Monday, May 11, 2009

Ethiopia tonight...

It's a warm, clear night.  There are a million stars out.
We had a lot of progress today.  One of our main discussions right now in finalizing the drought insurance agreement for this year with the farmers is a necessity that we use satellite rainfall estimates because the rain gauge we installed in the village has not been in place long enough to get an accurate sense of local rainfall patterns.  So, yesterday (before I arrived), Marjorie made a trip out to the village to discuss this with the farmers.
I wish I could attach her powerpoint (they all gathered around her laptop to watch) - it was amazing.
Using only pictures (and the help of a local translator from the village) b/c most of the farmers in Adi Ha can't read, Marjorie explained the concept of satellites by showing a picture of the Earth and the Moon (which some farmers had never seen, but most had) - and then showing a picture of a communications satellite in orbit - complete with solar panels, beaming TV and cell phone signals down to a picture of Africa.  According to her report, there was a lot of enthusiasm at this concept - especially as Marjorie zoomed in on a Google Earth image all the way down to the tree nursery in their village.  "Can we buy our own satellite?", one farmer asked.  "We would like to monitor our tree nursery... I have a problem with people stealing fruit from my trees!"
Other thoughts as I get ready for sleep (finally)...
I'm always thankful for perspective-altering experiences.
Not sure how I got on this sleeping schedule.  Somehow i'm 12 hours ahead of New York, and 5 hours ahead of Ethiopia.  My body doesn't know where it is.
The best selling brand of bottled water in Ethiopia is called "Life" Spring Water.  Do you think people here know how important water is?
- Sounds of Ethiopia - from my last trip here, in March.


Sarah Cooley said...

Well look at that! You (and Marjorie) are teachers too! Sounds like all went well today.

Perspective-altering experiences....some of the best experiences.Just when we thought we knew it all, there is always something new to learn. Life is such a gift. :)

Glad your safe. SLEEP!!!!

Les said...

Sounds like you have the ball rolling...keep up the great work son!

Love you


Jenn said...

The farmer's comment made me giggle! I love to here all the learning going on...not only the farmers, but you as well!

Hope you slept well!
Love you!

francesco said...

I'm staring at the audio recorder in my desk drawer wishing I could overnight it to you!

Sorry we never got a chance to talk before you left.

Looking forward to more of your photography. Be well.