The 5 F's Project just wrapped up it's busy season! Jon was right in the middle of this, starting out his day at 7:00, usually working through lunch and getting home around 5:00 or a little after. He sometimes came home for lunch but none of the people he works with stop for lunch so he often presses on. Our people here are very accustomed to fasting days and are no stranger to skipping meals. He also got to spend huge chunks of his day with his boss, Tafera, and he loved this time to glean from his experience and wisdom.
Seedlings of indigenous plants are planted by the 5 F Project and local farmers and when ready, are taken to surrounding communities and farmers.
There are usually about 14 workers, manually loading thousands of seedlings, driving to a location and then unloading.
Communication is difficult and our inability with Amharic is frustrating but I know that his big smile, hard work and interest in people speaks loudly. He knows everyones names and according to a friend, "The most beautiful sound someone can ever hear is the sound of their own name". (Thanks Amber L, that has always stuck with me!)
Seedlings at the project, before any deliveries started.
The Littles and I usually saw him at least once during that day when they come back for loads. If we are out and about and see the truck, we go over and chat a bit, helping where we can.
Here is a small crew finishing an unload.
The Littles love helping and take their job very seriously.
Women do the heavy lifting here, hauling big and heavy loads on their backs. Jon is still balancing where he fits in this, often doing "women's work" with the approval of his Ethiopian boss.
Going on a delivery one day
Trekking through all sorts of terrain to make their deliveries, they make the US Post office look weak, through rain or high water, they press on.
Usually with plenty of adorable onlookers.
Grasses are valued here as fodder (animal feed) and possible erosion control.
Some of the work force on the last day!