Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Anthill

Another photo that I promised was one of an anthill. Yes this really is an anthill! This is another example of how amazing nature is. Reading about conservation farming I came across the comment that termites are everywhere in Zambia. These creatures do a very valuable job of converting the dead vegetation into compost. Apparently if the maize stalks are cut and left on the surface the termites will eat these and leave the fresh growth to produce a new crop. On our trip up North David and I visited the Moto Moto museum in Mbala. This is a very interesting museum dedicated to a missionary who was much respected in these parts. One of the exhibits is a preserved queen termite. I had never realised the enormous difference in size between the queen and her subjects! (It looked more like a lobster than an ant!)

The anthill in the picture is being dug out gradually and used to fertilise the fields. This year Jennipher's support groups are each going to grow some maize and will use the anthills as the main source of fertiliser.
I am also incvluding a couple of photos of Jennipher and her family. One taken in 2005 and the other this year. Jennipher features a lot in my blogs and I feel no apology is needed for that. One of the questions I am asked when I return (after “when are you going back”!) is “was your trip successful”. When I consider my visits to Zambia, I think of my early contact with Jennipher (as you can see from the early picture). Jennipher now is a very different person. She has a purpose in her life and she has changed (and saved) the lives of many people in her neighbourhood. She has introduced me to many of her clients – some have since died, but some are now following her example and leading useful lives. There is always a need for support, though often a little can make a huge difference. Jennipher is a success story and if I have been able to play some part in that then, irrespective of anything else my time in Zambia has been well worthwhile.


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