Seven Days – Endless Experiences
In only seven days, the Feed by Seed team has gained enough experiences to last a lifetime. Yes, this may sound cliche, but it is true: anyone who spends a week in a developing country surrounded by foreign cultures and delicious food cannot honestly say that they did not gain some sort of experience.
So here we are: entering week two with so much behind us and even more to come. Our first week of teaching agriculture went perfectly, if you can call numerous translation errors and a classroom topping 90 degrees perfect. We really enjoyed working with the students, especially when it came to playing games that were fun regardless of the language barrier. It was also surprising but exciting to learn that many of the students were already knowledgeable about many of the topics we were teaching, including the parts of a plant and where eggs come from. The fact that these students already knew so much about agriculture and its importance was a good sign that there is hope for the future of the industry in this impoverished community.
As the house was pretty empty this weekend after the departure of our six new friends from Virginia, we decided to take a walk into the main part of Somotillo to purchase some more herbicide as well as check out the town. Literally five minutes from our house, the walk seemed to take twice as long thanks to the heat. It was enjoyable, though, as we greeted and were greeted by many friendly people along the way.
The town is very similar to that of Tijuana, Mexico (for those that have been there), except the buildings are more condensed and stores sell useful things like groceries rather than cheap souvenirs. Also, the popular method of transportation is what we call the “pedi-taxi” or “pedi-cab” – a sort of tricycle with a wide seat in the front and a bike seat and pedals in the bike. Two people can fit in the front seat and are pushed around by the driver pedalling in the back. I guess you could say it’s a form of rickshaw with the passengers in the front. We passed places you would find in any regular town, including clothing shop, ice cream parlor, and a single-chair hair salon. The only difference was the amount of trash in the streets and number of people sleeping right in the middle of the side walk.
Today we also took part in some hands-on farming experiences. Austin, Keira, Margery, and Shasta loaded up two 5-gallon buckets with herbicide and set out to spray the half-acre plot we are using as a model farm for the community. The plot had been taken over by dead corn plants, struggling sugar cane crops, and endless weeds so it was vital that we straighten up the area to make way for new crops. This afternoon the entire team also battled through the tormenting heat to have a “rock-picking party” or, in agricultural terms, spending two hours picking up all of the rocks from the area so that the soon-to-arrive tiller could successfully do its work. Although it was exhausting work, we were rewarded with a delicious fried chicken and apple pie dinner to enjoy with the arrival of the new 13-member mission team.
Dr and Mrs. Donald M Gillette
Because We Care Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 21806
Roanoke, VA. 24018