September went by very fast! Our villagers have been very busy this month with weeding, transplanting and other farming activities. Ben has managed to help to organize a womans group for a tye and dye business, and he has had several meetings regarding the village lodge. The tye and dye group has been a success with 30 women signed up right now.
I went out to the rice fields with the women and took lots of pictures (which I forgot to bring with me to the city so you will have to wait to see them). The rice fields are very lush green and although the work was challenging and hot, I had a good time. They worked all day, singing, laughing and weeding. Mama Muso asked me to take her picture in the fields to show our people from America. Mama Muso is deaf so she communicates with hand gestures and most people are able to communicate fine with her. We are getting better at communicating with her too. When I showed her the picture I took of her working in the rice fields, she yelled and clapped her hands very happily. Our village likes Mama Muso a lot and tells us that she is a very good worker.
Wednesdays are generally a day of rest for the villagers, a day when most people don’t go out to the fields. One Wednesday, I decided to give some people various pictures we had taken over the past few months. I spent the whole day walking around the village greeting people and giving them pictures. They loved them! An older man, Dodo was very happy so he gave me some fresh okra out of his garden. Yum! It was one of my favorite things I’ve done thus far in village.
Along with field work this month, we’re helping Solo and the Youth Association fix up an old building to have meetings. Solo’s plans for the building is to make a conference room and skill center. We are happy to help the rehabilitation of the building and are excited to see what will come of the youth group and how we can help.
School started this past week as well and we have a new head master. The start of school is different here. So far, half the teachers have arrived and the students created a ‘clean environment’ all week, which means they weeded the yard.