Fresh Carrots | In A Village

One of our little children was sick.  

Their childhood illness was wrapped up in an additional problem — the child was also severely malnourished.

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe | Gimme Some Oven
Click here for The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

A cold, a flu, a cut — it doesn’t matter what kind of ailment a child faces —

when they are malnourished — the effects are worse.

In a place where there is not enough healthcare — these conditions put a higher burden on responsible adults

Click Here To Learn How To Re-Grow Root Vegetables Like Carrots & Celery | Pinteresting Against Poverty

In addition to the stresses of tending a sick child, with few resources, and the possible spread of the illness to themselves due to lack of clean water — there are not always enough beds in hospitals if the child’s fever spikes.

— there may not be enough vehicles to rent one if you need to try to reach a professional.

That means — swollen little eyelids and dry little lips are your business — to moisturize, to comfort —  to soothe —

Each tear that falls is a drop of liquid that isn’t in their bodies that you might not know how to replace.

Click Here For a Fresh Carrot Cake Recipe

What do you do, when they are this sick?

One of the village doctors, has a solution.

The children hate it — but it works.

In the lines of the sick and afflicted — the doctor calls those who are suffering from certain symptoms —  giving the influenza-affected, cold-affected, incontinence-affected children —

— a quick shot of vitamin A.

What?  

A quick shot of a — vitamin supplementation?

Yep.  “Improving the vitamin A status of deficient children through supplementation enhances their resistance to disease and can reduce mortality from all causes by approximately 23 per cent.”  

Vitamin A is actually cutting edge medicine — providing an economical new solution to measles and other childhood diseases.  If immunizations are not present or available, Vitamin A is a second-line defense which helps the children fight the epidemic once infected with their own natural systems.

Still, for someone who still has to hold and rock the sick little babies — who hate those pokey- needles —

I had to wonder — for the love of God —

— could someone just try planting some freaking carrots around here?

Photographed: The actual Rainbow Carrots grown by the children in our village.

So… that’s what we did. 

Rainbow carrots — none the less. 

Notice how the inside of the carrot slice also resembles a human eye?

That’s a good way to remember that they also help to guard against blindness.

The carrots swell fat and crisp underneath the ground twice a year — in the rainy season, and the shoulder http://pinterestingagainstpoverty.org/fresh-carrots-in-a-village/season.

We learned that all you have to do to regrow your first batch of carrots is return the top of the carrot to the ground you pulled it from.  It contains the seed, and the root regenerates much faster than the feathery little seeds you purchase from the store.

One of the benefits in education of living in areas that have food insecurities — is you learn what each food has to offer by the diseases and effects the deficiencies have on human bodies, when certain vitamins and minerals are lacking in the diet.

So — even in the USA, if you are sick and have the flu — go eat carrots.  Even fresh carrot cake has great nutrients to offer.

Here are a few great carrot recipes to bless your day:

The BEST Carrot Cake Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Stay tuned to read more stories and poverty tips from the village.

 

Homemade Apple Cider | In A Village

 

 

Homemade Apple Cider | Gimme Some Oven
Homemade Apple Cider | Gimme Some Ove

Apples —

— are a strange phenomenon in international mission.

They seem to pop up — everywhere.

You could be in Asia, at a business meeting, and someone may offer you an apple.

You could be in Latin America — or even South Africa, and be offered an apple-flavored drink.

Click Here For Our Free Apple Cider Recipe In The Village | From Gimme Some Oven

In Europe?  …in France, Germany and England alike — you wouldn’t have to walk too far — to find an apple on a shelf.

So — how did this relation to the rose — (Yep — did you know that?)  Apples are actually the cultivated fruit from the rose family tree — come to stretch to all corners of the world?

The love of apples has stretched so far — that even in a far off village, someone can be found off the side of any major highway selling apples — in places where they can’t even be cultivated.

Homemade Apple Cider | Gimme Some Oven
Homemade Apple Cider | Gimme Some Oven

Part of the answer — is spiritual.  Apples are symbolic in many religions.  The spread of religion, and missionaries, brings the fruits that help them to explain their beliefs.

Part of the answer, is nutrition.  Apples offer great nutrition.  (That is a future post in it’s own right.)

Wherever you find yourself — an apple is usually not that far away.

For that reason, sometimes we cook with them. 

Homemade Caramel-Stuffed Apples and Cider Cups In A Village | Click Here For The Story & Recipe

Apples are a good-feeling, peace-keeping opportunity.  Apple Pie, Apple Cider, Apple Sauce, Apple Cake, Apple Bread, Apple Cookies — are all wonderful ways to celebrate distribution networks that make something so simple as an apple — possible — in all corners of the world.

Common foods help different cultures to unite.  

Click here or on the pictures above for our favorite village Homemade Apple Cider Recipe:

Carving Apple Cider Cups | Recipe From Gimme Some Oven

Stay tuned for international apple recipes and projects to come, like this Apple Cider Cups Recipe that the children of the village enjoyed: 

Help us to do more projects in the village by donating, click here.

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Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty

Russian Conflict | Pinteresting For Peace

When I was little, there was a member of the Catholic church in our small town, that had many children about my age.  I was always running in and out of their house and became a familiar character and close friend there.

One day I ran through the front door, and saw a new person sitting on their couch.  “Who was this?”  I wondered.  She was dressed almost like a Muslim woman, and had long dark covered hair, and pretty flashes of gold and color on her flowing clothing.

Despite the beauty of her clothing, she looked troubled.

“Outside!”  Called my friend’s mom, and I scattered back across the porch that my dad had built for them.

My parents invited the woman over for dinner.

I peered curiously at her, wondering if it was okay to talk, and wanting to know why they kept me on my best behavior when I wanted to ask her questions.

“She’s a refugee.”  I was told.

I didn’t know what a refugee was – but I loved the way the word sounded.  So I said it over and over again many times in my head. It sounded like a song.

The woman seemed alright with the dinner, and she spoke with an accent, but I had learned to listen closely.

“She has a story to tell.”  Said one of the adults. “Her life is in danger, but she has to be brave to tell her story so that the people who need her help are protected.”

The woman was on the couch, and I went to go curl up beside her, and she began to read a children’s book.  I wanted to know more about her and was trying really hard not to ask her more questions.

Later that week, the woman was on television, sharing her story – and I was proud of hosting her in our livingroom.

She said that the children were poor and needed help, and that the people were good, and did not want to fight.

Before she left, we gave her a family treasure.  It was a flower that lit up when you turned off the lights.  She had cried out loudly because the vision surprised her – it was like a candle of rainbows.  We had gotten it in Disney World.

“Where did she go?”  I wanted to know when she left.  The adults said they didn’t know.

We never heard from her again, but I wondered often enough if she returned, and if her story was successful.

If you ever get a chance to listen to a refugee, I’d encourage you to take it – and, bring your children.

 

Vietnamese Cinnamon | Pinteresting For Peace

When I was a little girl, I used to love to visit my grandpa.

He would stock up his freezer with the popsicles for my visits as if I were his most important guest.

He was the provider of bicycles at Christmas, and helped build the two-story – yes – two story sandbox in my backyard, near our cottonwood tree.  He used to sit me down on his knee on his favorite reclining chair, and tell me stories about the children he saw ‘in the war’.

I would listen for a little while, holding my dolls instead of my younger brothers, before I would see if he was paying attention by pretending to fall off of his lap backwards, so that he could ‘save’ me.

I was concerned when he said that they were very poor.

“Did they look like me?”  I asked seriously.

“Not exactly like you.”  He would say sadly.

“Can I go there to help them?”  I wanted to know.

He said it was too far away.  I was confused because if he went there surely I could, too.

I grew up knowing that there were children in the world that needed help, and that if there was any way I could – it was my job, and my adventure – and my privilege – to help them.

My grandpa was a stickler for real Mexican food, and took me to one of his favorite Mexican resturants off the side of the road near the family farm in Kansas.  That was where I first met cheese-stuffed jalapeños – and learned how to chase them with milk if it was too spicy.

Another spice my grandpa always had – was cinnamon.

Several weeks ago, in a sweet little spice store – I picked up a large jar of  spice – Vietnamese Cinnamon.

The fine brown powder was creamier tasting than many of the cheaper versions of the popular flavor – and silkier ground.  I poured a few teaspoons over a mix of roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cranberries and a chopped up banana, and also enjoy it in tea.

Try out your new Vietnamese Cinnamon Spice in this fun Fall Recipe| Chai Butternut Squash Soup By Gimme Some Oven

Now I am telling everyone who will listen about Vietnamese Cinnamon – and in the back of my head I remember my grandpa and his stories about the children that needed help – about the other little girls in the world who were not as lucky as me – and it seems like if the powers of the world had known about the wonders of simple cinnamon – that maybe they could have sat down at a table together and enjoyed a cup of tea – instead of fighting a war.

Vietnamese Cinnamon seems like a perfect peace-encouraging opportunity – and just goes to show that all little girls are made of ‘sugar-and-spice, and everything nice’.

The next time you go to the grocery store – be an ambassador for income generating opportunities in post-war nations – and ask them to supply a stock of Vietnamese Cinnamon.

Roasted Pumpkin Seed, Garlic & Mozzerella-Stuffed Poblanos | Pinteresting Against Poverty

When I used to live in Mexico, as a student studying abroad –

I lived with roommates from – all over the world.

– from Norway, France, Japan, and several other visitors passed through.

I can remember vividly the nightmare of just about every single one of them.

It was a giant-stuffed jalapeño – staring back at them from their dinner plates.

Our housemother tried to spice-down her home-cooked meals, but soon grew tired of leaving her peppers out of her dishes.  One day she looked at me, conspiratorially, and told me what she had planned for dinner.

And, that day – fortunately enough – their worst nightmare – happened.

I – the one who could handle the spicy foods – giggled all day long.

“You are the only one I can trust in this house!”  Our housemother explained joyfully, as we worked together, and prepared the table for dinner.

I’ve loved stuffed jalapeño peppers – ever since.

I kind of loved them before, too.

“Hija, I don’t know what I’ll ever do if I have to go live in America.  All I can say is they’d better let me bring my chilis.”

I can remember my French roommate’s face –  when our stuffed poblanos in soup were served for dinner.

The roasted, stuffed peppers were served in soup – a spicy chipotle chicken broth and tomato base with fresh limes.

Pumpkin seeds were not a part of my housemother’s recipe, and my host-sister hated mixing lime-with-cheese, but I think this would be a rock star recipe for a food blogger to take on approaching autumn weather.

The ingredients are poblanos, cheese, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, onion, roasted garlic – and the broth is chicken, chipotle peppers, fresh limes, cooked in with a blended mix of fresh roma tomatoes, onion and garlic, which is added to the boiling broth.   I didn’t get a photo of the broth – let’s just say I was too hungry.

The dish like everything in Mexico, can be eaten with a corn tortilla, or quesadillas on the side as a dipp-able addition to the soup.

I didn’t type out my own ‘recipe’ because I had a bit of trouble keeping the ingredients together myself.  I’m sure there is a ‘better’ way.

Dare to take this on?  It’s a good one.  Roasted Red.

 

Natural Resources | Pinteresting Against Poverty

A few weeks ago, I drove past a tall tree that had fallen in a storm.

Like a good Pinterester – on less than a budget – I passed by again, and found a gentleman sizing the lumber into manageable pieces.

“Would you like a few logs?”  He asked.

The Beautiful Inner-Rings Of A Natural Piece Of Wood | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Oh, boy.  Values-seekers-and-keepers know the value of real wood.  So, I stuffed our company car full of logs – which are great for warm fires,  but also – art projects, furniture – fairy-gardening, and just about everything in between.

After working on several construction projects in a developing nation, I knew that the wood would need to dry, but the hot car provided the perfect environment to let it ‘steam off a few pounds’.

I have seen so many beautiful planters, picture frames, and decorative tables, and chairs made out of real wood lately – that I’ve got a list a mile long of what I could do with this.  And – a Dremel.

For some reason it reminded me of a friend, who – right before I lost my home, showed up one evening around Christmas and offered to help me finish my countertops, and that makes me feel lonely for my old home.  It also makes me miss my son, and the many campfires we made, and filling our fireplace tall while curling up and watching movies around holiday-time.

Now that I have this wood, I am not sure exactly what to turn it into.  I’ve read that homemade wine tastes good when seasoned in hollowed out logs, and ever since taking a food biology class and working for a CSA I’ve been interested in trying it out.  I could use it for several furniture items. For years, people knew that we used a piano stool as a desk chair in our office, because it was the right size.

When I started to write a post about this natural wood – which is full of time-tested value and has always felt spiritual to me, I thought about the elements of a character in the novel Memoirs of a Geisha.

“I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about — the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box.” (…) “It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can’t survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven’t drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?”
― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

I also thought about the book The Pillars of the Earth:

“It’s like knowing your way through the forest. You don’t keep the whole forest in your mind, but wherever you are, you know where to go next.” ― Ken Follett, Pillars of the Earth – a novel about the building of a cathedral.

Natural resources that come from the environment seem to be dwindling more and more.  As I pulled out the piece of wood today to contemplate  possibilities, the song “Stand By Me” was playing by one of my favorite bands – and it occurred to me how many layers each human relationship has, and how sometimes we just can’t see how beautiful the inside story is until we’re broken, or felled, just like a tree through storms.

This also reminds me of a day when I helped a friend move, and the table that they always lit their candles on.  Now that I have this wood, I am not sure what to do with it.  I’ve noticed that a lot of people who use natural wood remove the bark, and sand it down.  Is that true? I also don’t know how to identify the wood – although it was suggested to be locust.

As I work on this piece, I keep coming up with playlists and book quotes that compliment it’s progress and journey.

“Like a tree, out in the backyard – that never has been broken by the wind…”

Like trees standing tall for years and years, I think it is important to stand by your people through the layers and through the storms.  Trees are silent at the heart despite the rustling of their leaves and branches – they still know how to communicate, and no matter how strong they look standing on their own above the ground, you know what keeps them off their knees are the roots holding steady to each other under the ground.  Although the storm is trying to destroy our homes, our businesses, our freedom, our friendships, our neighborhoods, and our bank accounts I pray that each piece is like an ensemble that becomes something valuable – and that manages to stand against the wind – and remains upright, by the mighty hand and will of God, Himself.  A tree isn’t something easily moved, once it’s been planted and grows, you know it’s stood it’s ground over something.

I can’t imagine what kind of force it was, that took this tree down, but I’m trying to do the best that I can with the pieces.  And to keep my own, standing.

 

Oranges | Fighting Malnutrition In A Village

I remember bringing a sick little boy home from the hospital.

Carrying him in my arms, and wishing for the best for him.

“Feed him lots of fresh oranges.”  The village doctor had told me.

I was careful mixing his food.  They said if he threw up, as badly malnourished as he was – to keep mixing orange juice into other easy-to-digest carbohydrates- and glucose.

The child threw up several times.

Yet this little one was special, and after several attempts, he was able to hold the juice.

The hospital didn’t have enough room for all of the patients who needed to be seen.  It made no difference that I offered to pay for his care.

However, the doctors told me what would help him.

“How much should I feed him?”

They looked doubtful that it would help.  “Until he stops eating.”  They said.

They also gave me pills for him.

“How much should I give him?”  I asked.  They were adult dosages.

“You’ll have to crush them down.  Just look it up on the internet.”

So I took the little pills that they gave me, which were only adult-sized – and crushed them into a proportion that was supposed to be beneficial for the child.

He was sweaty, had pneumonia, and was struggling to breathe.  I knew he had pneumonia because they showed me on an x-ray before we lost his space in the hospital bed.

Ever since then, I’ve had a super respect for simple oranges.

Our little son survived his illness, partially because of them.

That, I’d say, and tons of cuddles, cups of tea, and Disney movies.

I remember one day being so exhausted and walking into a church, my feet were numb and I was sweaty and weak myself.  I had contracted the swine flu, but did not know it yet- and so I couldn’t understand how the music carried my every step back to my seat.

And how grateful I still was – for music, and oranges. 

When we are sick, or struggling, we all need a good dose of sun-shiney oranges.

Or – cabbage-eggdrop soup – which I kind of made up yesterday.  Maybe that can be a post to come.  I added orange peels and lemon to the soup, and it was nice.

Oranges don’t have to be so mysterious – after all, they are just fruit, and medicine.

Strawberry Rose Tea | In A Village

Sometimes, being a human right’s burden-bearer,

– you need a good cup of tea – and a break.

After coordinating a month’s worth of activities, photography, content, and posts –

– we attempted to upgrade our website.

That update thus far has somehow left three weeks of content – missing.

We lost the content about the posts of dreams, of the Aguas Frescas, cucumbers and several other small things that took a lot of work.

One of the nice things about this month though, was the strawberry mango flavored tea that showed up at a local store.

We have a post about mango green tea, made from a special tree in the village on our blog already, but this strawberry tea idea was special, too.

After playing around with different ingredients, I created a cup of hopefully healing strawberry tea.

I combined rosehips with dried strawberries, a leaf of holy basil, a teaspoon of poppyseed, a teaspoon of dried apples, and a few dried leaves of hibiscus.

This is a feel-good cup of tea, and the steam helps sore lungs to breath in and drink – if you are suffering from a cold or the flu.  Strawberry Rose Tea is the ante-thesis of a cup of coffee, and great to contemplate our possible next steps – which are always motivated by the goals and needs of the people in the village.

As always, the best cups of tea are always shared with the ones you love.

I hope we’ll get a chance to share a cup of tea again, soon.  Maybe blueberry tea next time for a lunch date.

Strawberry Rose Tea | Pinteresting Against Poverty

This fresh cup of tea is the ante-thesis of a cup of coffee, and is a flavorful and healthy way to wind-down after a stressful day.

  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosehips
  • 1 teaspoon of dried strawberries
  • 1 fresh leaf of holy basil
  • 1 teaspoon of poppy seed
  • 1 teaspoon of dried apples
  • 2-3 dried hibiscus flower petals

Measure all ingredients, and place carefully in a tea bag. Submerse the tea bag into 6-8 ounces of hot water and steep for 3-4 minutes. Remove and enjoy.

 

 

Caramel Stuffed Apples | In A Village

After working with children in the village for several years, we learned how to bake them sweet treats.  One of the first treats we introduced were cookies.  After a while, we learned how to make caramel out of simple ingredients – even over coals and a fire.

Click Here For Instructions To Make Homemade Apple Cider Cups In The Village | Recipe From Gimme Some Oven

The little children would run barefoot to the wooden table, excited to take part in their new recipe project, and excited to taste the result afterwards.

We knew how to get a good supply of apples, for cider.

It was even more fun to learn how to mix the caramel and apples together and we looked around for creative recipes to keep the children busy.   We carved apples into apple cups to hold the cider – for fun.

Then came the next great idea – caramel stuffed apples.

Why not?

Carving Homemade Caramel Apple Cider Cups In The Village | Click Here For Instructions From Gimme Some Oven

So, the Apple Cider Cups were stuffed, full of boiling homemade caramel, and left to simmer down.

We also use the same caramel recipe for caramel corn, which the children love and enjoy.

Take precaution when working with the caramel, as it is hot – make sure to use gloves – or something to cover your hands.

How To Make Homemade Caramel | Click Here For Quick Recipe From Gimme Some Oven

All of these recipes are fun for kids, require some adult supervision, and are easy enough to make with simple ingredients – whether you are at home, stateside.

Or over a fire – in a village.

Stay tuned for our Apple Cake Recipe – coming soon.

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty.

Click Here For A Free Homemade Caramel Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Like A Story In The Sky | Solar Eclipse

Natural events are metaphorical.

An eclipse – isn’t really ‘only’ the event of the sun, being covered by the moon.

It’s a story – about darkness – invading light.

It’s something that God puts on display, using all of the gravitational powers the universe –  the tension,

…to do something that isn’t normal, and wasn’t there before.

An eclipse – is like a story in the sky – that all can interpret and add as an event to react to – in their own life story.

There are some who saw – absolutely nothing.

There were some – who rushed to gather sunglasses…

…and there were some of those, who shared.

There were some – who didn’t care at all what happened.  And others, who didn’t know.  Without the stories of others, how would we know if those people were truly indifferent, or if they would have cared – at all?

One thing is for sure today.  Many of those who have been looking at their feet started looking for the sky.

That’s what international mission work is like.

You see many forces from afar…

And you try to get the tools and the people around you it will take to turn something that connects us all – like a story – something we can all see, touch and feel –

– and turn moments and truths into events that unite the world.

We can only control ourselves – we can’t control the sky – but we can move hearts and minds.

Everything in our universe seems to be based off of the shape of a circle, from atoms, to clocks, to our planet and the forces that hold it mysteriously into place – orbiting, and rotating.

How could you ever create something that lasts – without a circle?  A line would always end, but a circle spins when the ends connect with a purpose, which takes on an energy of it’s own.

Some think that you must keep the day and the night separate –

Some think that you have to keep – the black and the white separate

— but an eclipse is the time that both come together, that all stand and stare into the sky with wonder.

All were meant – to exist.

You can’t have the day – without rest.

Like the sharp crack! of a whip across the back of the work which we are all called to –

who wants to live without the comfort of the night?

Who wants to live – without stars to look up to?

Everything we know is defined by the tension between the dark and the light.

All of the children inthe world who go to sleep in this world – hungry, naked, hurting –

– they all sleep – underneath the same sky.

It’s not about what you need – and it isn’t right to choose a favorite – it’s managing tensions between what we all need.  That’s what justice is.

God uses the sky to do this.

People use their hearts.

Each person defines another, just like the darkness defines the light.  No creation is a shadow, but all of creation needs light.

How could you look up at the sky – and think that the moon doesnt matter?

If the supremacists don’t love color… they seek purity.  However, that isn’t the standard of life that God created for us.  Those kinds of conditions don’t support life. Let the colors of the rainbow belong to those who want to live in color on the earth, who want to be where life is.

The sun, and the moon – are something that God decided must be shared, amongst all people equally.  God sends the sun the the villages, too.

If God does this, he intended good, truth, and comforts – for those people, too.  All people deserve the light.  

Chocolate | In A Village

One of the precious treats that we are so used to in the developed world –

— our chocolates…

— are too often missing… from our world’s far off villages.

Click Here For One Of Our Favorite Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipes | from Gimme Some Oven

Writing about ‘missing’ chocolate – is like writing a post about missing refrigeration, sleeping on concrete floors – and battling floodwaters and mosquitos – it’s like – writing post about the  lack of healthcare, and reminiscing over the separations of time and space from old friendships and close relationships – about nights and meals spent away from your own children.  Missing chocolate falls hand-in-hand with the discomforting realities of poverty – oppression, and the hope and faith of humanitarian mission work – which, like a sacred and holy marriage to a  life-cause, are all worthy of a blog post of their own.

So… Why do people sleep in beds?  Why do people need to stay dry?  Are all questions that our readers could ask.   People who live in poverty – or slave-like conditions can explain and humanize the answers to those questions more directly than any imagined list that privileged ones – who have never lived wihout those comforts -would ever be able to ponder.  The world’s poor – could offer tips that could help anyone live better whom might someday find themselves living in such sorrowful conditions.

Chocolate has a higher iron content than many foods, and in the absence – or infrequency – of a supply of red meat, chocolate is craved more deeply in the village, for those, like humanitarian workers from the developed world, who know what it is.  However, supplies of it are short, and sweet – because it has to be refrigerated during shipping, which isn’t easy to cover in the hot vans.

I know this – because I have tried and tried to bring the joys of chocolate to the children in our village.  I have learned that the easiest way to travel with chocolate – is to travel with tins of powdered cocoa.  If you are not able to find or travel with tins of cocoa, which are also available in the airport cities of most world nations, homemade caramel is also an easy treat – and the ingredients can be found easily in nearly every nation. 

Once, I remember boarding an airplane after a very rough trip.  I had not eaten enough, and I had worked too hard in the village.  A flight attendant smiled as I stepped from the ramp into the plane, crossing myself for a safe flight.

She had a basket in her hands, full of king-sized candy bars.

Or – maybe they were not king-sized, they were just developed-world proportioned.

The look on my face must have gone incredulous, because if I remember right, she handed me two of them.

Once you know what chocolate is, you would never be satisifed with any less than the real thing.

It was one of the most gracious kindnesses – when abundance met a deep need in the perfect moment.  Like cute little Hershey’s kisses of reassurances that there was something right still in the world.

It’s that feeling that you get when you know that someone was aware of something small that would bring you joy.

Chocolate has an interesting traveling history of it’s own – and while I crave chocolate often, very often, I always want to enjoy it – slowly, and a little bite after little bite.  A supply of chocolate is good for the mind, body and soul.  Often, when traveling, I will buy a huge bag of chocolate-covered cherries and or berries with a shared-membership from Costco.

As political relationships seem to be changing daily, I hope that there is still something right with the world, and that there is still goodness, and love hidden in the far-off corners of it.  We are depending on this right now, and our faith in God, and are placing our hope and our actions – every day – into our faith in that love – and the love for our close friends, our children, and our love for those in distant places, is always going to be strong and intelligent enough, because it comes directly from a God who love’s love.  If you have any international relationships, or just close relationshps in general I’d encourage you to talk to them sometime this week, and to offer them the ‘chocolate’ and goodness of conversation and life.  Good conversations are like chocolate.  Love needs to be a little bit louder these days, and closer.  Creativity with words that express love are just reflections of the capacity and abundance of our brilliant Creator.

Click on the picture above for a Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe, which also also found me like a basket of candy bars on a hungry flight, all melted together with the comforting flavors of marshmallow and vanilla.

 

Update: How To Grow Watermelon | In A Village

Watermelon vine
How To Grow Watermelon | Children’s Instructions From The Village Photo Courtesy of Family Tree Nursery.

 

Earlier this year, we planted watermelon in our garden in the village.

We also sent many of our followers packets with watermelon seeds, and hoped that they would take a watermelon journey with us.

We promised to send updates and further instructions at the end of the summer – and whelp, it’s hard to believe that is already here.

If you grew your watermelon at home – you know how fun – and messy – they can be.

Planting watermelon in our village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

The vines start easily enough, and grow in adorable little spiral-y tendrils that grab on to anything and everything it takes to help them to rise – a lot like the curly hair – and bright personalities – of the children in the village.  Watermelon berries do not take a lot of time to plant, but they do provide a source of beauty to the season.  We planted four seeds per inch – not the recommended three, as we were testing a new variety with the soil.

In the village, we are always struggling for cooking utensils – that are strong enough to handle the management of such a sweet ripe fruit.  We managed to cut our watermelon into wedges, but there are so many creative tools and ideas of preparing a watermelon for a crowd.

To see some different tools, and ways of handling melons, check out this short video by Gimme Some Oven.

Maybe if the children are lucky, we could afford a watermelon baller by Christmas-time.  They love to prepare new recipes and foods.

We hope you enjoyed your African fruit gift from the village this summer! We sent more than one hundred letters to invite advocates to join in on the project.

To make a simple donation today to benefit the children in our village, click here.

Did you try to grow a watermelon at home in your own gardens?  If so, we’d love to hear your watermelon stories!  And – a big thanks to all who joined our watermelon team. Please share below:

Past Post:

Oh, Watermelon.  The Original South African Fruit.

If you canvas the seed shelves of American nurseries – you can even find it by name, such as a ‘Congo’-titled variety of the sweet pink fruit: ‘Congo Watermelon Seeds’.

If the children in the village have a love at the end of a rainy season – it’s watermelon.  They love the bright pink, and green.  Villagers stack the sugary melons high on the sides of the roads in small pyramids, like awkward oval legos, and barefooted little children scurry by – licking their fingers if they’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some of the sweet fruit of the season, spitting out the seeds, and carefully pocketing them to plant in some random corner for the next season to come.

Watermelon is a fruit that originated in tropical Southern Africa, and is actually classified as a large berry.  The fruit contains the perfect nutrition for a hot day, and preserves moisture which is needed in the heat of the African savannah.  There is evidence that watermelon travelled north to Egypt, where it was cultivated, and the seeds met with trading routes that have made this fruit a popular favorite all over the world… 

To continue reading our past watermelon post, click here:

An Actual Watermelon Grown In Our Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty