Friday, October 26, 2007

God's Provision - The African Fishing Village

One of the things that I noticed in Africa was how God provides for the people there. Most of the things that they need to live - shelter and food- are provided from the environment around them.

Elephant grass grows very tall and is plentiful near the villages we visited. It is used for everything from their house roofs, their fences, and even baskets.

Fences are very simple to build. Take long branches from trees or tree trunks, use smaller branches for the cross bracing, elephant grass to tie the support structure together, and then use the tall elephant grass stalks as your fabric. When you cut the seed tops off it becomes an attractive, serviceable fence.

The roof structure utilizes sturdier branches or trunks to provide the support for the elephant grass thatch. Notice how beautifully and carefully this thatched roof has been put together!

The thatch roof keeps both the rain out and provides shade from the sun. But the construction of the walls of this hut are even more amazing.

They take large wooden tree trunk and branches and use elephant grass tied together for the cross pieces. Then they mix water and elephant dung in just the right proportion and work this mixture into the spaces. This wall will be 3 or 4 inches thick. We were at the village at mid-day on a very warm day. The newly built house we entered was cool and comfortable. And even as freshly built as it was, I detected no tell-tale orders.

Chickens are also part of God's provision. Chickens are really amazing animals. They provide eggs to eat-a continuing food supply. They hatch out the eggs and the chicks are eating size in 6-8 weeks. Mother hens do a good job protecting and raising these chicks. While most chickens are fed from the maize that is grown in the area, chickens can also be fed "free-range" from the other native plants around.

And even the chicken coops are made from readily available materials.

This village is located on the Chobe River. The men fish from canoes they have carved from large trees. The fish from the river provides not only food for them to eat, but also something they can use to barter for other things they may need.

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