Visiting Ms. Miriam (2012)
A normal village close to the border with Uganda. We arrived in a courtyard, where you could see several clay houses standing in a row, exactly according to tradition. All of them belonged to members of the same family. The house in the middle belonged to the founder of the family. Children of all ages were running around between the houses, there were domestic animals of all sorts everywhere and on small patches grew bananas and various other kinds of vegetables. Ms. Miriam, who is surely over 80 years old, is a proud breeder of goats. It’s not that long ago that she began. In her old age, she wanted to learn something new and she did not hesitate to use her newly acquired knowledge in practice. Her efforts bear fruit in the form of a very respectable income that she has from the sale of baby goats and milk. “I can send my grandchildren to school without having to beg anyone for the money to pay their tuition fees”, the vivacious lady is happy to say. And she not only wants to learn herself, she passes her acquired findings on.
We came to see her precisely for this reason – to teach her friends about the breeding of goats. We took the opportunity to demonstrate a solar cooker. It immediately got a lot of attention from everyone present. It’s easy to assemble and equally easy to explain how to use it. Let the cooking begin. Everyone was thrilled at how quickly the kettle boiled and the tea was made. We encouraged everyone to ask us questions and bring some suggestions to the table. Someone noted: “Even if it would just boil water over, we could greatly decrease the prevalence of typhoid in the village”. An older lady noted: “I don’t understand how it can cook anything, I don’t see any fire”. By the time the training course finished, the grandmothers offered us lunch – that they cooked all by themselves with a solar cooker.