October 5, 2012 – from the desk of the ED –

I sit at my desk, trying to concentrate, although I’d rather be sleeping. It is wet, rainy and grey outside and that, to me, is the best napping weather. But, I struggle to stay focused and on task with a cup of mint tea by my side. I find my mind wandering to our friends in countries where the lack of rain is a huge problem, killing livestock and gardens. I pray for them, that they will see rain soon and that the rain will help blanket their land with green and with vegetables and fruit.

I hear the ping of another email hitting my in-box. I quit looking out the window and read with excitement an email regarding the vaccination of twenty five kids born to the goats we gave out in Zimbabwe this summer. It is always exciting to hear of female kids being born because one knows that the program will survive, that the flocks will continue to grow. Keeping them healthy is of utmost importance and the team on the ground is working towards that with the beneficiary families.

On days like these, I take all the good news I can. My email account is acting up and I am not able to send out emails to specific people (I receive alright…just can’t send), which is just wretched. I have no idea who is receiving my emails and who isn’t. How am I supposed to work this way? So, I spend 3 hours between our domain provider and google apps, trying to figure out things that really mean nothing to me. I find most languages fascinating, but not the language of computers. I don’t know what they are asking me and I don’t know how to answer. This is when a good IT person with lots of time on their hands would be so very useful. Since one of those doesn’t exist in my current world, I will have to do the work. I’d really rather poke my eye out, but I’ll stay on hold some more, waiting for someone on the other side to give me some answers.

Another ping! This one is from Ron, the teacher/advisor for Operation Days Work. This is a fantastic student-run program which gets students from various schools directly involved in local projects as well as international ones. We received a $10,000 grant during the summer, which allowed us to purchase and distribute chickens and goats and veterinary kits for orphan families in Zimbabwe. This new email is to let me know that the students just voted that AFCA will receive the additional $5000 they raised this year! Oh, what good news these are! What will we do with these funds, you ask?

We will purchase and distribute a soya/maize blend porridge for 70 families as well as seeds and gardening training for the same families. Transportation and delivery of the food and seeds is included in this grant. How incredibly exciting this is, especially in light of the lack of rain which has affected many families. The porridge will provide a stop-gap as gardens grow. The gardens are planted using something called conservation farming, which traps any moisture, even if only dew, under a thick blanket of mulch. This allows for vegetables to grow even through times of little rain.

I sip my tea.

I think of the children who’ll receive the porridge and the gardening training and seeds. I find myself smiling. I laugh out loud here in my home office, thrilled for them.

Suddenly, even though the rain continues to drum, things look mighty bright indeed.