On Tuesday I attending a Permaculture workshop with a teacher from my school, Mma Ntwayabokone. I had asked Mma Makobo the previous week for a counterpart for a PermaGarden workshop PC is hosting later this month, and she decided we should both attend this one day workshop in Ganyesa.
Like all normal things in Africa, the transport didn’t work out well and I was a bit late. However, it was all good. Two Afrikaner ladies were running the workshop, and they both worked for Food and Trees for Africa (www.trees.co.za/)), an organization that provides free trees to schools and communities, among other things. At break one of them, Cajun, came up to me and chatted a bit because she knew I was new to the workshops (only white person…ever, I presume). At lunch I chatted with them while eating a delicious basil and tomato sandwich-herbs were the topic for the day. I told them all about PC and they told me all about the work they were doing. It was a great conversation, and I have since sent the word out to many other PCVs about the potential for tree planting and gardening workshops, to a very positive response. We are as excited to work with them as they are to work with us!
After a good demonstration where we made lotion using comfrey, lavender, and some oils, we were able to take our herbs and head out. My school got Tarragon, Comfrey, Pennyroyal, Yarrow, and Pineapple Sage. On Friday I dug an herb garden at MPS and settled the plants in, along with an aloe plant that one of the kitchen ladies gave me. Now we shall see how well they grow. 🙂
I will soon be applying for some trees (20 or so) for both my schools through Food and Trees for Africa. They have a program, Trees for All, which allows grants of trees to orgagnizations, schools, etc, on a small scale. They have another program called Trees for Homes, which grants hundreds of trees to communities, and each community member takes a tree home with them to care for. Then someone will be hired to look after the trees and get paid a small stipend to do so. I am not sure whether this will happen in my village, but you never know, right?
All in all, I was beyond happy to learn about this organization. Next time you take a flight, pay for the carbon offset. It may be responsible for planting a tree in my village!