Finally let’s hear from ourselves. Communication with the ‘world’ was difficult the first week, but now we hope to be more accessible again (see also new contact details). Here is a short blog about our first week. In a few days we will send out our newsletter in which we will tell you more about the project.
Welcome to Ethiopia, welcome to Africa
Arriving in the ‘real’ Africa, at least: that’s how it feels to us. As soon as we left the airport in Addis Ababa, the smells of Africa greeted us and the chaos in the traffic was immediately noticeable: exhaust fumes, dust clouds and burning smells…. So dirty, but yet familiar. It is not the way it should be, but it is the way Africa is at the moment.
Our accommodation is great! We stay at Genesis Farms (Debre Zeit) in the guesthouse where we are well taken care of. From the balcony we have a beautiful view about the farm with a lake and mountains in the background. However, we had to get used to the new sounds, especially during the first few nights. No more monkeys and crickets, but howling hyenas and barking dogs!
During the first few days we mainly spent our orientation to get a good idea of the project. In addition, we have already had the opportunity to meet many people, including many Dutch people. Fun and also interesting to view the different companies and projects they have set up. The Dutch here regularly do fun things such as volleyball on Saturday afternoon, fun!
As part of Double Harvest, which also includes Genesis farm, there is working on a new farm. This (Maranatha) farm still needs to be completely built up. Part of the cowshed (including Dutch cows), office and warehouse have already been built and the foundation of the first chicken shed is being worked on. In the coming months we can contribute to Maranatha farm by coordinating the daily construction and farm activities. Now 2 hectares of corn need to be planted as quickly as possible, fortunately there are plenty of people in the area who have a lot of knowledge about this. All in all, a whole new challenge, because we are not very familiar with this work. Fortunately, we learn quickly and we can gain more and more practical experience in the coming weeks/months. Gerard mainly works at Maranatha farm to supervise these activities. I am mainly working at Genesis farm to start the administration for Maranatha. I also look around to see if there is any more work to be done (inside or outside) Maranatha.
Last Saturday a group of us went to Addis to visit a market organized by various foreign embassies. Each country represented its own products and we had pinned our hopes on chocolate sprinkles and gingerbread nuts at the Dutch stall, but unfortunately, it was already sold out… too bad. Gerard still enjoyed a real salty herring. Well, you’re either Dutch or you’re not. 🙂