Sunday, October 27, 2013

Delivering Vines II

OSP vines Below Kibare HC II 
A day later we head off to 2 more communities with a supply of vines for the community. A truck is used this time but as it will not wait for us once the vines are delivered, we travel in a special hire.  We are barely startd e with a new driver when he turns on the radio.  Angella talks to him briefly in Lunyankole and he turns it off.
“What did you say,” I ask.
“I told him we like to talk and plan on the way so we don’t have the radio on,” she tells me. 
OSP bags under tree at Kinoni
We definitely do review our planning and program and even begin to write up our notes in the car.  I often quiz her about what has been going on in my absence but I don’t actually recall ever mentioning to her about the radio.  I am thrilled that she has picked it up and recognizes its importance.  We have decided this visit that I am going to work with her on report writing.
We stop first on the highway at Kinoni Health Center IV at 10:00 am where the Volunteer Health Team members (VHTs) from Nyarubungo parish will bring their community members.  The health worker, Dennis, is located in the record room where he works.  He tells us the VHTs have arranged to come at 2:00 pm so we pile the bags of vines in the shade under a tree on the compound.  A late pickup means few of the vines will be planted today, not the best as the vines are getting drier with each passing day.  We are unable to reach the VHT coordinator so VHTs can be alerted to come earlier.  Later we learn he has replaced his cellphone.  The bags are counted and left.  We hope they will be picked up by the time we return.
Primary School Children Get Worm Tx
We head off into the hills for our second stop in Kibare HC.  Kibare has some of our best OSP farmers mentioned earlier.  Although the cell phone network does not reach here, we find our VHT OSP coordinator, Dovina, at Mulago  Primary School with her big smile and her eleven enthusiastic VHTs under the mango tree in the center of the compound.  
This parish is very extensive, so in order to decrease the distance community members have to transport their bags on foot, the group has arranged for two drop off sites.   The eleven VHTs are set up in preparation for distribution of de-worming medicine at the Primary School as well.  The VHTs assist the health worker, who has gone to town to try to get some Vit A capsules.  We off load 11 bags of OSP vines under the tree and Dovina is instructed on filling in the community members details on the forms.   We will pick up the forms on our return. 
Boy Collects His Mom's OSP Vines
Our next stop is at Kanyantura Primary School where the rest of the bags of vines are unloaded.  One of the male VHTs gets up on the truck and the others collect the bags as he off loads them.  I count as they come off the truck and then the truck leaves us.  We have a couple more bags than VHTs.  As I didn’t count the number put on the truck, I am confused but figure we must have received more bags than planned.  
One young boy has come as his mother is sick.  He is wearing a man’s shirt that is way too large for him and I wonder where his dad is.  But the VHT coordinator acknowledges him and he collects his ½ bag.  We have one bag for the Primary School teacher who is part of our School Garden project.  He arranges to have the children plant the vines right after school. A couple of teachers from the Secondary School come by asking for a bag as well.  At first we turn them away but when it appears we have a couple of extra bags we have them sign for and explain they will need to share vines with four community members when they get their harvest.
Signing Proceeds
We leave the VHT OSP coordinator to finish distributing the remaining bags and head back to Kinoni to pick up their completed forms.  Unfortunately the process has not even started when we arrive, so Angella and I start to record the names of those who are there.  As there is no photocopy or carbon, I make a second copy so we can leave it with the OSP coordinator so he can gather any signatures that we have not obtained.  We try to get as many signatures as we can.    
Boy  play with Tire
The signing process takes a long time.  Many of the "signatures" are actually the printed names of people.  Then I notice someone signing a second time and ask her why.  She says she is signing for someone else who cannot write.  I have the person put an X down which the VHT can witness.  We have to show her what an X looks like, most come out more like an +, a much more familiar symbol here.  Angella writes an X on her palm to show her how to do it.  It turns out there are many more who cannot write their names in this group.  Either that or I was not noticing it earlier.   I explain to Angella that they can also sign with a thumb print if it is witnessed, that it is legal, but someone else signing for you is not.
The VHT coordinator for this parish turns up half way through.  He tells us that 7 VHTs from several distant villages sent word that they have produced enough OSP vines that they are able to share with two community members each so will not need Harvest Plus vines.  He has communicated this to some of the VHTs that live near by who have quickly identified local farmers, many of them illiterate who seem very poor.  This, I think to myself, is the beauty of having an agriculture project with the health workers. They know who works hard and has little in their community and can ensure we reach them.



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