Something many of you don’t know about me, is that other than weddings, I end up in pretty exciting documentary production ventures. As I write this, I am sitting in a cosy apartment by the shores of lake Victoria, brooding over the interviews we conducted earlier today on a group of farmers practicing push-pull technology.
This ‘push-pull’ is a pretty fierce system, simultaneously stifling striga weed and suffocating stemborer moths. Growth of maize crops in Africa is mostly challenged by striga weed and stemborer. By planting desmodium between rows of maize and three border lines of brachiaria grass around the entire plot, farmers are able to prevent striga and stemborer on their maize plots.
I wouldn’t want to bore you with too much scientific mumbo-jumbo so I’ll get to the interesting culturly and artsy bits. For starters, Mbita is a very small town, so don’t expect too much. However, there is a ferry joining Mbita to Luanda. Using the ferry is a great idea if you’re going to Siaya, Kisumu or Maseno, except it only goes for about four trips in total each day. Also, its a fairly long sail from Mbita to Luanda so carry a good book to curl up to.
Secondly, you will probably notice a micro-island on your left as you approach the Luanda shore. Today, I saw two iron-sheet roofed shacks on the micro-island. There was also one man ploughing his field (I hope he was practicing push-pull) and some livestock grazing. They say no man is an island, so the man had better get some neighbors to move in.
The highlight of my day was definitely seeing the largest Nile Perch ever! It was delivered onto the ferry by a large white truck. It takes four men to lift the fish and I bet it can comfortably swallow anyone five feet and below in a flash.
I hope to learn more about the culture here during the week and as we take the ferry back to the ICIPE Campus in Mbita, I am glad to have experienced such diversity.
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