Thursday, November 6, 2008

Life at ECHO continues this week much as it does every week: weeding, planting, harvesting; construction, seminars, and trainings. The weeks seem to fly by, but I feel as if I'm finding my place here.

We butchered some of our rabbits a couple of weeks ago, which was the first such experience for me. I had been anticipating/dreading the activity, but it was actually easier than I thought. And it's always good to know where your food comes from. We'll be butchering some of my and Heidi's chickens next week, and hopefully goats as well.

I am posting a few more pictures to the blog, and there are more new ones on the online album (the link is on the right).

This is a drip irrigation system, such as are used around the farm. The barrel is placed 1 meter above the ground, and a rubber hose is connected to the bottom and laid across the planting bed. Small holes are placed on the hose, and so the water drips out of the holes with no water pressure except that provided by gravity. I built this one last week for the rooftop, built primarily out of scrapwood found around the farm.

This is the Neem tree, native to India. It's not edible at all, but has a number of other uses. In India people will use the stems of leaves like a toothpick or as an alternative to brushing the teeth. The tree actually has antibiotic properties that make it very effective at cleaning bacteria. Oil from the tree can also be used as an insect repellent which is organic, does not harm the plants, and is relatively accessible to poor farmers. In the bookshop at ECHO we sell a number of Neem products, including a lotion. One of the interns has a mild eczema on his hands; the prescription he had didn't help, but the Neem lotion cleared it right up. Snowbirds, when heading north for the summer, often buy several tubes of our Neem toothpaste. Apparently some people swear by it. It's also a beautiful tree, and would be great for climbing in if I was allowed.

I've had a lot of opportunities to talk with other interns about development and the Kingdom, and between that and the great teaching at EPC, a church I've been attending, I really feel as if God is growing me in this season of my life. I've been thinking a lot about community, and the biblical injunction to hospitality. I don't necessarily think I'm a hospitable person naturally, but I hope to nurture that trait.

I hope y'all are doing well, I miss seeing everybody...