Days 4-7 – West Africa Journey
Sunday morning we took a ride out to the farm in Akrokerri. The trip took only about 25 minutes. we picked up some materials from a storeroom in town and went out to the farm.
ICCF partnered with a parent in Obuasi in 2008 to purchase some land and seedlings. As a micro economics project, revenues coming from the farm will ultimately be used to support future educational projects.
The land was greatly overgrown with tall weeds. The weeds need to be cut constantly or they take over. Rising above the 6ft weeds were the orange trees we planted 4 1/2 years ago. They were loaded with oranges. There have been several fires during the dry seasons; the most recent in 2011 burn over 17 acres including about 5 that were planted. Mr. Mensah would try to replant as soon as possible but the young trees require a lot of attention and protection from insects and nutria.
Despite, these setbacks, we still have nearly 15 acres of trees planted. Some of the younger trees were so loaded that branches were breaking under the weight. Happy and sad at the same time. happy to see the growth, sad that we were in a battle with the weeds that they seem to be winning.
We bought a bush hog 2 years ago which they are still learning how to use (in under developed countries, the grass is not cut with motor powered devices but with a machete, called a cutlass, here). When the grass gets too high, the bush hog is less effective at weed control.
I help to cut a swath for us to walk through and check the trees. We sampled some of the fruit. They are coming along very nicely. The crop will be ripe and ready for harvest between late August and early October. We’re looking forward to see how that goes.
We need to take on a couple of workers to keep the weeds and insects in check. At present, we have estimated another 2 years of investment before the farm reaches a break even point.
I took an early bus back to Accra. The previous trip had several changes. One of the parents told me about a bus that would take me directly back. Four and a half hours later, back in Accra. One of our sons, Enoch, picked me up. We ran a few errands and back to my home away from home, the Pentagon Inn. I had dinner with Sister Gladys and Gloria at the house. Gloria was returning to the U. S. later that night.
Caught up on a little paperwork and phone calls before lunch with Sister Gladys and Abigail at the house. My hotel is about a mile down the road past the US Embassy from their home. Sis. Gladys invited me over for lunch. I shared some oranges from Obuasi with her. She was really impressed because she lived on a farm in times past and knows the amount of work it takes to run. As always we prayed. More errands. Found a battery for my other cell phone, only cost about $16. Go figure. Back to the hotel. Getting packed for tomorrow.
Got up about 8 am, cleaned up, dressed up and packed up. 30 minute ride to the airport and got checked in. Flight left on time at 1:00PM arrived in Monrovia at 3PM. Bishop Conto and 2 of his pastors came to greet me. What a joy after 2 years to return to Liberia, America’s first colony. I checked in to the Atlantis Guest house on the Atlantic ocean and had pizza with my hosts in a restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I have seen the Atlantic from North America before but I was mesmerized by the breaking waves as they kept rolling in on the Africa side. Even as I am in my room, I can still hear the breakers dashing. Imagine, our hurricanes that threaten us from the Gulf of Mexico frequently have their beginning on this side of the Atlantic. Just a random thought.
Tomorrow, a city tour and my first meeting with the pastors.
Praise God for safe travel and the family of God.