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The Congo Project
The Congo Project
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Buyungule Pygmy Community, Kivu Province, CD
Climate zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

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The Congo Project

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Kivu Province, CD

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Project: The Congo Project

Posted by Xavier Fux about 11 years ago

We built 12 raised beds in one day....we finished exhausted!!

The day started out lazy and slow, as it was hot and humid, but after 15 minutes things started looking very promising... almost 30 women were working away, loosening the soil in preparation for building the raised beds!! We hadn't seen this positive energy since the first day when we made compost.... 

We asked them to take turns helping us dig out trenches and pile the soil on the areas designated for the raised beds, and they got right to it! We were happy and even singing at times…the good luck ran out quickly though. After one hour of work, one by one they put down their hoes until they were all sitting on the edge of the field watching us work. We thought they were taking a break and continued with our shoveling. After a while, Jeph  the agronomist, a wonderful man from Miti who has been helping us translate and who has taught us amazing local techniques, told us the women were going up to the village to have some food. What we didn't know is that this meant they were done for the day. For the next 4 hours, Mel, Jeph and myself worked on the raised beds, hoeing and shoveling and leveling and strengthening the edges until half the field was ready with 12 nice looking 1.20 x 4m raised beds.  In between the beds, the trenches where about 40cm deep, enough to capture and sink enough water to prevent erosion of the beds.

When we went back up to the village, Chizungu, the village chief, told us his wife had Malaria. The procedure with Malaria is simple (get checked by a doctor and prescribed a medicine that cures it in less than a week), so we took them to the nearest hospital and made sure she got a check up and treatment. 

We also told Chizungu, however, that we would no longer work by ourselves. We told him tomorrow we need all the women present again, but working beside us the whole day, not just 1 hour. We are here to work WITH thim, but not FOR them… We made him understand that we only had a 10 days left, and that we wanted to try and plant as much food as we could, but that we needed their help and support…. Chizungu seemed to grasp what we were saying, promising that tomorrow all the women would be working. Convinced, we drove back to Bukavu exhausted and aching, but so happy things are moving along!!






Beds Beds%202

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