Cute and flirty: It’s always about my kids! “Flirty” is dead. Featured this month are Daniel and Future, two toddlers that I’ve been spending a crazy amount of time with this past month as they’re currently staying with my host family. My bike has officially turned into those coin-operated rides in front of grocery stores that rock back and forth while children pretend to drive, we play so much “paddy cake” that they know the words in English by heart, and we loooooooooove tickles! Probably cutest of all us how obsessed they are with my cat and ducks, and they always want to help feed them.
Something I learned from my community: This section is going to have two things because I’m an idiot and did some fluffy thing about integration last month instead of the most important thing if all: I learned that I should be weeding with my hoe. Like a complete idiot, I have been weeding everything by hand because I thought uprooting the weeds would be less work long term. Incorrect. Zambian farmers had it right the whole time by hoeing the weeds along the path, and an hours-long job took about 10 minutes.
Back to this month, I’ve been mulching the termite mound by my hill to prepare for dry season, as I’d like to demo mulching as opposed to field burning as an alternative to increasing soil fertility, and I think it would be a huge ask to tell risk-averse people to do that without getting to see it first! Anyways, my hoe broke. My precious, big-ass hoe. Problem. But my good friend and host brother Mario very easily fixed it by melting plastic and dripping it into the loose parts. Worked like a charm; my hoe is as good as new! And to think that my first thought was throwing away a perfectly fixable how and buying a new one. Thanks to Mario for being the innovative handyman in my life when I’m derping and wondering where the closest Home Depot is.
Something my community learned from me: *crickets* I think this was more of a learning and setting-things-up month for me! Yup, that’s the excuse I’m going to use.
Shower insights: A dear friend recently sent me this article about being present for your friends, and I absolutely love it. It was a nice reminder for me to be more attentive to what my friends want and need from me.
Something that didn’t totally fail: Annikki and I are organizing a large-scale agricultural training at Kasisi Agricultural Training Center for 13 people in my community and 10 people in hers. My initial plan was to sent 50 people from my community, but that amounted to roughly 20,000 USD for the workshop alone so we’re not doing that! Instead, I asked the headmen from each of the 6 villages I work with to select two names (one man and one woman) and get back to me. I’m interviewing those nominees, translating them into English (god help me), and going to post them online shortly for people to sponsor! It has been a crazy process, but I’m really excited about it and you’ll be seeing a crap-ton about it on my social media shortly when I begin fundraising.
Hero of the month: Mario! For always supporting my ideas, spending time with me, and being a good friend.
Villain of the month: Grass. Specifically, the razor-sharp blades of grass that keep slicing my hands open when I try to mulch.