Down the road a piece from Nairobi lies Tarime, Tanzania. I think I would be safe to call it an African Mayberry. Maybe a little bigger, but not much. On the outskirts of town is the Angel House Secondary School and Orphanage.
Anna Migera runs the orphanage part of things and I met her almost a year ago at an agricultural conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Anna made an 8 hour bus ride to Nairobi and then flew to Arusha to attend the conference. She had been praying for someone to help her with irrigation at the school farm. We ended up standing beside each other in the lunch line one day. Coincidence? I think not!
Angel House has an amazing compound and a lot of land to use for farming. They also have a bunch of animals, including cows, chickens, pigs, and goats. They have 327 students enrolled at the school, 300 of which live on the school grounds. Angel house also has 77 orphans, with 44 of those living at the compound. The rest of the orphans are older and away at school. Needless to say, it is a lively place!
Anna is an amazing woman. She shared how someone came to visit her and shared the Good News about Jesus with her. She found work and was able to get out of a bad marriage – an arranged one that started when she was 14. She married a great man, Marwa, who also works at the school. She is entering a seminary in a neighboring city soon and wants to become a minister. She seeks to help others in the way that she was helped.
This is a wide shot of the orphanage house.
These are pictures of the school buildings. They do rainwater harvesting on just about every building.
These are the hostels where the boys in the secondary school stay. The girls’ buildings are inside the fenced compound on the other side of the school.
Here are a couple shots of part of the farm. The top one is maize (corn) and the bottom is tomatoes.
A river borders the farm property. It flows year-round.
One of their supporting organizations gave them a diesel pump about 5 years ago. It has been dormant for 3 years. You can see some of the tomatoes from the farm being stored here. We tried the pump, but could not get it to work. They had to call in a repair person and get a part from the neighboring city. They would like to get the river water up to the school compound, but it is too far and too much of a difference in elevation for the pump to get it there.
We chose a site closer to the pump to put in the half-acre drip irrigation system. They will install a water line from the pump and put in an elevated tank to feed the irrigation setup. EDEN is helping with the cost of the tank and stand.
They also have 2 fish ponds that they can use to raise fish for the school to use for food. It will take additional funds for piping and possibly a secondary pump to get the water from the river to the ponds.
There was a group coming from Texas that is going to install a greenhouse for the school. It will go in the area in the first photo. Tthe school can use some of the bucket drip irrigation kits to water it. You can see the manual well on the right in the bottom picture. Unfortunately, it goes dry on them during very dry times. There is another manual well that always has water in another area of the compound.
There is also a solar powered electric well, but it also goes dry during really dry times. That is why rainwater harvesting is so important.
These are filter systems that are used to filter their drinking water.
I was excited to see that they are using rocket stoves to cook with. This is the style of stove that I am looking to supply for the Neema Children’s Home in Kenya. Anna says that the stoves reduce their wood requirement by half and that they really cut down on the smoke. The smoke can contribute to health problems, especially with the children. That is Anna and her daughter Grace in the photo.
The school has 12 sewing machines. The black ones are new treadle machines, from China, and the white ones are used ones from the US that have been swapped to manual drive. They don’t have a permanent place to leave them up, so they are usually in storage. They can set up and sew when school is not in session.
I showed 2 of the girls the instructional video on how to make Luopads. We supplied a kit with some material, templates, snaps and sewing supplies. The girls made a couple pads within a couple hours. They were so excited.
This is Rhobi showing off their handiwork. Great job!
On Tuesday afternoon, I did part of the irrigation training. I showed the videos from SAWBO on the drip system, raised planting beds, and composting. I brought in 30 bucket drip kits for them to use and I showed them the details on these kits. They will use some of the kits in the new greenhouse and the rest will be distributed in the community to needy families. Anna’s husband Marwa is on the left in this picture. It was nice to have the videos in Swahili, so they could watch without interpretation.
It makes a teacher feel good when students take notes! This is Deo and he works on the farm at the school.
This is the school poultry operation. It is further up the hill from the river. The chickens provide eggs and meat for the kids. Note the guttering on the big coop.
This building is for storing the grain and other products that are produced on the farm. That is William in front of it. He oversees this area for the school and is also a driver.
The school has a lot of diversification on the farm. The first picture is banana trees with beans growing between them. The second is an orange tree. They have a 7 acre maize field here surrounded by orange trees.
On Wednesday afternoon, we cut some of the drip irrigation line in lengths to use with the bucket kits. The tile floor was much easier to roll the line up on than what we experienced at Kiryandongo!
No, I am not impersonating an elephant! I am showing the men how to connect the lines from the elevated tank for the half-acre drip system. We pray the tank and system will be a blessing to provide much needed vegetables during the dry season for many years to come.
The guys got some practice installing the valves for the half-acre system.
Just as I was preparing to leave, the mechanic came with the part for the pump. It was really great to see the pump operate. Marwa was very excited and tried to make a fountain!
There was a sprinkler head in the pump house, but no one knew much about it. I am going to research it and they may possibly be able to use it as well to irrigate with.
It was a very busy visit! But I said my goodbyes, knowing that the irrigation supplies are in good hands. I look forward to seeing how God blesses the school’s efforts.
My apologies for the misalignment of some of the pictures. WordPress and I aren’t getting along to well right now. I also have some great video to share, but uploading right now is kind of out of the question. Stay tuned!