More Travels with Angela in Central African Republic

More Travels with Angela in Central African Republic

In the Mambere-Kadei area of the Central African Republic, not only do people raise crops, some tribes also herd cattle. The Fulani people are renowned for their love of cattle and as a people group, they span multiple borders from CAR north to the Sahel desert. Peter and I were privileged to visit several groups of Fulani cattle today and were able to speak with two Fulani men about their cattle practices versus those of Peter and his dad in the US. Peter, a cattle man at heart, looked absolutely at home amongst the long-horned Zebu. I, on the other hand, timidly walked amongst them with a rather apprehensive look on my face. Keeping up with Fulani herdsmen is no small task. These men travel 20 miles a day or more moving their cattle from place to place. Each cow has a name and can be recognized on site by its owner.  After several hours of tromping through grasslands trying to get close to the skittish cows, we returned back to the CEFA office to wish our hosts well. Their parting words were that they were happy to show us the cattle, to walk together, Christians and Muslims, as a sign of peace, understanding and brotherhood. They look forward to future collaboration with the CEFA program and above all else, understanding between the different cultures here in Gamboula.


This morning we volunteered our time in the CEFA nutrition garden. This five acre garden provides food for the hospital nutrition center, as well as a training center for the mothers of malnourished children. On working/training ten hours in the garden with the CEFA staff, women receive a machete and seeds and planting material of whatever they would like to try in their own gardens back home. Several hundred women have been the program and today we were able to give congratulations to the first woman of 2012 to receive her machete. We worked alongside her today planting sweet potato vines in a nursery plot to ensure that the vines will survive the dry season and be available for planting when the spring rains come. This sweet-potato nursery technique was something I learned while on a program visit in Malawi last year and the staff at CEFA are eager to try it to see if it benefits them as well. Several people gathered around us as we worked and told of sweet potato varieties they had lost forever because the vines they had did not survive the dry season. This new method for keeping the vines over the dry season may make a big difference.

01/24/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment