Dear friends and supporters,

the most important daily issue is still drought. The January rain was even less than last year. January should be the rainiest month, but our cattle are still drinking well water because there is no water in the streams and dams. The rain is better to the north than here, so the harvest of the most important grain, maize, is sure to be better this year than last year. Good for the country, but that doesn’t help us much.

Electricity

Since the state electricity company has had less income in the past few months due to the daily power interruption, they have now found a solution to this reduced income: From this month, electricity prices have tripled. It’s as simple as that. The economy is already shrinking, the number of shops closed in all locations is striking and the government is tripling the price of electricity. What can I say?

Agricultural school

We added 13 new students this month, and are now fully staffed with 39 students. Thanks to our good wells, vegetable production is going very well and sales are not yet affected by the poor economic situation. If you are short of cash here, less meat, eggs, sweets are bought, but the vegetables still sell well. The prices are also good, because the general shortage of water means that fewer vegetables come to the market. In contrast, chickens and cattle markets have declined sharply.

Primary school

We have a trainer from i-school here again this week who will help our teachers to better deal with computer technology in a 2-day course so that lessons with tablets will be more effective. I spoke to the trainer this morning. Yesterday she had attended the classes in the different classes and watched the teachers. She said our teachers had gotten better compared to last year. Well, then we hope that the children will also benefit from it.

Non-working systems

A 6 year old girl breaks her arm. The father takes the child to the hospital. The X-ray machine only works in the afternoon when there is power. Finally the father has the X-ray and goes back to the doctor. The doctor can no longer look for the childs arm, as it is 5 p.m. and he has finished work. The next day, Saturday, the doctor told the father that the break was a bit complicated and that he had to take his daughter to Livingstone to the hospital. But he couldn’t issue a transfer today as it is saturday. The man has to come back on Monday. On Monday, the doctor only shows up at 11 a.m., has a long line of patients to examine and goes to lunch at 12 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., the father finally receives the transfer for the Livingstone hospital. The father finds another bus to Livingstone, arrives at the hospital at 7:30 p.m. and learns that the hospital cannot do anything due to a power cut, so he should bring his daughter back the next morning. The next morning the father has to buy plaster in a pharmacy because the hospital has no plaster. The family lives here on the farm. I know that this story is correct. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case, but typical of the poor in the world’s poorest countries. If they try to complain, they won’t be helped at all. I complained to the manager of the hospital, but since I can’t really „make a noise“ as a foreigner, that won’t help much, unfortunately.

We send warm greetings from the much too dry and too warm African bush
Yours Klaus and Christiane