Saturday, July 4, 2015

Short and Sweet: Ethiopia Day #7

Gebrealif looks towards the hives.
“If they buzz around you, don’t move.” We are sitting on another mountain side with 20 bee-hives lives than 15 feet away from us. These instructions are issued for our safety J
Land in this rocky terrain is at a premium in the Kebele of Mariam Sheweto and to help young people without land earn a living, we have helped establish a bee-keeping co-operative of ten men and ten women. A co-operative members named Gebrealif Kidane tells us, “We had no income and were dependent on our families. Now we have a hopeful future. One big lesson for us has been learning the importance of collective negotiating power that comes with having a co-operative.”

First Harvest! Tasted as good as it Looks.
This project site is just one of several that is part of a five year program our local partner REST has set-up to create livelihoods for people without access to fertile land for farming. “It is important that people can diversify their livelihoods,” the project officer Habteab Hagos tells us. This is especially true when there is drought.
It is a short and sweet visit. Short because there are bees. Sweet because they offer us bread and honey. It is sticky and delicious. There is one thing particularly special about this honey too: it is their first harvest. And they have chosen to share it with us.

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