Wednesday, September 5, 2007


We got our first tour of the village today - along with the place we'll be staying. So so impressive. There was a health fair going on in one of the cluster villages - about 2000 women and children (and some men) showed up for free health checks of the children and free immunizations. so so impressive. we also saw one of the primary tree nurseries that the project is using to help farmers in the community recover from the 95% deforestation that has taken place on the hillsides - amounting to a loss of topsoil and decline in arable land. over 30,000 seedlings just at this one small place. so so impressive! And the science coordinator, David, with whom we'll be living and working, started all of this with a meeting with village elders under a eucalyptus tree just 18 short months ago. so so impressive! people we saw today were mostly smiling and happy, especially those travelling by foot or bicycle down one of the newly leveled roads the project has helped construct - just a week ago some were impassable! the amount of potential of a human spirit, when given resources and set to a worthwhile task is absolutely amazing.

343-transporting bananas by bike to market (sometimes 10k), the main mode of transport, and the main crop for the village

346-the landscape around ruhiira village - a LOT of bananas!

349-the sign welcoming visitors to ruhiira primary school, and the main market area of the village

353-david's house, where we'll be staying for the next 2.5-3 months

361-the project's main nursery and agroforestry training center (look how steep the slopes are!) women must carry 20L containers of water up these slopes every day - as right now the only protected spring in the whole village is down there, and the village houses are up the hill!

364-the protected spring - just installed in january. they're currently working on a tank/pumping system to deliver water up the hill to help eliminate some of the burden of collecting water

378-meg checking out the tank-building process!

383-the newly improved road - this one is only a week old!

384-a new health center - with cornerstone laid by Jeffery Sachs in January. It just opened in the last several weeks.

393-officials at the village bank - started by a local women's group. they provide low interest loans to help community members in entreprenurial projects.

414-the entrance sign to the community health fair held today

418-the queue at the community health fair for free child screenings and immunizations - about 2000 people attended

423-meg and some of the community members at the fair

459-community members (of the Millennium Villages Drama Group!) performing a dance and singing their own songs about HIV, TB, and other diseases, and how the project's interventions are helping their community

460-some kids, greeting us as we made our way out of the fair


Les said...

Wow, talk about jumping right into things! I am sure the two of you will make your mark there. We love you.


Danilo said...

Wow..I love all the pictures! I really miss you, Megs!!! What a lot of bananas on a bike! Keep up the pics..let us know how you get settled in..

Danilo said...

ps...danilo is donelle!!

Jennifer said...

Dang! This blog is great! I love the idea of the health fair and taking care of the children (of course I'm partial to those kiddos)! How exciting that you arrived to the village on the day they had the fair. Very cool stuff guys!
Love you!