Tag Archives: Chaminuka

We built the resource garden & tree nursery!

We did it! Mukutele (Welcome in Silozi)

I arrived back home to Canada on May 1st. 16lbs lighter in weight but gained a ton in knowledge. You don’t realize how much you can learn about survival, compassion and hard work until you have seen it done with your own eyes. I spent 30 days in Zambia Africa and came home with a renewed zest for what SEEDS is trying to do and confidence that we can do it.

I stayed in a guest house ran by Sister Cathy of the Catholic Church of Zambia, met the famous UBC-O nurses from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, who have been training and learning in the hospital in Mongu and met other NGO’s all trying to do their bit to help.

With such a need for every thing there it is hard not to give. I ran out of money so I ate like they ate (sparsely), I slept with a net over my bed, shared a room with spiders and cock roaches that would put Texas to shame and struggled to get things done in constant heat that burns.

I met the rest of Freddrick’s (our manager) amazing family whom I now call my own, met amazing farmers of all ages and played with the wonderful innocent children whom we are trying to help. We had a hard working crew, lead by Freddrick and I had my little followers who helped me clear up brush and plastic garbage and plant the vegetable garden and trees.

We built the resource garden for farmers complete with drip irrigation and the tree nursery. We even painted a big sign on the gate! I had to make green paint as I could only find black & white and even made my own paint brush out of a duck feather.

In three weeks time, we handed out vegetable seeds from Canada to 12 female and 23 male farmers who lived fairly close (within an hours bike ride) to our Resource Centre. We are tracking the numbers in their families and I guesstimate we provided additional food crops for 350 people . That means we are potentially helping 315 children have a better variety of vegetables.

These crops should harvest in July which is during their dry season when they need the food most. The rainy season starts in October/November and their normal harvest is in January/February/March. Therefore they have to make that harvest last until the next harvest. A long time!

We have computer software to track our results so I will know more as our Assistant Manager Matindo records our stats and reports back to me in Canada.

We even received our first lot of tree seeds that were handed in by a 67 year old female farmer who we then gave a second batch of seeds.

I saw a wild Lion on the side of the road while on the bus in Kafue National Park and the orphaned Elephants at Lilayi.

I am blessed to be able to do this, thanks to the people who have donated funds so far. I raised the $600.00 Canadian dollars which it cost to build the garden and tree nursery and the rest of the money was my own. We still have much more to do and I look forward to a seed full year.

I am saving seeds again and hope to send the next batch in July 2014 so if you could help in any way please go to http://www.sendseedstoafrica.org.

Thanks Joanne

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Kafue National Park

Kafue National Park takes about two hours to drive through on the way to Mongu at about 110k/per hour and that is the thinnest part of the park. See the black line in the picture from Lusaka to Mongu. That is The Great West Road and that is what we traveled on.

Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest National Park and the 2nd largest in the world. It covers an area of over 22,500 square kilometers in Western Zambia. (about the size of Wales). Although it is Zambia’s oldest Park it is still relatively undeveloped and always gives a feeling of true wilderness.

I was anxious to get to Kalabo as I know what a long drive it is and I didn’t want to have to stay in Mongu for the night. We had to catch the pontoon boat crossing the Zambezi River before dark, technically 6pm.

I didn’t expect to see many animals as it is a tarred road, basically 2 lane highway and we only saw elephants last year. It didn’t bother me not to see the animals as I had been on a morning & night safari last year at Chaminuka ( a private game reserve) but I hadn’t booked any safari’s this year as we were on a mission and pressed for time & money.

Poor Carl had said he had been to the Toronto Zoo enough times with his friend Dan the bird man so it really didn’t bother him but I think he was just being kind to me. As soon as we entered the park he was perched on the edge of his seat with the video camera in one hand and his camera on the seat beside him. This is a portion of what he recorded. I think we should have practiced with the video camera before we went to Africa. Oh Well!

The first animal you see is one of many antelope in Zambia. It is an Impala. Now that I know what it is I feel guilty as I ate Impala when we were there last year at Chaminuka. They are very plentiful in Zambia and were raised at Chaminuka so I don’t feel too bad.

To escape their pursuers they employ a confusing zig zag escape route, with sudden directional changes and exceptionally high leaps making it difficult for the  pursuing attacker to strike.

Carl was especially happy to see Elephants in the wild. We were about 4-5 metres from them and if you noticed at the end the big Elephant fanned out her ears. That is a sign that they may charge so at that point Frederick said ” OK Lets Go”.

They were monkeys first, and I think  baboons in the group and the bird with the red and yellow on it’s head was an endangered Saddle-billed Stork. Not sure what the white bird was.

We finally made it to Mongu and stopped at Frederick’s home and met his son Lubasi and his youngest son ( sorry I forget his name).

Then off again on our way across the Barotse Plain. Wait until you see that ride!