Field Notes

Inch by Inch

Last July, after returning from a Home Gardening and Nutrition training in Ebolowa, I had a week of farewell parties for volunteers who were returning and then an awkward ten days before I could head back to Yaoundé before heading to Paris. It was one of the longest and slowest ten days at post because a) it was raining and b) since I knew I was leaving, I did not want to focus on starting any big projects that I would inevitably have to restart. And so I floated around, reading and drinking tea.

One day, feeling especially stir-crazy, I went and visited my counterpart Janette, who was extremely excited to show me the nursery she had made, utilizing the skills she had learned at the training a couple weeks ago. More importantly, she was more than ready to teach the other women what she had learned. (I felt like such a buzzkill, telling her to wait until dry season.) And thus, another idea was planted: creating a women’s gardening group. We decided that while I was away, she would gather a small group of women and I would start writing a grant for the project.

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Madame Janette and her nursery.

But writing a grant is not as straightforward as it seems…

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Even though it didn’t go as planned, I am still extremely grateful that the staff tried to get my grant through before the end of the fiscal year.

More importantly (and the reason I am writing this post), the grant has been approved this past week! (As it turns out, I did not have to wait too much longer after all. Inshallah the rainy season finishes and the money arrives to my account soon so we can get started.)

To the coming dry season, may it be filled with veggies and far less travel back-n-forth than before!

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