Meeting Over Chai Tea and Chapatis
Last month the DNRC hosted 14 students and 2 staff from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's Natural Resource Management program, from which I graduated a few years ago, as well as 20 Kenyan students and practitioners. Their four-day field visit was part of the permaculture course that I teach at Nyumbani Village (http://www.nyumbani.org/), a holistic care and teaching community for orphans who lost their parents to HIV.
Our guests were housed by community members, and participated in a range of activities over the four days they were here. Here's a quick overview of their stay, with accompanying pictures:
Day 1, June 8th: The group arrived at the local Primary School at around 3pm, where they were warmly welcomed by school administrators, teachers, community members, pupils and the DNRC staff before touring community members' woodlots.
Day 2, June 9th: Our guests toured more woodlots, led by the DNRC staff, then helped to install two cisterns for capturing rainwater. They donated one of these cisterns themselves; the other was funded by church-based non-profit based near the University of Wisconsin. Not afraid of getting their hands dirty, the group carried sand, gravel, water and prepared the cistern base, which involves digging and leveling the base for the cisterns. The day was crowned with a party full of dancing and singing that was organized by community members.
Day 3, June 10th: Our guests worked in the DNRC tree nursery to clean up and pot planting bags. (Potting involves filling propagation bags with soil). They were able to pot over 3,500 pots in one day, which was a great achievement and help.
Day 4, June 11th : Our guests finished their trip where they arrived - at the local Maiuni primary school. Here they established a food forest by planting fruit trees (passion fruit, papaya, mangoes and citrus) and complementary tree species (acacias, moringa, leucena, and others). They then returned to Nyumbani Village, but not before enjoying a feast provided by the best cooks from the community.
We're very grateful to our guests for all of the help they provided over these four days. They helped moved our project forward, provided clean water for two families, and made many friends in the process.
Thank you for your continued interest and support in our work. I'll be sharing a more detailed report on our progress over the summer in October.
Working Together to Install the Cistern
A Job Well Done
Dinner and a Dance
Potting Saplings in the DNRC Nursery
A Food Forest for Mauni Primary School