it is long over due that we write to you seeing as the new year isn’t so new any more. We are experiencing the driest rainy season since I started my recordings 38 years ago. In the north of Zambia it is raining well over the average. Some parts have had more than 2000 L per m² where as we have barely reached 370.
The maze fields are looking very poor. We don’t grow maze but for most of zambia’s population maze is the staple food. A meal with out maze porridge is unthinkable so to speak.
The lack of rain is also visible in our grazing lands for the cattle. At the moment everything is still green and the cattle look well fed but there is a lot less gras than usual this time of year which means grazing will be scarce in the dry season.
Last year the german farms recieve grants in the millions during the long dry spell, the zambian farmers will recieve ZERO.
Good Hope School
At the beginning of this year we extended the digital lessons to the 5th Grade. Next week a trainer from the i-school, the one we got the program from, will be coming by to coach our teachers further. If the teachers have a better grasp of the new teaching method then the expected learning improvment should be visible as a result. I saw on the news that in Germany there is a lot of debate and negotiation about introducing digital lerning methods in to the schools. From our expereance one thing is very clear; primarily our teachers have to learn! We are confident that we will have good results in a couple of years with this program when our current pupils complete their final year.
We currently have two trainee teachers, Chiara and Nadine, visiting from Heidelberg/Germany for four weeks helping mainly with English and Math classes.
The drought at the moment gives us a good opertunity to teach our students about risk distribution, ie. not to only plant maze but also sorghum, beans and sun flower as they have a higher drought resistance than maze. It is not only drier but also hotter than usaul in February. A good opertunity to see the positive effects of mulch between the tomatoe and cabbage plants.
In sight of this drought we are very thankful that we could drill two new bore holes in November. The pumps and pipes for the instalation are ordered. In the mean time we are installing the power cables to the pump houses.
The poor economic situation, the people have no money, has brought with it that our chicken sales have gone down by about 40% in the last couple on months and even our vegetable sales are slow. We would love to sell you some of our vegetables, ie. 1kg tomatoes converted for aprox. €0,40; eggplant €0,30; carrots €0,70.
40 years ago today, 24th February, Christiane and I arrived in Afrika. We have become a bit slower but we do hope to still have a few years here in which to make a difference. We are very thankful for your friendships and support of our work. With out your help there would be a lot less here.
Many greetings from the much too dry and hot Zambia
Yours Klaus and Christiane