Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August Update from Sabina

It’s dry, dry, dry at Sabina these days despite heavy rain recently in Kyotera and Masaka. Occasionally dark clouds tease us with the idea of rain but then they move elsewhere.

We are feeling a little dry ourselves on the project with some hassles around the building project and a shortage of labour for the veggie garden. But we are regrouping, planning and expecting a break in the drought soon [stay tuned!]

Kim and Clive have moved into their banda accommodation which is very comfortable, cool and perfectly located near the boarding house (but not too near!). The concrete floor is still sweating so we can’t place mats on the floor or put our suitcases under the bed, but it’s just a matter of time. We’re having a ball sitting on our ‘private’ verandah at the back doing our latest craze of cooking mountains of popcorn with lots of salt, yum.

The second banda requires only ten more days of work to be completed and it is now long past its due finish date so we’re keen to see it finished. Unfortunately the main roofer fell off the roof a couple of weeks ago and broke his arm! (The steep pitch of the roof is proving to be a little intimidating to some of the local roofers). We are confident that this banda will provide adequate, cool accommodation for up to eight people at a time.

The 2nd banda, and our poor roofer .. not long before he fell off the roof.

The compost structure has also acquired a lovely, cool grass roof –

Now that the building phase of the project is coming to an end we are turning our energies to establishing the chicken system and to productive veggie growing areas. Seventy layer hens are due to arrive on 5th August, after a frustratingly long wait. We have a completed chicken house and strawyards .. but no hens yet!

As shortage of labour and distribution of water have been the limiting factors in growing vegetables to the level we want to, we have employed a Ugandan woman (Anna) with the major responsibility of vegetable growing (and care of the chicken system in the future). Anna will join us from 3rd August. We are also waiting for the arrival of Ralph, a volunteer from Australia, who will provide some extra labour, practical help and advice.
In the meantime …

Carl harvests some comfrey leaves to make ‘tea’ for the seedling beds in the Large Vegetable Garden

Kayinga modelling with the veggies.

Derrick, Amos and Joash.

Dan helping with the daily watering

Bukenya harvests the first cabbage from his bed in the Large Vegetable Garden!

Bukenya and Rico join a group of us for end-of-week refreshments on our verandah.

Brisbane Fundraiser makes over $4000 for Sabina

On Sunday August 2nd 2009 an amazing group of folks from Brisbane's Westend area held a fundraiser especially for Sabina Home and Boarding School. It was a wonderful day as well as a very successful fundraiser, and here are some photos:

Entry - which got you into the event with an amazing line-up of world-class musical acts, talks (including one from Dick Copeman at Northey St City Farm), and performances. Art from Nyero Christopher (a key helper on the permaculture project who features in many earlier posts) was displayed and cards bearing copies of his work were sold. Thanks Nyero!

The stage and some excellent rap-artistry going down, yo. There was even a banda for food sales and this big bamboo stage this group called the Boo Crew volunteered their time for.

Early on with folks starting to arrive. The event went from 10am till 10pm so was a very full day.

The ever-gorgeous Amanda with the menu of fine Ugandan fare which was prepared and sold on the day. Banana pancakes, rolex (egg roll) and posho (maize cake) and beans. Everyone loved it, though unlike the Sabina children they don't have to eat it every day for lunch and dinner!

The phenomenal Janey who basically organised the whole event. Amazing person.

Ana Heke during one of the performances. In this one banana meets bamboo and forms a happy unity.

An amazing fire dance as the darkness arrived.

Then upstairs where hone from New Zealand led an auction where donated goods and services were auctioned off. It was a hoot, and the room was packed with happy faces.

Thanks also to Christian for his fine MCing along with all the musicians and performers and helpers for helping make this happen. And thanks to Cafe Chococo (69 Hardgrave Rd, West End, Brisbane) for proving such a wonderful venue. The $4000 raised will go a long way on the ground at Sabina!