Monday, May 18, 2009

We Have Rabbits!

Hey Everyone!

We have rabbits in Chargel! Yes, we have HAD rabbits, but they have been more of the "pest" type...eating the gardens under the cover of darkness.

THESE totally cute, adorable, fuzzy, playful rabbits, on the other hand, have a more MEANINGFUL PURPOSE - one truly for the benefit of all ... meat!

Yep, in tribute to all those 4H-ers out there, I wanted to let you know we are starting a rabbit production program in Chargel. Actually, this is a program Peace Corps has been working on for a few years, and it is finally at a level where we are able to introduce it into the community level, and Chargel gets to be one of the first communities to take on this project.

We are actually modeling it after the Heifer project, meaning that when my host compound's rabbits have babies, they need to give a pair away to someone else in the community, who will then continue the gesture. And we have a system in place for cross-community sharing, in order to keep a more appropriate gene pool.

The guys made rabbit cages out of fish crates. They were REALLY EXCITED about holding and petting the rabbits. Apparently a new thing...

The Female

The Male

Just hanging out, enjoying the comforts of home.

We've only had them for about a week, so I really don't have any update other than to let you know we have begun this brand new project.

But I look forward to giving you updates in the weeks and months to come.

Be looking forward to updates on a final bee-keeping training, focusing on harvesting, honey processing and candle making with bees'-wax.

A training at the Chargel's skill center with three new peddle-powered sewing machines.

A training with the teachers of area schools on how to make/work with teaching aids made from locally available materials.

And most from the upcoming FIRST RAINS of the rainy season.

Until next time, I wish you only the best!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's MANGO Season!

One of the better aspects of the hot season is that it also signals the beginning of MANGO SEASON!!!

If pictures are worth a thousand words, I think this blog is pretty self explanitory.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

You Know It's the Hot Season When...

Top Ten Reasons You Know It's The Hot Season:

10: Quite simply, you just never stop sweating.

9: You start dropping weight because you are drinking SO MUCH water your stomach just can't take anything more.

8: You don't even want to fan yourself because even that air is just too hot.

7: You develop an affinity for Gold Bond that you haven't felt since the days of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

6: No more writing letters or journaling by candle light...that candle flicker is just too hot!

5: No more writing letters or journaling by candle light...because the candle melted before it was even lit...

4: Thermometers overheat.

3: Each morning you wake up feeling like you have the worst hangover ever...not from's just dehydration.

2: 92 degrees starts to feel chilly in the early hours of the morning.

1: You lie awake all night, tossing and turning to find that one part of your bed and pillow that hasn't yet become a pool of sweat. Eventually the donkeys start making noise, meaning the sun is about to rise...and so is the temperature!

However, I must also share that on the flip-side, this means we have all been sleeping outside each night (at least for a few hours), and since the rains aren't here yet there aren't any mosquitoes, either. Let me tell you, falling asleep outside... under the full moon, watching clouds build up, surrounded by silhouettes of palm trees and hut houses, while listening to the sound of drumming coming from different parts of the village MAY just be one of the most amazing experiences one could have. It's pretty cool (figuratively speaking), so say the least.

Some "Shout-Outs" to the Family

Hey Everyone!

First and foremost, I would like to welcome Adelina Rose Baty to the world, and to the Strohbehn family. She has NO idea what she has just gotten herself into (ie the Strohbehn family), but I'm excited for her!!!

Second, CONGRATULATIONS to Steve and Kristin, the brand new parents of such a beautiful baby girl, Adelina Rose.

Third, CONGRATULATIONS to Joe, Richard, Nick, Eino, Krystal and Darin on your respective graduations. Times of promotion and change can bring along uncertainty, but your time and efforts should also be appreciated, and certainly celebrated!

I'm excited for each of you as you continue to pursue your intests and work towards your goals. Changes, graduations and new opportunities can be fun, but also bring with them a degree of stress and uncertainty. But without sounding overly optimistic or naievely "rosy," it really can be good for us. After all, even when "life" doesn't turn out in ways we would have wanted or specifically planned for, we do have an awesome Creator looking out for us in ways we can't even fathom, nor ever fully appreciate. And it can be good to find rest in the faith that a loving God is always present.

Well done! Bravo to each of you!