Posted by The Real Don Johnson on Sunday, February 06, 2011 5:07:18 AM
It was so good to be with you, all the cousins and all their families in Norway. We are blessed to be able to travel and spend time with loved ones so far away. We have many heartfelt memories of our time there. Christmas in Norway – who would have thought?! Hugs to all.
The trip to Zambia was again a blessing. The people on the farm are so kind and gracious, and it gives me great encouragement to see them overcoming many serious obstacles to just basic survival; learning to farm Gods Way to increase crop production and thus alleviate hunger and starvation, fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic through the drugs and education given by our onsite medical team Sal and Renee Marini, getting education through the school on the farm. And, some of the fellows are starting up businesses such as; furniture and carpentry, poultry, vegetable and fruit growers, and dried maize (corn). The crops this year look very good, and produce is taken to market
several times a week.
A little background on the term farming God’s way. Farming God’s Way (FGW) is an organization started up in Zimbabwe (formerly South Rhodesia) by a white farmer who was able to survive the carnage resulting from the governments’ decision to force out all of the white farmers. What happened as a result was that the country was transformed from the bread basket of Africa into one that could not even feed its own people. Much starvation ensued, and many people died in the midst of very rich farmland, all because the new farmers did not know how to farm. The good news now is that this surviving white farmer has been able to demonstrate very productive farming
principles, and now the Zimbabwe government has fully embraced the methods, so the future should look considerably better in years to come. In the case of FGW on the farm in Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia), a young fellow from South Africa has been coming to the farm for several years now, teaching the principles to our farmers. The principles are actually straightforward; do things on-time, with high standards, and little wastage. We can see the results in the crops in the fields.
As for the HIV/AIDS problem, this is so serious in much of Africa, and our clinical team fights the battle daily. The primary emphasis is
in testing for the virus, getting, and keeping, infected people on medication (especially pregnant mothers). It turns out that if the mothers stay on the medication throughout the pregnancy, then the infant will be infection free and have a chance at life. There is a twofold benefit to this program; The child, being infection free, has a running start at life, and with the mother taking the medication daily, fewer orphans are created. President Bush started a massive aid program targeting 15 countries, and hopefully the program can put a huge dent in this awful pandemic. Just in the two trips we have taken to Zambia, three young women from the villages of the farm have succumbed to the diseases that come from AIDS, so you can see the extent of the problem.