So on Saturday I went with one of the counselors to view the St. Francis demonstration farm at Naminya village. This is the project that St. Francis is sponsoring to imitate the Katende Harambe operation near Kampala that I talked about in a previous post.
At the village, the work is well underway to develop a 2-story bird farm to raise chickens, a pig farm area, and land to grow crops. The purpose of the demonstration farm is to allow the Jjajas to practice techniques that were learned at Katende and then take those techniques back to their home villages. That day was an uncommon one in that several Jjaja groups had joined together to collectively work the farm so about 30-40 Jjajas were present. It was interesting to view in that different Jjajas had different tasks. Some worked tilling the soil and planting seeds on the farm. Others worked in the bird farm inoculating the young chicks that were provided by using a syringe to drop medicine onto one the chick’s eyes – one at a time. Yet another group prepared lunch for the others. It was a collective community effort which was interesting to watch – especially since the Jjajas came voluntarily and transportation was not provided by St. Francis. I was impressed that these old women were so hard working in their traditional dresses (see previous post pictures of a Jjajas visit), doing very strenuous manual labor.
Later, one of the nurses showed up and we began giving out treatment at a home just down the road. The reason for this was that if the St. Francis truck had pulled up in front of the farm, many of the Jjajas would have stopped working (even if not really ill) to get some form of treatment! There I helped pack pills to hand out to the Jjajas. I was thinking how this is done in a Western pharmacy where the room is clean and the pharmacist has clean hands. Out in the field, there was no sink and just a plain dirty, wooden table to work off of for sorting pills. There I met an 81 year old Jjaja who had given birth to 11 children to date and still looked strong and healthy! When asked her secret, she explained that she ate a lot of greens and matooke (mashed and steamed plantains). Later still, some Jjajas brought plates of food to us with no utensils so we used the traditional method of eating with our hands!
I have attached some earlier pictures of the Naminya farm to view. The unfinished bird farm can be seen where it is now fully complete. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera to take photos on Saturday to get the latest updates. The progress is amazing!