Having determined that I would try to blog most days I have been off the Internet for the last 10 days or so. The best laid plans ......
I spent last week camping in Lesotho learning about Farming God's Way, (a biblically based conservation farming approach which has the potential to absolutely revolutionise farming in Africa and the rest of the world). Had the most fantastic week. I had been very concerned about the logistics of the trip to Lesotho but thanks to Ray and Suzanna and Gilly and Martin my time in Lesotho was very special and worry free. I must publicly say my thanks to Ray and Suzanna for making it possible to get to and from the training in Lesotho, (two very long drives - especially the return journey when we were delayed for an hour by a bad car smash). It was a privilege to be part of Gilly's food group. Finally thanks to Nikki Dryden for managing all the emails between us.
The tragedy of African farming is immense. So many people in such a richly endowed continent go to bed hungry because they are unable to feed themselves adequately. The Farming God's Way team were inspiring. Their commitment to ending hunger and poverty in Africa is absolute and the tools that they have developed are very powerful.
Visit the website, (http://www.farming-gods-way.org), to find out more. There is a whole load of downloadable material to get into.
Flew back from South Africa on Monday and spent the day travelling. It is good to be back in Kenya with a lot to look forward to. Arriving back in Kosele it is very encouraging to see our first attempts at Farming God's way are making great progress. The crops we planted in August are doing very well and, up to now, rainfall has been adequate.
(To see what was involved go to http://www.hopeandkindness.org/ProjectFarming.htm).
We seem to have a minor problem with local wildlife eating some of the maize shoots and bean plants at night so we will have to step up our security. Mary, our manager, thinks they are some kind of deer which come down from the hill at night. I'm not sure but you never know. I wonder if you can eat them.
We have a team from Cisco coming out to visit us at the end of November. Had a conference call with them tonight as part of the planning. I still find it amazing that it is possible to talk to a group of people in the UK at the same time from a mobile phone in Kenya. The technology has moved on so rapidly...... When we first came out to Kenya in 2002 we could only find a strong enough signal to call anyone from a very small spot underneath a banana tree outside one of the houses on our compound. It almost feels like cheating being able to blog from here now but I'm not that much of a purist. The communications revolution is so good for Africa in so many ways.
Have much planned for the next few weeks - continuing setting up our Agriculture College for January, Farming God's Way training with teachers and church leaders, land clearance in preparation for next planting season, (end of February 2013), and keeping an eye on the building work, (new classrooms and visitors' centre). I can't believe I am out here doing this some days - it sounds cheesy but it really is an immense privilege. I feel very lucky.
For those of you who read this blog who are up for praying your prayers for my wife Judi, son Tom and daughter Ellie would be much appreciated. Despite knowing that I am in the right place doing the right thing it's still quite tough on us as a family sometimes.