Friday, November 11, 2011

Delivered tank and planted a second field!

We spent the morning buying the necessary materials for the second rainwater capture system we are going to install at the village: we bought a 1000L plastic tank and hired a plumber to add a faucet at the bottom and drill a hole at the top, and we bought iron sheets to fold and use as gutters for the roof. We also bought 10 extra iron sheets that Chizungu had requested in order build himself a new office, and 3 soccer balls.

We arrived at the village and were greeted as every other day by Jacques, Ishara and all the other little children running up surrounding us, only this time instead of hearing "Muzungu, muzungu!" they were all saying "Melanie, Melanie, Xavi, Xavi!!" We gave them a soccer ball and the teenagers another one. The children ran off at full speed to play, screaming and cheering. It was a joyous occasion and everyone was smiling, watching the kids frantically run around kicking the ball back and forth. 

When we finished planting the raised beds yesterday, we had used 1 flat of cabbage seedlings, 2 flats of onion, 1 flat of tomato and 2 flats of carrots. There were a total of 5 seedling flats of each crop so it was important to find another place to plant on!! Dom helped us arrange this and Jeph took us to see the land yesterday. It was a great spot, right next to the village, so we asked Chizungu if the women could start removing the weeds and tall grass.

Before we arrived, the women had cleared a large portion of the second plot of land. Chizungu and Jeph assembled the team of men to join us and we went to the field. The ground was covered with the greenery the women had cut: perfect to use for mulch. So we left all the mulch on the ground and simply opened clearings in it, where we would plant the new seedlings. The men worked with us until the whole field was planted, chatting with us and laughing... the atmosphere has changed completely this week. We've reached an understanding and are working for a common cause, and it's easier and more fun every day!

Once we finished, we walked up to wait for the truck to deliver the materials we bought this morning. Meanwhile, we played with the kids.  First baseball with a bamboo stick and small stones, then they took turns photographing each other with our camera, we organized races, then someone put music on and they all started dancing. 

Finally, the truck arrived and we unloaded the tank and iron sheets.  The men were very happy!! We explained that tomorrow we'll install it and they thanked us and carried everything down to the village.

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