No folks, I am not being rude but you may remember my blog on how an english cow changed an African woman’s life.
Well you would not believe it if I told you that on 14 May 09 I actually found myself in Helen’s home town. I was disappointed with myself for not having planned ahead, because I missed the opportunity to meet Helen and the superstar cow:(
The one thing I can tell you about Helen’s village is, it is green, clean and has views to die for and above all people there have to be the frindliest people on earth.
The reasons I was in this village was to do with a coffee roaster based in North London. He was unhappy with the way he sourced his coffee and wanted to change, by sourcing his coffee more ethically. This meant that he had to travel out to Uganda to meet the growers on their turf so to say, and get a clearer understanding of what life is like for them. He had no idea as to how he would achieve this as he had never been to Africa.
He decided to get out onto the UK Uganda community networking circuit which is where he bumped into me last September and 8 months later we were in the middle of a Ugandan countryside on the trails of ethical coffee!
Heading out of Helen’s village we headed further east in a village called Sipi on the feet of Mt Elgon, where I met an actual English cow doing nicely thank you. I am not sure how old man David the coffee grower acquired his cow but he was putting it to the same use as Helen did!
You see we here in the west have got into all things organic and the African farmers have listened. Old man David is an organic coffee grower and has two English cows. During our visit we had a chance to plant our very own coffee trees.
The process involved a hole being dug in the ground, a farm help went over the fence to where the cows were grazing and he came back with some cow dung straight from the Cow! This was mixed with the soil that had been dug up and put in the hole before the seedling was put into the hole and covered with more soil.
This was the rainy season, everything on the farm was alive, it was interesting to note hwo land is used here. In order to protect food supply there is a kind of inter cropping and we had fun identifying the various vegetables, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, bananas, we even spotted a kind of wild marijauna. Old man David told us it grows wildly there and it is of no interest to anyone, however it helps would be land buyers tell if the land they are interested in is fertile;-)
Old man David is a pleasant and jolly man who has lead an interesting life. He has 4 children in high profile positions in the capital city , there is a teacher , a police man, one at University and another at the main airport. We asked him how he had acheived this and he responded in one single word COFFEE!
Folk as I have often said, folk out there are capable of getting themselves out of poverty given half the chance and this old man and Helen are proof of that
So Go on SEND A COW to more Helens and David’s of this world!