Our friends Michelle and Eliu are visiting from the states for a month and are staying with us. They have two kids, an 11 month old and a 6 year old. SO our house is very full now with four adults, two babies and child. It feels a bit like community living again. Nina is happy she loves other babies and kids.
The hospital called, yay, someone actually called me back. They said that I can support women in birth if I want. To fit within their system they are going to call me a “promtor of health” that is basically people in the community trying to build bridges between the people and the hospital. I am not fully sure what that means, I have some training on Friday afternoon but I am excited I finally have permission. I have a birth in June. I guess I will see how that goes and then maybe start looking for some more people.
Martin also finally seems to have some clarity on what he will be doing. As no one ever got back from the municipality about the compost project we decided it wasn’t really viable. However, in the process of exploring this project Martin has been meeting with many farming associations in the surrounding areas of Chulucanas. Farmers who mostly only have between 1 to 5 hectares of land and while they certainly have better working conditions and salaries than the men working in the tips they still struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet even without luxuries we take for granted in Australia such as running water or concrete floors. As mentioned, while meeting with them they would often seek Martin’s suggestions on soils and water management. They were also very interested in the organic waste project and are keen to learn how they could use their own organic waste and the organic waste in their town to possibly produce their own fertiliser to use and/or sell. It would significantly reduce their costs on fertilisers as well as help them appeal more to the growing organic market. Thus in consultation with various farming associations, Martin will be organising and assisting to run a series of 15 workshops over the next 6 months with these farmers on their land. He will be working with 5 different associations each receiving 3 practical workshops. The first session will be talking about OH&S (while in Australia this topic is over done here it is pretty much non existent and thus very necessary), organic fertiliser (we will produce compost), soil and water management (including activities such as, a soil profile study, taking soil and water samples for analysis and water use efficiency). Subsequent sessions will continue to discuss organic fertiliser (we will produce Humus) as well as interpret the results of the soil and water analysis and how to use these results in sustainable fertility programs for specific crops. We really believe what these farmers are already doing is very interesting and we want the workshops to be a space for them to share their methods as well. They have a real thirst to learn more about different farming methods for they know education is power and many have had fairly limited formal education. Martin has also got two other engineers from the university involved in the hope there will be continued relationship between the university and the farmers and continued support.
It’s funny how everything all seems to happen at once after 5 months of talking, exploring ideas, praying and waiting. While this wasn’t exactly what we planned to do we are excited as we are not just doing what we wanted but what came out of discussion with people here and what they really want. Therefore, while these are not huge things we hope they will be significant. Now we are just waiting and praying that we will be able to get some financial support to be able to see it through. Please join us in prayer.