— click the arrows above to view images —

Today marks one week since we finished our Permaculture Design Certification course. We learned so much and are grateful for the wisdom that we gleaned during those two weeks. 

Permaculture has given us a new lens through which we now experience life and view the things around us. We have a deeper awareness of our relationship with others and with creation... of the interdependency of it all. 

Permaculture has given us much hope for the work we have ahead of us. There is a great need for this knowledge here and we are happy to pass it on.  

- - -

One of our instructors during the course, Janet Maro of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania, is from the Chagga tribe in the Kilimanjaro region. As we shared about the work of After Trade, she said that she believes our work will be well received. She explained that traditionally the way the Chagga people grew coffee was in alignment with the principles of Permaculture. However, with the lapse of time, they became westernised, as other farmers have, in their coffee cultivation. What was once diverse have since become monocultures. But monocultures are far from resilient. When a single crop fails, there is no backup plan, nor a profit for food or extra funds to pay school fees for their children. 

- - -

Following the course, we’ve received several opportunities to put to practice all that we’ve learned. We have decided to take these opportunities as they will only further prepare us for our implementing Permaculture with coffee farmers. 

We’ll speak more to these opportunities as we get started with them but we are very excited to be getting our hands in the dirt so soon. We believe it is best to practice right away than to sit on the wisdom and not continue our learning. 

Just today we were at a local orphanage in Moshi assessing their property to help them start a couple of large compost piles. We were also able to give advice regarding their garden beds that will result in better yields. And we got to spend a bit of time with a couple of little ones that will benefit from the good food that will be produced at this home. 

- - -

For more of a personal update: we are still house-hunting, but so ready to have a home and finally feel settled here. We’ve been living out of the backpacks we used as our carry-on luggage during our flight. In the meantime, we’re staying with the most wonderful family. 

We are also in debate about language school. At present we are teaching ourselves. Language school is very expensive, so we are considering hiring a private tutor rather than paying for school and lodging elsewhere. 

We will try to update as much as possible. The power has been off and on and we've lost much of the content we've tried sharing. However, we are both regularly posting to our Instagram accounts. Feel free to follow us there to keep up with our journey:

@stephanieberbec
@stevenberbec

// aftertrade.org

Comment