls backpacks from the United States. each child got to choose his or her own backpack- and obviouusly the little girls imediately dove for the princess ones. It was adorable. 

The kids walk to school everyday with all their books and supplies, and now they are doing so in style! Of course with lots of wear, tear, and love- backpacks wear out pretty fast. So we will be replacing them every year. 

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Jan 17, 2017

Cashew nut trees

Cashew nuts are both delicious and fascinating. The fruit of the cashew nut tree is actually not a fruit in itself- it is a sweet swollen stem and the cashew nut is safe inside a shell surrounded by a caustic liquid ready to give a chemical burn to anything naive enough to try and open it without precautions.

The ‘fruit’ is known as a cashew apple and its entire purpose is to attract fruit bats. The bats latch onto the fruit and fly away with it as they drink the sweet nectar. When satiated, the bats drop the apple with the seed on the bottom and whallah, seeds are spread and cashew trees pop up in new territory.

When you taste the fruit it is very sweet, and it also makes your mouth furry- like your tongue and throat are covered in velvet. It is an awkward feeling, but it did not stop me from eating more. Fortunately, the feeling goes away in a few minutes.

The cashew nuts are encased in a shell with a nasty liquid inside that can cause chemical burns, so the two easiest ways to retrieve the nut is to either freeze it, then whack it with a hammer and pick out the seed, or if you’re in the village with no refrigeration- throw them into a fire, wait for the nuts to pop and retrieve the ‘roasted’ seed with a wire mesh scooper.

Harvesting cashews is a bit labor intensive, and their price point reflects that. One kilo of cashew nuts fetches about 23,000ush ($7.50) on a local market, as opposed to other nuts such as peanuts, which fetch about 5,000ush ($1.56) per kilo.

The cashew nut trees are one of the many trees that we are promoting, and distributing to our communities.

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