Entrepreneurship and Meeting Jessie

the Zowe Community Grocery store
Outside the Community Store. They have income of $80-$100 per month. They want to improve that.

July 3, 2018

Devotions at Pamoza headquarters 1st Corinthians 10:13 God will not tempt you without giving you a way out (reference Matthew 4 Jesus is tempted) There is nothing more powerful than God’s word to fight temptation.

the Zowe Community Grocery store
Outside the Community Store. They have income of $80-$100 per month. They want to improve that.

Since its Entrepreneur Day, we visited the local store first. Very simple, they sell a few items. A couple kids came in to buy gum 🙂 I saw this package I thought it was like dried fruit or candy but it was dried tofu. Paso cooked it for lunch – it was delicious!

Next, we went to where the corn is pounded and grounded. This is the Mill. A few women came with their corn and we got to watch the process. The pounding removes the husk or cover on the corn kernels (which is where the nutrition and fiber is) but they like the taste better. Less bitter. We observed the pounding and grinding.

man operating a corn mill
The mill used to dehusk the corn.

Trudy Orthey pounding corn.

Then we visit visit the preschool. There were about 14 kids there – 1 tiny, tiny room about 10 ft by 10 ft. She said she usually has 65 kids. OMG! We found out that there was no breakfast today because the woman did not show up to make it. We brought the preschoolers a snack. No breakfast at school means no breakfast at all.

After that we went to visit Jessie Nirongwe, one of the women I have been praying for. We got to meet her son, see her home, her yard, and watch them pound corn by hand with a mortar and pestle. There was a formal meet and greet- we all had to go inside and sit down – then she came in and, on her knees, greeted each of us by shaking our hand and welcoming us. She has 3 kids; one was there, her oldest, a boy and 8th grader. I took a photo with her. She has a pretty nice outdoor kitchen. Actually, her home is nice, comparatively speaking. The floor is cement, her roof is tin; she has several small rooms and even has stuff hanging up.

Trudy Orthey standing next to Jessie and her son
I got to meet Jessie! I’ve been praying for her for 2 years.

After that we went to the medical clinic where they were measuring height, weight and arm circumference of children to check for malnutrition. It was very loud, lots of kids crying. The kids were scared of being measured. The Red Cross and UNICEF were there too. After that, lunch. Paso had made the tofu and it was awesome.

a group of children sitting in a schoolroom

Then we went to Jeru’s office which is at the Pamoza headquarters. He gave us a lesson on Savings and Loans. Then we headed out to visit two communities as they held their weekly Savings and Loans meetings. Very interesting and very enlightening. These people have nothing yet somehow managed to save a bit each week and put a bit toward social care which is like Social Security or Insurance. Amazing. They are highly motivated to share this way because they get dividends at the end of the year.

man sitting in a desk by colored boxes
The boxes are colored coded and responsibility is shared by three individuals to increase accountability.

Then we drove to Euthini. I swear, the roads are so bumpy here. It actually is quite annoying! It makes travel take so long. Ugh.

In Euthini, we met with a tailor. I’m getting a shirt made for Scott for his birthday. Going to the tailor was a trip. It was a back alley. We walked right in and placed orders. There were kids outside who were very curious about us “whities”. I went out to take a photo of the shop from the outside and also took a picture of the kids. I showed them the picture. They were so thrilled! Then, I took another of a group-they acted all silly. When I show them, they just howled. It was a hoot.

group of children making funny poses outside the tailor shop
Outside the tailor shop the kids act silly for camera.

Oh, we also saw bricks being made and a borehole, which is a watering hole, being dugged. It is a hole about 2 ft wide and 30 ft deep. A guy climb down and was sending up buckets of water and rocks. It was crazy.

We often see cattle being driven, oxcarts pulling a cart with people or corn or sand. When we were visiting Jessie and the two communities for Savings and Loans we were driving for quite some time through the bush- pretty much nothing around but occasionally a house.

I’m a little frustrated at the poor reception here. I have so much to share but so little ability to to do so due to reception.

-Trudy Orthey

Categorized as News

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