Archive for October, 2014

Bala Village: September 2014

Looking back on this month of September, we have so much to be grateful for!  The end of the wet season is fast approaching as rains become less predictable and nights have cooled down considerably.  Passion fruit and avocado have come into season and we dine regularly on fresh tilapia from the center’s fish pond!

 

Three months ago, our good friend Ali was admitted to the hospital in Chiang Rai city for a serious infection to his already failing kidney.  After two and a half months in and out of hospital for surgery and routine dialysis, we thank God that Ali could finally return home to his family and friends.  Ali is one of P’ Witoon’s biggest supporters here in Bala village and is vital to our work at the Highland Sustainable Development Center.  With only half of a functioning kidney remaining, he can not participate in heavier farm tasks.  This does not, however, hinder his ability to care for the animals, harvest fruit, tea, forest chilis and share his culinary skills with us.  It is truly incredible to see the change in his face since returning home!

Ali, home again!  Processing freshly picked feed corn for the animals.

Ali, home again! Processing freshly picked feed corn for the animals.

Furthermore, we are happy to have had the opportunity to meet Elana, a student from Bethany College of Missions who took a week out of her busy study schedule to spend time with us at the center.  Together we were able to harvest all of our feed corn for the next few months!  That same week, Jonathan and Witoon held a meeting with the villagers to discuss the center’s mission, the sufficiency economic theory, and how our faith inspires our approach to agriculture.  Witoon’s goal is that his neighbors be equipped to grow food and resources to meet their family’s needs first and cash crops second.

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These banana trees were planted  only five months ago by students from SST 2014.  Now, we hope these young trees will provide enough protection to direct-seed tea across the mountain side.

These banana trees were planted only five months ago by students from SST 2014. Now, we hope these young trees will provide enough protection to direct-seed tea across the mountain side.

Building a new duck house by the fish pond.  Nate pretends to be the brains behind the operation while Ali does the building.

Building a new duck house by the fish pond. Nate pretends to be the brains behind the operation while Ali does the real building.