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The Staples

By Ryan Danker, Field of Hope Intern

Posted Aug. 9, 2017

For most Ugandans the staple foods are usually corn, posho, rice and beans. Believe me: Alexa and I have had our fair share of all of those, but for the most part our Ugandan staples are a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich and coffee.

The only thing that has truly upset me about my time here is that we're currently living in the middle of a gold mine of coffee production yet the only coffee I seem to find most mornings is some form of instant coffee powder.

It's been a busy week for the most part. My schedule is for the most part set up to where I'm visiting a different place every day, and, with that, every day comes a new experience.

installing additions to irrigation systemInstalling some new additions to the irrigation system with a few of the P7 students at Restoration Gateway.

Working with the house mothersWorking with the house mothers at Calo Me Lare children's home as we transplanted seedlings in their new garden.

Women's micro-financing groupSitting in on a women's micro-financing group's meeting. They recently became a recognized cooperative and are working on starting up their current group account.

One of my favorite experiences so far happened this week when I was out at Barlonyo schools working with their head gardener, Walter. Walter is one of the most appreciative and kind-hearted individuals I've ever met. On this particular day, we were working on preparing and planting this upcoming season's seedbeds. I had mentioned to Walter before starting that I was excited to learn about starting a traditional African seedbed and that I was wanting to start one with a class of students in the weeks to come at one of the other schools. We went through the day finishing up the seedbed full of onions.

Seedbed plantingFinishing up planting in the seedbed with Walter.

Afterwards, Walter insisted we stop by his house before I left. When we stopped, he invited me in as he immediately began writing something out on paper. Minutes later, he presented me with step-by-step instructions of everything we had done that day so that "I would never ever forget about the seedbed."

Seedbed instructions"Never ever forgetting about the seedbed." Walter's instructions on how to prepare and plant a seedbed.

This week also marked the halfway point of this opportunity. It's crazy how fast time has gone by. It's been a good week of new experiences and great memories. The next four weeks are sure to be full of my Ugandan staples as I continue to live off of PB&J sandwiches and search for better coffee.

About the Author

Ryan Danker is a Field of Hope intern working out of Lira, Uganda, this summer where he helps manage irrigation systems for Field of Hope’s partners. Danker is a senior agribusiness major at Oklahoma State University. He is originally from Wellston, Oklahoma.

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