Friday, February 22, 2008

We're starting to get excited about a new way of helping impover-ished families meet their nutritional needs. For a long time we have encouraged our families to make wise choices in their nutritional planning--especially for the young and unborn child.

But there is a way that families can substan-tially supplement their food budgets. Most of our families have little or no space available to them for gardening. And of course budgets are very small for development projects. But a friend of ours is starting to work with what he calls Mini Farms.

The basic idea, which we are setting out to learn, is to start with compost. Worms, that help us dispose of household waste in an environmentally friendly manner, can be fed to chickens and fish. The compost itself can be used to make miniature gardens for growing vegetables.

If a family can basically grow protein at no cost and with minimal set-up, it would radically change living standards. We're exploring the possibility of setting up a model site at the birthing home to help teach and inspire families to help themselves in this way.

When we had dinner with Mike and Natalie last week, we found it inspiring ourselves. The next day, the boys and I built a little box and planted a few seeds in it. (We don't have a very large yard either, but the point is to learn how to do it so we can teach others who have even less.) Just yesterday we noticed the very first little shoots of lettuce...or is it rosemarie?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nika turned three today ... with a splash. Well, ok ... with a rather timid and cursory encounter with the pool.
But the party was lovely.

Mary, Paula, Liz and her friends ... mission- aries who live in the area ... helped to put together a special party for her. There were cupcakes and icecream, presents for everyone, and more balloons than we could stuff into the car on the way home.

It was a team effort, and it was great working together.
We all had a good time,
but there's no doubt that

Nika ends the day

knowing she is special and loved.