Growing up, my family farmed citrus. I remember going out to the groves with my dad or grandfather, running around the barn, afraid of the ponds because alligators lived in them. One time I had a face to face encounter with a Florida black panther… Fortunately we stared at each other down the dirt road, me terrified and him deciding if I was a snack, and then we went slowly in separate directions.
Even growing up on the Indian River, out of town, the groves were special. Quiet, peaceful, beautiful, full of life.
Four of our staff girls are learning that about Mikisa Farm. These young women are all from the slum. While full of life, the slum is anything but quiet or beautiful. It’s certainly never peaceful.
We have a dorm room set up at the farm to accommodate groups. Right now, we’re taking staff and volunteers out there because we’re in the final “set up” phase: Hoeing, spreading manure and fertilizer on the bananas and other trees, getting beds ready for seeds.
It’s a labor opportunity, not so much a learning opportunity at the moment!
But everyone LOVES it. They didn’t want to leave! I had a meeting with Ronald yesterday and he said, “It’s so quiet, there’s a breeze and fresh air, and you can see so many stars!”
We started the farm as a way to grow food for Touch the Slum. We knew we’d open up opportunities for any girls in the program who wanted to learn about farming, or who grew up in the village and missed it. But we were thinking in practical, problem solving terms.
We forgot the value of peace and quiet. Of space to think and look at the stars and laugh over a fire on a chilly night. Of pride in a physical job well done. Of the healing that happens under the wide Ugandan sky.
I can’t wait to get there next month…
Thank you all for your generous donations to our farm over the last 7 months! Tomorrow is the last day that the farm project will be up on DonorSee. If you can make a donation today to help us with these final infrastructure costs, we’d so appreciate it. 100% goes to the program!
Oh, and visit our Instagram to see videos of the work at the farm this week and the girls smiling and dancing their way through their work. Link below!
PS If you or your group are in the Raleigh or Beaufort NC or Cocoa FL areas and want to donate sanitary pads for us take over next month, please REPLY to this email and we’ll coordinate with you!