I had the opportunity to travel rather far from Nakuru, to Chemolingot in Baringo County, with some of the staff of Anglican Development Services (ADS). They are starting a project there where they are working with people who are mainly pastoralists. This is a disaster risk reduction type of project where they are helping the people there to diversify what they do so they have something to fall back on if their main source of livelihood fails. Since they are going to be including agriculture, keeping chickens, and beekeeping in this project, I will be traveling to Baringo more with them in the future to join in that work.
After being in such a cool hilly place for the past month, it was pretty different to go back to the dust and the heat of a lower elevation area. It was like being back in Uganda again!
Since this project is just getting started, our visit was mainly to meet the local leaders of the area and introduce ourselves so they know who we are when we come back. For several hours, we went around from office to office, meeting people like a Member of the County Assembly, the County Chief, the local pastor, and many others. Then, we went to the church and met with some of the men and women who are going to be leading the community groups who are participating in this project.
Finally, we went and visited one woman who has already started trying some new things on her land, including growing maize and raising chickens.
She sent Justus (from ADS) home with one of her chickens.
She is definitely a hard working woman and an early adopter of new things. You can see some of her maize in the picture below. This is her third year trying to grow maize after two years where it didn't turn out well. Her persistence has paid off this year because she's going to get a very good harvest.
We had to cross this seasonal river on foot to get to her house.
I'm always amazed at the interesting things that I see while traveling around East Africa. In the area where I was, I saw (wild) ostriches right next to the road, all sorts of other spectacular birds (this was fun for me because I really love birds), camels (people in that area raise camels for meat and milk), and a donkey slaughterhouse, for exporting the meat to China.
Also, like we've told you before, we live just south of the equator. So to go to Baringo, we crossed the equator and headed north. Here's a picture of the equator crossing: