Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda - 2012
Had a busy old day today. Didn't travel too far, but the roads we
were on weren't exactly top notch..... those of you who have been
up to Uldale will have some idea what I mean. These were back dirt
roads so it wasn't a surprise, but they certainly test your fillings.
Daniel our driver missed out on a career as a rally driver. He might
even harbour a desire to be one for all I know. He can certainly
handle the big Land Cruiser on these surfaces.... foot down as much
as you can and ride over the smaller bumps, and swerve around the
bigger bumps. It's great as far as I'm concerned, although I not
sure approaching motorcyclists or pedal pushers will see it my way
We were visiting a group 15km away who have been in the
send a cow program for around 3 years so it is interesting to see
how they are getting on and how it is helping. They have had their
cows around a year now so are reaping the benefits of milk, both
through personal health and wealth.
The first farmer had a crossbreed
Ayrshire cow which was giving around 9 litres of milk a day, of which
they were using 2 litres themselves and selling the rest, getting
45 schillings a litre, which is around 40p, if my sums are correct
(They might not be....wouldn't be first time!), but certainly more
than dairy farmers are getting back home, and with less inputs too.
They utilise the manure too, using it as a fertiliser, applying it
as a liquid to each seed as they plant, and more applications through
the growing season. Many of the group members were getting crops
double in yield, which has the obvious result of more food and also
extra to sell.
You have to wonder why they didn't already know all
this, but as a result of AIDs/HIV which has seen a generation wiped
out, and still is a dark shadow over the continent, many practices
have been lost via family displacement etc. that's probably simplistic
view and there are many other factors too, but it is sad to see undernourished
children and families, especially when you see the quality of the
soil in some of these places.
I am not claiming to be an expert but
I think there is massive potential in African agriculture which needs
unleashing, especially with the world population growing so fast,
and it's good to be a small part in helping this happen.
got back to the hotel in Bumala (well I think that's where are, I'm
not sure, but that's what is printed in the front of the Gideons
bible in my room so that's what I'm going on... if that's not right
when I double check, blame the Gideons!) Back to Bumala anyway, I
went for a wander around town with my camera.. maybe not the wisest
idea. I don't seem to be able to blend in somehow over here on the
street. Don't know why that might be.
Anyhow I had a potter about,
got a few pictures but not the easiest when people are wanting money
from you cos they feel hungry. I just told them I was from Yorkshire,
which seems to be understood the world over. You can see beggars
crossing the road to avoid you when the news travels on ahead. They
know there's no chance of getting money out of your pockets and know
you will try and get some out of theirs at same time. Don't tell
me I never give any good travel tips!
I may have been a little harsh
on our hotel in last nights update, so I thought I maybe better review
the situation, just in case any of you dear readers were thinking
of popping down this way for a weekend break. Service was quicker
tonight, but still not sure how it can take half an hour to make
a cheese toastie, especially when there are no others in restaurant
either. But hey ho, the beds comfortable, even if it does have nylon
sheets and covers, which create static. Not joking, I ran my hand
over the sheets in the dark and you could see sparks of static. I
was terrified to move... was convinced I would become a victim of
spontanous combustion. I lay in bed not daring to move in case I
ignited the bed! Was ready to jump out at a moments notice, but figured
it wouldn't be worth the struggle as I would doubtlessly get tangled
up in the mozzie net anyway! Not ideal for a greats night sleep,
but gives a whole new meaning to being hot in bed!
But as you have
probably surmised I didn't go up in flames, and tomorrow we move
on to Uganda, staying in Mbale if you want to check it out. Mbales
claim to fame is that it has featured in the start of one of the
recent James bond films... not sure which one. Check it out. All
that is as long as I'm not reduced to small pile of smouldering ash
by the morning! Over and out.
out more about Send a Cow on their website