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Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

Hi all

The older I get and the more driving I do the more I hate driving.  Wouldn't it be great if we could just blink ourselves to our destination.  Not only do I not like it when people do not follow the rules at toll booths but I have come to the conclusion there are people out there that come up behind you on the interstate get into your blind spot and sit there on purpose.  It's not like the interstate was full today in fact it was pretty empty (Iowa is really flat) and riding my right back quarter panel where I can't see for umpteen miles is just plain rude.  It's like my cruise control is on and when I approach another vehicle I would like to pass them instead of braking so not to cause an accident with guy in my blind spot.  What's nice about the little Saab is that it goes from 80 mph to 120 mph in a matter of seconds.  There was at least two occasions today that I had to use the high speed getaway from rude driver and leave them about a mile behind.  The only problem with this tactic is that once I get back to my comfortable cruise control driving speed Mr. Rude finds his way back to my blind spot.  Sometimes I have to adjust my comfortable cruise control driving speed plus or minus a couple of mph's and I don't have this problem.  But there are those out there that know that I am changing my speed and adjust there's accordingly to stay on my back right quarter panel.  I feel better now.  Thanks.

While I was in Kansas celebrating Christmas with family and friends (Merry Christmas everyone) I was looking at some of the pictures from Kenya on the first orchard planted in July and behold I noticed that there was a fairly large passion fruit on one of the vines.  I know I have been waiting patiently for fruit to show up on the vines and should not complain but it's still a little too early to be fruiting.  The process is that the flowers and suckers are to be pruned on the way up to the wire.  Once it is on the wire then it is allowed to spread out, come back down to the ground, flower, and produce fruit.  Anyway the vines look like they are healthy and starting to grow more quickly now that they are at the wire.  This is great news indeed.  I am so excited and now its even harder to wait for a harvest.

See the little guy at the bottom of the picture on the post

Well I hope you all had a very wonderful Christmas and will have a prosperous New Year.

Take care and God bless


Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011


I have a little update on what is happening with the orchards in Kenya.  Bishop Hezron sent me a few pictures of the original widow's orchard in Kakamega.  I opened one of them and it struck me kinda hard especially from that angle.  I know it is just a plant but it reminded me of why I do this.


Anyway we have mixed results coming in from Kenya.  We have seedlings that are doing well and we have some that are not doing well.  I do not have a full report of all the areas but some of the plots are having a larger number of seedlings die then we wanted.  It appears that we are having some of the same problems that plagued the first batch.  They seem to die from the graft up.  The original yellow passion fruit is healthy but the purple passion above the graft does not survive.  During the inspection of the seedlings back in October the graft area and vine above looked very healthy.  The last time this happened we had problems with the scions.  To me it looks like we have a problem during the grafting process or during the handling, transportation or planting of the seedling.  I kinda rule out planting since most of the plants are just fine and many that die are only dead above the graft.  I will work on getting them replaced and we will move on.

Our vendor feels that much of this is from lack of adequate training.  I agree to a certain extent and we will work to make sure that training is a critical portion of our planting process in the future.  However I cannot get my mind to comprehend how training is going to help the plant above the graft area when the rest of it is doing fine.  Everyone is committed to making this work and I am sure over time we will do just fine.  Keep us in your prayers and if you have a little extra this holiday season to help our cause we would appreciate it too.  Fuel costs in Kenya is over $5 a gallon and we have quite a few different areas to attend to.  On the right side of this blog is our information on donating.  Thanks.

I am beginning to get ready to plan my next visit to East Africa sometime in late February, March, or early April.  Much depends on when we can expect the first harvests of fruit.  On this next trip I do want to get back into the slums of Nairobi and visit Uganda again to see what we can do to help with the orphans.  I recently got some pictures from Bishop Moses in Uganda on some of the orphan sites.  The vast majority of orphans are incorporated into church family homes where possible usually six to a dozen per household.  There are so many orphans throughout East Africa and my prayer is that we can start to help somehow.  An acre of passion fruit at an orphanage site will go a long way in providing adequate shelter, education, clothing, and a presence of family to these children.  The pictures below are just a small sample of the multitude of orphans that could use our help.

Namasavu, Uganda Freedom Ministries Orphan School

Kitambona, Uganda Freedom Ministries Orphan School

Bujagali, Uganda Freedom Ministries Orphan School


It is quickly approaching the day we celebrate our Lord's birthday.  I personally would like to wish everyone a joyous and wonderful Christmas.

Take care, be blessed and God bless you all


PS:  Last night at our Christmas party part of our dessert was Passion Fruit Cheesecake.  Very tasty but it wasn't colored purple.