Week 1: Complete

Trip Start Aug 19, 2010
Trip End Apr 05, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, August 29, 2010

It sure was a busy week! Each day we had 4 learning sessions which covered a wide arrange of topics, some included:

- Principles of Cross-Cultural Communication,
- Principles of Community Development,
- Basic Nutritional Needs,
- Appropriate Technologies,
- Soils and Land Care,
- Nursery Management,
- Malting Enzymes for Severely Malnourished,
- Saving Seeds,
- And the list goes on…

As the speakers recounted their experiences abroad in each workshop, I realized how extremely blessed I was to be listening. They were able to cram decades of education, experience, challenges, and success into my "spongy" brain. Each workshop was interesting and applicable, providing deeper insight to things I only knew the basics of. On top of that I was hearing stories from my classmates, remembering names of plants/people and trying to memorize the maze of paths through the farm. By Wednesday night I had a headache… but could hardly wait for more.

Toward the end of the week I was able to get a little hands-on experience too! Larry Yarger, a teacher/staff member, took our class on the farm to build a raised bed tire garden and a basket composting system on Thursday. On Friday I was able to see some tree grafting, participate in propagation (growing new plants) from cuttings of existing Passion Fruit plants, harvest Cassava and prepare the garden area for a new crop (pull weeds, work goat poo into the soil and add Vetiver Grass mulch to the top). When harvesting the Cassava and preparing the garden, a small group of us were working in the Semi-arid area of the farm – a representation of what places like Zambia would be farmed like. By the way, ECHO integrates Farming God's Way techniques into their farming practices, which is partly what I will be helping with when I go to Zambia.

Friday afternoon we had a picnic and enjoyed part of a freshly slaughtered farm goat named Oliver. He was tasty, as was the couscous smothered in peanut sauce. I skipped on the dessert but wound up having some later when my classmates surprised me by singing Happy Birthday and presenting me with candles and the cake leftovers : ) It was unexpected and quite nice.

On my actual birthday (Saturday) I took it slow. Letting my brain relax, I treated myself to a nap and a walk. After dinner, Dave (another student staying for additional studies) and I went to a Goonies party that an intern invited us to. I threw together the best 80’s outfit I could muster – side ponytail included – and had fun watching the movie.

Today I went to church at St. Hilary’s Episcopal Church here in Fort Myers. I’d never been to an Episcopal church and was invited yesterday by an ECHO staff member, so I thought I would give it a try. The sermon was on being a good community… something we all need reminders of once in a while.

As for prayer requests:
Please pray that as I am at ECHO and in Zambia, finding myself the “new comer”, I might make successful efforts at cultivating community.
Also, I’ve been having some back/neck pain that is rather distracting. Please pray that the muscles would loosen.

Update: My dad rested for a few days after the accident and began traveling/working again but only made it from Georgia to South Carolina before his truck had engine trouble, forcing him to rest a few more days while the truck gets fixed… He has been dealing with a pain in his abdomen and is almost convinced that a visit to the local hospital would be to his benefit.
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Elise on

Terra - Sounds like you are soaking it all in. So glad to hear from you. We miss you at girls group but will be praying for you tonight especially. Hope all continues to go well! So excited for how God is working in you! How cool to be at work with your Best Friend :)

Jamie on

Go Terra Go! What awesome experiences! Thank you for sharing them with us!

Amy MEYER :) on

I just read your last blog...Happy Belated by the way....I got a reminder on my phone for your birthday and I couldn't get to a computer to send you a message. You are thought of a lot and prayed for daily. I am so proud of you for putting your hand on the plow and not looking back! I'll be praying for your neck & back and continue to pray for your dad. Love you and can't wait to see you!

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