It's All Happening!
The Eagle has landed!
I arrived April 20 about the same time as our two containers of machinery arrived from Australia. We had three frustrating weeks while Marko, our Field Manager, worked hard in Daresalem at the port to get our containers cleared. Things can be a big hassle in Africa. We had been through a thorough inspection process in Australia to avoid problems, but they still wanted to open the containers to see what chemicals were in the paint! We really appreciate those who have been praying for us on the 4th of each month. On the 4th of May things turned around, Marko got to see the big boss and the containers were cleared! Also the rain stopped in the village so when the truck came a week later, it was able to get through. I grew up in the bush, nothing I had seen was as treacherous as this road. See where we slipped off in to the ditch! I had stopped, and we just glided gracefully into the ditch.
Welcome to Africa!
The Containers arrive at Upper Kiteti May 10. Unloading the containers was a nightmare, but it really showed the tenacity of the local guys. They were amazing, and just kept on slogging till we got there, at 1 o'clock in the morning! Pastor Mathew and his guys had already prepared a large pad of volcanic gravel for our workshop, and it only took us a few days to have a shed built and most everything set up.
Building the shed
Keith and Kaine arrive May 20. Keith is a gifted machinery man, and has come with his son Kaine for a month to give us an invaluable leg-up with our project of building low-till planters. The last things to be set up in the workshop was the lathe and geared drill press, like most of the equipment, they were donated by Noel Castle. Thanks Noel!
By the 26th, we had our first planter together for a test run. It was an amazing feeling, though none of the seeding mechanism was connected, it provided us with invaluable insights into how to best set the machines up, and what needed to change in our design.
Machine Building.May 30-June 3
We continued working on the planters, Keith and Kaine building Depth Wheel Assemblies and making jigs to make the job easier.
Farmers Seminar Upper Kiteti
Saturday, (while Keith and Kaine were off on Safari), we had a little seminar with the local farmers. It was a great time and they are keen to learn better ways of using the resources God has given them. They had lots of questions. I feel inadequate in these situations, but can give them the basics. Our Field Manager Marko will be networking with several local experts for the next planting season. These are mainly European farmers who have developed excellent farming systems for the local conditions.
The Way Ahead
Our goal is to have four Planters completed, ready for next season and God willing we will have this done soon. We have committed to assist two villages improve their farming, but there is interest from all over in what we are doing. We will need to raise more finance to facilitate next years program and we would really appreciate your prayer for this and for wisdom as we plan what to do and who to network with.
Tax Deductibility for Gifts to the Project
We are pleased announce that our project has been approved by Global Development Fund as one of their projects and future donations will qualify for a Tax Deductible Receipt from Global. Great news! We will let you know the procedure for this in the next newsletter