Minnesota Farmer

South Africa Bound – Tuesday Feb. 8, 2011

The second week is underway for those who traveled from the Shetek conference of the ELCA to the Ondini Circuit of the ELCSA.  Today is to be a day full of projects.  After breakfast and chapel we all drive into Estcourt.  We need more supplies  One van load has a few quick stops to make and then get back to work.  The other needs to make some stops that will take more time.

Josh has returned with his family.  We all get to meet them before they head off to do some more sight seeing.  Juanita spends some time with him to get a better idea of how we can use him and the program he is here on to continue our projects.

After lunch we make another trip into Estcourt for things we forgot, or didn’t know we needed the first time.

My journal entry for the day includes Success! With so many things going on today it was wonderful to see so many of them really move along.  After the frustration of yesterday the success of today was so much better.

tilling in the high tunnel

Work on the high tunnel greenhouse has gone so well the Paul has the ground inside worked so that we can start to lay the underground drip tubes.

Picking grapes

They are doing a food preservation workshop this afternoon so Rambo, Ted and I pick grapes for grape jelly.

Ted washes grapes

Loretta sorts and de-stems grapes after Constance supplies her with more.


Trench cleaning


Ron, Pastor Shongwa, Levi and Karl clean the trench.

Jessica cooks beets

The prep of the foods to be canned went on in the kitchen.

Ron, Que and Loretta prepare pipe for the trench

Standpipes were placed on the irrigation pipe so that it could be buried.

Laying the irrigation lines

Drip irrigation lines were measured, cut and them placed just underground in the high tunnel.

Barb selects fruit for canning

Gogo Bob (Barb) and Juanita were leading the food preservation workshop and kept many of us busy during the day.  (A gogo is a grandmother in Zulu.  The locals had trouble pronouncing r’s in some positions of words, so Barb became Bob.  Since she is a grandmother we called her Gogo Bob.)

Too many cooks in the kitchen

There was a lot of excitement when the food preservation participants found out that they actually got to do the work in the kitchen.  However in an area that does not have a tradition of canning, supplies for the job were hard to come by.  There were a few spills and a dropped jar that showered several with hot food.  Despite the problems the ladies had a great time.  All took home some of the produce.

HIV/AIDS meeting

Bonnie, Ted and Marcia met with the local HIV/AIDS working group to share information and concerns.

Irrigation pipe is buried

It was all spare hands on the job as we started to fill the trench after the irrigation pipe was installed.

What a day.  With so many projects going on at the same time we had people moving from job to job all day, with few staying in one place all day.  It was a very successful day. Tomorrow we get to play tourist.


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