Day 17 - Weds. 25th (part 1)

On the Weds. we were taken in the lorry to the Foyer's second centre which is about 10 miles outside of Kara itself, right out in the bush. Conditions here were even more basic than in the town-based part of the orphanage, but as in the town, we received a very warm and friendly welcome from everyone.

The day began in a very touching manner with members of the orphanage pairing up with us for ceremonial mango planting on part of the 40 hectares of land that the Foyer owns. The children are taught basic farming techniques (and other manual skills) and work the land to give food to themselves and also the possibility of selling some of their produce to bring money in.

Each of us would have a young mango tree planted for us by one of the young people as a memorial of our time spent with them.


On our way to plant the mango trees.






Something I had noticed on our travels around the country was the size and frequency of termite colonies. Whilst our trees were being planted, a few of us went to look at a nearby example.

Matthew was understandably a tad nervous at turning his back on it.

A few of the Foyer children saw our interest and came over, starting to hack at the nest with their machetes (poor termites). I started to feel rather guilty, though they were only trying to give us a chance to see the termites in action, which we duly did as they reacted to the devastation wreaked on their home! We then moved off before any other children decided they wanted to start swinging their machetes.

Further excitement came a little later... towards the end of the mango planting I suddenly heard shouts coming from a group of the Foyer children about 10 yards away who had been watching what was going on. One of them had spotted a snake. Before we knew it, they had large sticks in their hands and they were hammering on the ground trying to kill the snake. A few lusty blows later and we had an ex-snake we could go and investigate.



It was about 1.5 feet long with a distinct 'V' marking at the back of its head.... a viper we were told. A bite from that and you would be dead in 2 days unless you went to the hospital straight away for treatment. Nice to know! They then told us that there were other snakes in the fields: green mambas, also very dangerous (but tend to flee humans). Their natural habitat is in large trees. I noticed a few of our group standing in the shade under a large mango tree. Trying to sound as calm as possible, I called over saying that they had been advised to move out from under the tree.... upon questioning as to why I just said they might end up with a green mamba around their neck. This provoked the necessary reaction from the troops in double quick time....
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