Dear Friends

Requests about the Weather

In the past few weeks we have have had several requests about the weather here. Three weeks ago we were hoping that we would at least get the last trails from the devastating tropical storm over Mozambique. Sadly it wasn’t so and we continue to have hot dry weather. During this „rainy season“ we have only had about half (370mm) the rains we normally get. Across the country the mais harvest is aproximated to be at about 25% of last years harvest. There are still some reserves from last year but nearly not enough as mais is the staple food here.

Our own Water situation is strained at the moment but the pumps and pipes for our new bore holes should be arriving soon, so we are confident that we will shortly be able to pick up our vegetable production to full capacity again. As we use most of our land for graving for the cattle we have several small dams from which they can drink during most of the year. This year, all our dams are allready dried out. This means that for the next eight to nine months the cattle will be drinking bore hole water. Thanks to our new bore hole this won’t be a problem.

When we look at the bigger dams in Zambia, such as the Kariba Dam, the situation looks worse as our power is genereated there. If the water leaves get too low then we will be having regular power outs again later in the year.

Good Hope School

The government is so bankrupt that the schools don’t even have paper on which to write the term exams. That’s why the parents are now supposed to pay money to the schools so they can buy the paper they need. A few years ago Zambia’s foreign depts were remitted. In the mean time we own about 10 billion USD again and one naturally wonders where all that money went. There are certainly no long term development projects to be seen. So where are the poorest of people, with little to no mais harvest, supposed to find the money for paper so their children can write the exams?

At our school that isn’t a problem as we were able to solved the paper shortage problem for our school children with donations, worth about EUR50.

Agriculture College

The lasting drought and heat are a good challenge to learn how to work under such climat conditions. The students are complaining a bit but the up side of this weather is that we have hardly any pest or illness in our vegetable fields. If one waters the plants early in the morning an covers the ground with mulch, one can manage with very little water. Sure, rain is in several aspects the best irrigation but if the rains don’t come then we have to use alternatives such as bore hole water.

Germany Trip

Christiane and I will be leaving for Germany on the 4th of April where we will first be visisting several specialists for Christiane’s heart problems. There fore, we haven’t made any fixed traveling plans yet as it will depend on the results of the examinations. However, we do hope to at least see a few friends in Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Gießen, Berlin und Bern/Switzerland. Maybe in between we can also visit one or two health resorts. We will keep in touch in Germany.

As every year, we are really looking forward to the trip and our daughter Stefanie has sent us some pictures of the first spring flowers in her garden.

Be blessed

Yours Klaus and Christiane