I'll start with the weekend before this one (Feb 14-16). On the 14th we traveled to Gressier, Haiti to Christianville. Christianville is a ministry that has existed since the 70's. This mission has a high concentration of agricultural education and production; to help the people around them, as well as to produce food for the school that operates on campus. There are a few different ministries involved, but I can't keep them straight, so I won't try. Anyhow, we visited the weekend to check out the things they are doing agriculturally to see what we can bring back to the Thomazeau county and Live Beyond.
Some of the projects they have going on are awesome! They utilize two high-tunnel greenhouses, a 900+ laying hen facility, several large tilapia raceways and breeding facilities, a goat production program, as well as many other things on campus. Additionally, they have a small holder chicken program and a small holder tilapia program. The tilapia program was one of the neatest things for me. They use moringa leaves, palm leaves, and chicken manure in the bottom of the small holder tank to promote algae growth. Then, they use cross sections of bamboo sticks in the water for the algae to grow on. This creates a self-feeding system with no other feed inputs. It's truly remarkable!
Christianville brings interns in from Zamorano University in Honduras. While they may not have studied some things the way we do, the amount of practical knowledge that is packed into their Bachelor's education program is incredible! Most of the agricultural successes at Christianville are because of the Zamorano students. Without going into too much detail, we learned a lot from them. Additionally, we got to see the vocational school at Christianville, which was also incredible (imagine that - I think I'm seeing a trend?).
Sunday, I was blessed to get to worship via FaceTime with the Glendale Road church of Christ in Murray, Kentucky; where I did my undergraduate work. I got to see those I love and miss so much. More importantly, I got to see Todd Walker, one of the biggest men of the Faith I know. Todd has been very sick with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and I would sure love it if you prayed for him, his family, and those overseeing his care.
Last week we planted some different crops in the kitchen garden (mainly Paige) that are already up and tried to propagate some different plants. Additionally, we got the frame to a greenhouse built. Now this greenhouse, it's built out of re-bar, and it is definitely... unique, but it is our pride and joy. The dimensions are 30'x12'x15'. Let me just say that welding in Haiti is very unique as well. I knew it would be interesting when the ground and electrode clamps were missing from the welder, which we finally found. Then, the welder (who told people what to do and didn't weld) and one of his workers showed up in shorts, flip flops, and a tee shirt. The other worker showed up in a tank top, flip flops, and jeans (at least he had jeans). They welded with sun glasses and work gloves with holes cut in them. To make things even better, the wire used for the ground and electrode clamps was pulled out of the welder's back pack. There were probably 5 or 6 wires twisted together with exposed wire that would either arc on the greenhouse, or on one occasion, burn and separate. Needless to say it was an interesting experience.
(Putting up the final part of the frame)
This weekend we took a small rest at a resort for a day and a half. Don't get the wrong idea now; this resort was $40/night. I definitely took advantage of the burgers on the restaurant menu too. It was a great place to catch up on rest, catch up with good internet, and to observe the wonder of God's creation.
(Thanks, Lexi, for taking my camera to get some pictures)
This week Paige will be working with the orchard, I will be visiting farmers in the region, and we will be working with teams of men (who will finish the property border wall this week) to finish the greenhouse and start different research projects we have going. I am interested to see what happens and where this week takes us. First thing tomorrow we are headed to get agriculture supplies for some of our projects.
Please pray for the work we are doing here and for the work I am still active with in the Philippines - as well as all of God's creation, on every continent.
May God bless you as He has and continues to do me!
"And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
PS: Sorry this post wasn't as vivid as some of the others. It was a rushed post to play catch up from the long span I went without posting. I promise I'll try to do better :)