Not long ago we happily announced the purchase of our new hammer mill. And apparently word about it spread like wildfire in the neighbouring villages. Everyday people from different villages, more or less far away, come to Chinkonono to get their maize milled. They literally line up at PAF Center.
everyday people from different villages come to PAF Center to get their maize milled
PAF now provides services to people from surrounding villages
At the moment we still keep the mill under a temporary shelter made of wood. But the actual building we construct to keep the mill safe will be done soon.
We also found a 20-year-old strong man who will be our PAF miller. His job is to coordinate the usage of the mill and do the milling for people who bring their maize. Also he is responsible to keep the mill safe and working. Now meet our Steven:
So as you can see our mill is milling basically around the clock. That is good for PAF because we can raise some funds for our upcoming and running projects. But mainly we are focused on making life easier for our villagers and the people of the Chinkonono region.
Maize waiting to be turned into mealie meal 😉
Our PAF kids in action
our mill is very busy already
Stay tuned for more updates on what is going on in Chinkonono. There are still big things planned…
As you probably remember we moved our greenhouses to PAF Center a while ago. This turned out to be very convenient for everyone.
Now we decided to try again with a vegetable garden. So we are now planting our veggies and fixing the shade net to our garden. This has been long in the making and is bearing fruit as all materials are available.
transporting these poles for 15km to build our new shade netting
Our PAF kids helping unload the poles
PAF wired 😉
Our PAF members working hand in hand
Setting up the new shade netting
But don’t think all this has been easy. We used some of the money that PAF raised through donations and the annual fees of our supporting members to buy what was missing. But getting the materials from A to B to Chinkonono was a bit of a struggle. Some of those huge poles had to travel for more than 15km on an ox cart. Hard work.
We are using this project to educate members on effective vegetable farming and flower gardening. Kids and youths from Chinkonono can come to PAF Center and learn how to plant and take care of different types of seedlings and also when and how to harvest and re-plant.
Those little guys are getting a new shelter at PAF Center now
Our PAF Youth learns how to grow and water plants
Also the garden will be used as a means to raise funds by selling our products at PAF Market. We are planting cabbage, onions, sugar loaf, tomatoes and many other vegetables suitable for the climate and which can be consumed by local people.
People these days go crazy about healthy and organic food or superfood. All that for the “western world” is very expensive while in places like Chinkonono it is so easy to get.
One of our coordinators, Wesley (Lloyd’s brother), has sent some pics and info about one of the village’s favourite snacks: Vinkubala…caterpillars.
What? Yeah..caterpillars. What sounds like the most stereotype thing to say about Africa is actually a very, very healthy part of PAF members’ diet.
In Chinkonono those caterpillars are called Vinkubala. Wesley set out to catch them to bring home a surprise for his family for New Years Day.
As you can see the kids went crazy about them.
Those caterpillars can be found in some trees in the field around December and January. It is mostly a popular relish or snack around Southern Region.
Vinkubala provide the body with a lot of proteins, vitamines and many more nutrients. That is why during the 2 months people try to eat as many as they can. They are a valuable and important addition to the regular diet. Even the Zambian government recommends eating caterpillars.
As you can imagine, thinking of caterpillars, most kids at first are a bit hesitant and even scream when they see or touch them for the first time. But on the other hand they are more than eager to have them.
Kids just love them 😉
Do we really need spoons?
How to eat vinkubala, you ask? Well…obviously you put them in a dish and kids will try sort out the biggest ones for themselves first. 😉 Then you have to get the outer shell off and remove the insides. Apply some salt, let them sit there for a few hours or a day. Then they are ready to be fried or cooked. You can add any ingredients you see fit.