lunes, 20 de agosto de 2007
ALL HANDS ON DECK!
My auntie smacked me upside the head...for having my head in the clouds
The more I thought about the children's "soup kitchen" project, the more I realized I needed local help. I felt way out of my depth on this one. So, I went to my aunties (the "elders") for some suggestions.
First, I was smacked upside the head by one of them for not coming to her sooner, then I was similarly harassed by another for having my head in the clouds. "Tsk, you can't feed so many girl!" She punctuated every other word with a blow.
Man, mature African women world wide have the frightening ability to dress you down in no uncertain terms with just a Tsk. Faced with weaponry such as their sturdy walking sticks, sharp relentless tongues, and not to mention the smart round house to the side of my head, I was quickly made to see things their way.
Their collective mother hen spirits quickly came up with a preliminary plan of action. Instead of feeding the whole world at once, we will start in our own little village of Ekuku. This is where everything began for my own family. There are about 30-60 unsupervised children, at any given time, starting as young as age two or three. There are probably twice the number but nobody really knows...
There are no jobs in the village and adults are forced to travel miles to the city for very little income. One of my aunts has an abandoned fish fry shack on the beach where we will be able to start the project (see photo...lots of room to expand too!)
Armed with minimal equipment and resources, we will be able to start. Now I must ask for your help to find funding for this little project. I need ideas as to what to do and contacts.
In pre-colonial times, the little village of Ekuku (pop. approx 600) use to be a successful fishing village. Framed by the Ekuku river and the Atlantic ocean, daily protein was not hard to come by. Generations living under brutal dictatorships and meager handouts, however, have made many forget our roots. People here buy their fish in the market!!!
Well, since the river and the sea shore are still there...I hope that so are the fish!
I do not know much about fishing or trapping craw fish and crabs but I am sure the old timers around here and someone in my American family can point the way. We can add this to our soup kitchen menu (Yay, free food)
I will probably need funding for start up costs like store bought food supplements (rice, oil, flour, canned etc) and supplies (pots, pans, utencils). One of my aunts will probably administer the kitchen but most of my aunties are in their 70s and not capable to run the day to day operations. I will, therefore, need funding to employ a cook, a helper and a gofer from the village (gasp, JOBS!). Strangely enough, $100-$200 a month is a dream salary to the average Equatoguinean.
I need help thinking up a small industry that could bring some income into the village as well. For example, I found a book that teaches how to make a very productive clay bread oven from the mud in one's backyard and other simple materials. Maybe with a good bread recipe, some here could sell bread to the surrounding villages (the closest bakery is in the city). I am only sharing this idea with you cause my aunties would probably clobber me for returning my head into the clouds.
My hope is that this little project will invigorate this small community and that surrounding villages (and prosperous villagers) will copy some of our ideas and spread the love.
(Maybe someone could comb the Living More with Less books which are loaded with tried and true methods and ideas used by missionaries)