Jumbo update 23 August 2013

This update consists primarily of a number of thank yous to kind people who have helped us over the past few weeks.

For the last 18 months or so we have been sending moringa leaf powder up to Tanzania for a little ele called Mr Brrr. Moringa is a great immune booster, source of protein, calcium and vitamin C all of which are very important in an eles  diet and is used quite extensively with malnourished babies. We used moringa with Moses and I had collected quite a large stock pile as I managed to get a good discount from the supplier by buying large quantities. (Everything to do with eles is large from their size, to the quantities of food they consume, to the bills for said food and most importantly their love and affection). A couple of weeks ago we got another request from a hungry little Mr Brr asking for some more moringa – I had already sent my entire stock pile up to Tanzania and could not get hold of my normal supplier but a kind neighbour Marcel Blankenstien came to my rescue as he has got a small moringa plantation so he allowed us to pick leaves and dry them ready to send to Tanzania. Marcels website is  http://www.mineral-makeup-cosmetica.com/moringa-natural-products.html


We are going full steam ahead with our building and Grant Blumeric (another kind neighbour) helped us out tremendously by coming round with his chain saw to cut our large poles to size thus saving Lloyd the carpenter weeks of work and once again Leon and Wendy Swart have helped us out by lending us their head builder for a few days to help with the setting out and have promised to send him again when we start to pour concrete. We also raided Leon’s tool shed and borrowed a number of tools and a concrete mixer which also saves a lot of labour and he transported all of our thatch grass free of charge which is a huge saving. Alistair Johnston also helped with some tools from his shed and so we have not had to buy many tools at all.  Jean Luca from Cilcon also came to the rescue with stabiliser 90 for us to treat the portion of the poles that will be put underground and has promised to lend us some scaffolding as the apex of our roof will be 15m up in the air and I was having sleepless nights trying to work out how I could make scaffolding that would not cost a fortune.  My father was a very practical farmer who did all of his own building as was his father and I seem to have followed the family tradition and I have inherited a basic instinct for building I must admit there is something very satisfying about watching your idea for a building come to life but I do also have quite a few sleepless nights trying to plan and work out the methodology to be able to put all the pieces together for the construction as cheaply and safely as possible.  Our building team consists primarily of the Jumbo staff who are helping the carpenter  but what is lacking in experience is more than made up with a willing ness to learn and a huge desire to see our dream fulfilled. We don’t have cranes or fancy equipment and when I first looked at the huge poles I did for a few minutes begin to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew (really wished that Dad was still around to give me a hand) but as you can see from what I have said earlier there are plenty of kind people around prepared to lend a hand which is one of the special things about Malawi. Living in a small community we rely on each other a lot and when somebody needs help the community all rally around.

I have had confirmation from my publishers of the acceptance of my childrens book which will be published on 24th August 2014 and so  expect the advance payment  of $ 10,000 to be received quite soon this money will all be donated to the barn fund and will boost our coffers as currently money is flowing out to buy building material at a rate that started as a trickle and is now at a full flood