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Tractor Pull and Preserve

(More American experiences)

overcast

Hello! We're sad to be spending our last night in the 'West Africa' house here on the ECHO campus before we head off to the ECHO conference tomorrow :-( Our week has been varied and interesting (apart from looking up Latin names for plants to make signs) with the added excitement of heavy rain and storms. Florida has the highest number of deaths due to lightning so we weren't allowed to work outside when the storm came. The unexpected rain caused mixed responses, I was sad to see that the beans I had planted earlier in the week in the 'Lowland' area were probably all flooded and dead. It gives a glimpse to the enormous frustration and disappointment that farmers around the world face on a regular basis. When we were looking at the flooded 'Lowlands' I was so scared that what I thought was a black pipe for water irrigation was actually a black water snake wriggling towards me.

Watch out of for the snake

Watch out of for the snake


Wet, muddy Dave

Wet, muddy Dave

We had part 2 of 'Urine as a Fertiliser' which was very interesting, we heard about the interns' trial- and found out which crops grew better with the urine rather than the normal soluble fertiliser. There was even a 'taste test' of the plants which had been fertilised with urine. Mmmm.

The rain has meant it has been even more muddy than usual, which added extra entertainment to last night's trip to a 'Tractor Pull'[i] contest. DSC_2078

DSC_2078

Watching the nail biting tractor pull contest

Watching the nail biting tractor pull contest


This is a seemingly typical southern American 'redneck' hobby where massive 4 wheel drives are modified and subbed up to pull a tractor and various heavy weights through the mud. As the evening went on, the cars got louder and increasingly ridiculous. DSC_2074

DSC_2074

DSC_2072

DSC_2072

We looked around the 'Appropriate Technology' department this week which was interesting, especially hearing the statistics for deaths due to dirty water and seeing the various approaches and stages to purifying water. David was delighted to see a biosand filter and kept talking about his time at Equip... so much so, that the intern in charge of appropriate technology: Joseph Longenecker might go to the Equip training in April and start a link with ECHO and Equip.Alternative Technology

Alternative Technology

We went back to the 'Next Level' church today with 2 slightly older men, David and Tom, who are at ECHO for the annual board meeting. I wasn't sure if they would enjoy it, or if it would be their 'style' but they seemed to get stuck in and found it great. Not only did we enjoy the service and the worship and sermon, but... we also got our '2nd time gift'... a coffee cup.

2nd timers...

2nd timers...


The Next Level

The Next Level

After church we went around a nature preserve (same as what the British would call a 'reserve') with the board members, Tom and David. David is a lecturer in Ecology and Biology and knows so much about all the plants and animals and birds, so it was like have a personal tour guide as we walked around the preserve. We spotted an alligator snoozing on a raft, and various birds. David and Tom were both fascinating guys with a wealth of experience and stories- including being able to impersonate a baby alligator. At the 'Slough Preserve' with Tom and David

At the 'Slough Preserve' with Tom and David

I'm sure there are many other stories to share from the week, but we need to head over to the interns house to practice music for the approaching ECHO conference. David is playing the bongos. The conference looks as though it is an intense event, starting at 6.30am and finishing at 9.30 pm, with 300 guests, 3 workshops each day and several key speakers. I have noticed a workshop on 'soap making' which looks good.

Until next time...Cheese.

Cheese.

xx

Posted by africraigs 14:04 Archived in USA

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