Today, there was a power outage in the morning, and therefore we didn’t get any morning porridge. There was only enough coal to heat water for tea. We had tea, bread and a few glasses of cold water. During breakfast, we saw the recording from the minister’s office yesterday on TV again. It will be broadcasted today too in regular intervals. This day was dedicated to Nsanda. Our first destination was Nsanda village and then we would go to Kvakva, where the farm is located. The distance from Matadi to Nsanda is 30 kilometers. But we did not get any further than the center of Matadi when Yapeco suspected that something was wrong with the left front wheel. It proved to be a puncture and we went to a garage. It would take a while to change tires, so Yapeco drove us up to his office on Lisanga where we would be more comfortable.
There is a cement foundry right next to the office. We went there and got prices on concrete blocks, sand and Masonry cement, materials we need for our ecological house. When the spontaneous meeting was finished, we had only a short wait before Yapeco was ready to continue the journey. Our first stop was at Nsanda, where we met Clement, Juliennes husband. They have a house in Nsanda where they stay when they work on the fields. The house is more a shed than a dwelling house. It consists of three rooms, and has no windows just hatches. The hatches are opened when light is needed. Part of the house has earth floor. It is an achievement of the Nyambudis to stay in this very humble abode. A better equipped house would be desirable. The plan is to build the ECO House in Nsanda. From Nsanda there is another 6 km by road to the village Kvakva, and from Kvaka there is 8 km into the bush to get to our agricultural fields. It is a very beautiful and open landscape with magnificent views, and the property covers 315 acres.
Today Jima, Mitusi, Angéle, Albert and Annie worked on the fields. They are reaping the cassava. Three hectares of eight has been harvested. 20 hectares of the land is cultivated by the Nsanda Group, and another 20 hectares are cultivated by 20 leaseholders and their families. They each have an acre, and they pay the rent by doing a workday a week on the fields of the Nsanda group. We walked around and looked at the manioc. Bernt and I tested to pull up a plant. We checked the 220 pineapple plants, the 330 new banana plants, and the 100 older banana trees. There are also 3000 mature oil palms.
The harvest of palm nuts should begin shortly. They have sown seeds of acacia trees, orange trees and dwarf palm that will grow in plastic bags when it gets bigger. Ginger is also underway. For the processing of the maniok, they have built a basin for retting, a drying rack made of bamboo and a shed where the manioc can be stored. There is a good water source in the valley below the basin. The difference in level between the basin and the water source is about 50 meters. Our water pump can lift the water 30 meters. The rest of the way, the water has to be carried by hand.
We took a break to quench our thirst with a soft drink. We also ate a Mikati and a banana. Then we looked at the bamboo that grows in the area. We believe that it may be interesting building materials for roof trusses. The bamboo expert Ingemar Sävfors will have to teach us how to handle it first. From the Nsanda fields, we brought home manioc, sakasaka and a large bag with sponge to Augustine’s delight. And we bought bananas along the way. When we got home, it was time for a bucket shower, nice after a sweaty day.
Augustine made us an evening snack of citronella tea, peanuts and mankondo. Citronella is a small leaf plant growing in a flowerbed outside the house. The plant is said to be good against malaria. The leaves were put in the Bodum pitcher, which we brought the house last time.