The Difference Between Slaves and Refugees, Human Rights & Slave-Free Tomatoes

The other day, I was passing by one of my favorite market areas in a small stateside city.  The refugees were selling black cherry heirloom tomatoes.

I purchased a small basket full of the wine-colored fruits in order to bless their labor.  Several weeks ago, we wrote a post about slave-free tomatoes.      Buying heirloom tomatoes from local refugees while attempting to garden tomatoes in an area with several severe human rights violations – brought me to wondering…

What is the difference between the mindset of a slave… and a refugee?

Is a refugee someone who refused to BE a slave?  Or, is a slave simply a person that hasn’t ever been given an opportunity to – be free?

I started typing out a post about the differences that I’ve seen in working with people – who could be considered both – and hope to share it soon.

In the meantime, please keep reading below to understand our thoughts on slave-free tomatoes:

Heart healthy
Fresh Tomatoes | In The Village

“So, let me get this straight…”  I asked, continuing hesitantly –

“you mainly eat corn, onions, tomatoes and dark leafy greens.”

“Yes.”  Said the widow.

And you drink tea.

“Yes.”  She said.

“You know how to grow the corn, and the onions yourselves.”

“Yes.”  She said sternly.

“Do you know how to grow the tomatoes?”

“No.”

“Where do the tomatoes come from?”

“I don’t know where they come from.”

“How do they get to the market?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you allowed to grow tomatoes?”  I asked finally, trying to make sense of this situation.

The widow shuffled.  And hesitated.  “There are many things which we have not been taught to do properly.  They do get angry at those who grow different things from time to time.”

I knew from my food biology class that tomatoes were needed to fill the nutritional gap from the glucose in the corn.  The children would become quickly malnourished without the vitamins and nutrition present in a plant they were not able to produce for themselves.

Read Our Post On Tomatoes, Peppers & Onions | In A Village

Meaning — they had to have money in order to be healthy. 

“Do you know what the seed to a tomato looks like?”  I asked.

“Of course.”

There had to be at least twenty seeds in every tomato we purchased.

Twenty seeds that could produce 20 tomato plants.

Twenty tomato plants, that could yield about 15 pounds of food per plant.

Why were these people afraid to grow what it would take to keep their children from dying of hunger?

“Okay.  We are going to have to figure out how to grow tomatoes in pots.”

The people agreed.

-Check back in with us soon, we may have more posts and pictures of our tomato project, which is currently in progress:

 

Click Here For This Fresh Rainbow Salsa Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Click here to read about Slave Free Tomatoes — rights for immigrant workers, and pick up some great tomato recipes!

 

Click here for the Rainbow Salsa Recipe (pictured above).

Make A General Donation To Support Our Cause | Pinteresting Against Poverty

 

Check out some of our other posts from this year:

We always appreciate your feedback and comments.  Please share your thoughts below.

Stay tuned for posts about some other seeds we’ve planted.

 

 

 

Chilean Plums | In A Village

On a trip, far, far away — further than I could walk,

— a trip that happened after a long walk — in a luxurious contraption called a motor car,

— I found a Chilean plum, in a grocery store.

The color was delightful, and I purchased one…

Chilean Plum | In A Village

–to bring back to the village — and feed the children a taste.  

After taking a few videos and pictures with the beautiful fruit —

–we cut it into small pieces, and set it out as a treat for a four-year-old’s birthday, passing the dish around.

The fruit was soft, and juicy, and sweet.

We were careful — to save the seed.

Hoping to see — if it might be possible — to grow something similar in the village.

We all knew that if we could get something like that seed to produce — like a good “Jack and the Beanstalk” story,  the fruit could generate income, and fill nutritional gaps — for the orphans and the widows.  

Something as simple as a good seed could also house, clothe, and educate the widow with the green thumb — or — the struggling young student with the internet connection.

On a different continent, a few weeks later — I went to a grocery store.

 I smiled when I saw the same little plums on the shelf.  My hope — was that the little barefooted children in the far off village where these fruit were produced — were able to go to school by the cost of their produce.  

Some may think that someone as far away as a fruit picker in the subtropical nations doesn’t have an impact on their well-being or daily lives —

— but the fruit was just one glowing example of how far the efforts of their simple labor were able to reach.  The cheery little fruit was brightening the produce baskets in three different corners of the world.

It’s a wonder to me, that people can walk past the fruit in their grocery stores, and really not know the lands or the people they come from.  The fruit has a shorter lifespan, and yet travels further, than most people do.

Read more about human rights and how we are fighting malnutrition with our Rainbow Garden!  

Coming Soon:  How to prepare the plum seed from the fruit.  Subscribe to read the story:

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Preparing Rainbow Garden Eggplant | In A Village

“And what is your favorite vegetable to eat?” I asked the widow.

Eggplant From Our Rainbow Garden In The Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

“It’s called,,” she pronounced the next syllables carefully. “Di—le—de.”  (Or — something like that.)

“And what does it taste like?”  I asked.

It wasn’t easy to figure out which vegetable she was referring to by her verbal description.

It is no easy activity to actually describe the vegetables you are used to eating.  African Eggplant, for example, is also known as ‘bitter tomato’; aubergine écarlate, tomate amère, djakattou; nakati etíope, berenjena escarlata and  非洲紅茄.

Eggplant
Eggplant From Our Rainbow Garden Grown By Children In The Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

“It comes from a plant that is about this big.” She motioned to about waist-high, determined to help me figure out this — her favorite vegetable,

“–and it has yellow flowers that bloom and then grow down.”

“And you like the plant?”

“Yes.” She said.

“And it grows here well? In this soil?”

“Yes, it does.” She said, hopefully. She gave me a hopeful sideways glance wondering if I would I buy the seeds for her…

Click Here For A Free Easy Ratatouille Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

“So how do you cook it?” I asked.

“We make a relish of it. So we chop it up and we put it with the flavorings of the chickens. We sometimes add some leaves and onions.”

“You mean… you even eat the leaves?”

“Yes!” She said.

And so we sought to get the right seeds.

To grow them for the widow that had tried them before — and loved them.

Update: After growing a whole batch of this lovely purple vegetable, the children began to look towards their trusted adults to find different ways to prepare their new vegetable.  They sauteèd the cut vegetable with tomatoes and other vegetables.  Now we’ve learned that combination of late-summer vegetables – has a French name.

We were looking for a good eggplant recipe that is close to what the village is preparing – and now we’ve found one!  Try this Easy Ratatouille from Gimme Some Oven!

Learn how we are working to fight nutritional deficiencies in the village through Rainbow Gardening:

Why Do We Need Shoes? | In A Village

The mud…

is not only… dirty.

The mud, is not only inescapable and slippery —

— to those who can’t afford to pay for proper shoes.

The mud is a pathway to parasites,

…which crawl in through painful sores in the feet,

and climb the legs to lay eggs in the lungs of it’s victims.

The mud isn’t only dirty…

it’s plagued with a herpes virus —

— that causes cancer.

The mud, and an absence of proper shoes…

— is one of the reasons why there are so many orphans

— in the village.

Did you know that there are viruses in the soil, which damage children’s health?  Help us to raise awareness by sharing this post on your social media.  Sometimes barefoot isn’t an option.  Click on the link below to visit our store and make a general donation to support children’s rights – including shoes for their feet:

Click Here To Donate ‘A Pair of Shoes’ for Child Justice | Pinteresting Against Poverty
Make a donation for children’s rights – and shoes – at this link | Pinteresting Against Poverty
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Yellow Roses | In A Village

Over the years, you get used to certain views in developing nations.

For one thing, there is usually dust — or mud —

— depending on the climate.

There is usually some kind of grass, some kind of foliage — and some kind of color.

However — plants that take a bit more work — like roses —

— are a little bit less common to find.

In places where so many are hungry, the benefits of roses are forgotten amongst the thorns of a bleak reality.

That said, roses are still brilliant in their own way.

Roses are just noticeable.

When I stepped off a plane,

I noticed roses planted near the runway.

As we drove from the airport —

I noticed a few blooms near the side of the road.

When I went to pick up groceries before heading on the day long road trip,

— there was a pretty little woman in a business suit, with roses lined up in glass vases.

I couldn’t afford a dozen, but wanted to bring them out to the little children in the village.

The woman agreed to let me purchase just a few.

Graciously, she pulled out about three roses.

Thrilled, I paid a small amount for the flowers — adding them to our grocery pile.

When I mentioned that we might try to propagate them, she almost took them back.  

Instead, she quickly sliced every new shoot branching out from the roses.

She didn’t want competition.  Not even from orphans far away.

If you gave an orphan a rose —

everyone knows

— the children would be determined enough to learn how to produce the blooms rapidly in the naturally sandy soil.

The orphans would be willing to work harder and longer, and produce more of the beautiful blooms — than the shop owners who currently had control of the market.

Business owners didn’t want to have to work as hard as the orphans were willing to in order to keep their advantage.

–the easiest thing a shopowner could do to protect their income and status was to keep the flowers and seeds out of the hands of the children who wanted to go to school.

When I went back to the village, the little girls smelled the flowers and walked a little bit higher on their tippy toes.

We made rose cupcakes.  

Roses-are-RED
Rose Cupcakes | Pinteresting Against Poverty

We played “he loves me, he loves me not”.

We took pictures with the roses.

Someday, we hope to learn how to grow these beautiful blooms.  

The passionate reds, the yellow of friendship, the presence of all color in the white blooms.

We hope for a world where an orphan or a widow is allowed to grow roses in peace.

Roses are not only beautiful — they are therapeutic, edible, flavorful, fragrant, and medicinal.  

We hope to post some rose recipes and how to’s soon. 

The Sweetest Rose Cake Recipe | In A Village

 

How To Grow A Rainbow Garden | Children’s Instructions From The Village

Scissors

You may think — that it is easy to help a widow in a village.

I can tell you from experience: It isn’t.

As the widows stand in a strange doorway — encouraged by their friends to investigate a new work opportunity,

— several realize, as theirs hearts beat fast —

— that if they were — not– by my side hoping for our help —

— that they would be doing something — that they know how to do. They would not have to to conquer any of the insecurities — of a task unknown.

A lack of formal education leaves many feeling shame — and with a fear that they can’t learn. Many — understandably — fear opportunities — more than they hope — for the good of them.

But not all — are so fearful. Some are brave.

Their bravery — creates a challenge — of it’s own.

One widow, who had a better education before she was removed to the village of the destitute (as women are not allowed to own property) spoke up — encouraged by the opportunity to work with an international NGO. She had once been advised of her labor rights, and her act of bravery was putting those long-lost lessons to the test. She knew to ask foreigners harsh questions and negotiate a good deal. The only problem? That foreigner — happened to be — me.

“Now. You!” She says in a way that makes me jump. “You say that YOU want to have a rug of these cloths.”

“Yes.” It was true.

“You! say that you! will pay us to do this work. Is THAT the truth?”

“Yes.” I answered honestly. We were ordered to get a rug for our facilities, but thought perhaps we could make one out of our old clothes. Instead of buying a rug — we decided to try to hire the widows, to give them a day’s work at a man’s wage.

“And…” she pauses, “How is it that you! expect us to cut these cloths?” As she points to the teetering tower of rags and remnants.

I’m already a little bit tired of being ‘me'(!). I looked back at the teetering pile of unsalvagable laundry.

It’s important to say that knives are used — to do — just about everything in the village. A knife can be used as a fork, knives — can cut grass, protect from thieves, deliver babies, cut umbilical cords, prepare foods — they can be heated to repair the soles of shoes — and cut clothes.

I forgot to ask them — to bring their own tools today.  I admitted this, blushing.

“Well, well.” Says the widow. “You! are not prepared for us laborers!” She cackled.

“I’m sure we can find something to use.” Confidently, and a little more tired — I sent children to rush around looking for supplies.

Out of knowledge, I asked, “Now, what would you use at home?”

The widow laughed, slapped her knee — and started to dance — with her hands making cutting motions. “What do you call theese!!” Her arms cut through the air as she giggled.

I blushed. “Scissors.”

“YEs! YEs!” She cackled, and the women also blushed. “We need your little — contraptions! Those little machines!! That do like this!” She laughed and danced cutting with her fingers through the air — and some of the anxieties. If we were unprepared, it was enough that — in the humor of the moment — the other women were relaxing and also hiding their smiles.

I still blushed. It was funny.

After all — how did any civilization get so “advanced” that we needed something as complicated as scissors to cut up cloth? It did seem funny, in the village.

“So when can we start?” Asked the widow.

“Right now if you’d like.”

Children were showing up with all kinds of sharp edges, offering their possiblities. There were a few pairs of Crayola scissors included in the mix — that I was both ashamed and proud of.

“We need to have the rug — before the magistrate comes to re-inspect. They never tell us what time they are coming — so — I hope by the end of the week we can be finished.” I explained.

Still laughing, the widow cackled with a dry voice pretending to be an uppity movie star, “We need 50,000 each to be properly equipped to do your job. And we get to keep the tools. Agreed?”

In other words, they were asking for about $70 worth of scissors.

I laughed. The widow went solemn. “We are widows.” She said all of a sudden seriously.

I nodded in acknowledgement of the title.

“You have to respect our rights, and equip us as you would have yourself equipped. Otherwise we cannot work for you.”

I sighed. It was going to be a long day.

And they wanted scissors.

This is how projecting with the widows started.

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty.  

We invite you to follow along, and read with us, as we try to use projects to save a village.   We invite you to cheer for the children and widows of poverty — and their stories and successes — as if they were your favorite football team.

Donate A Pinterest Project Online Today and Support This Work: Click Here.

Click Here to read the rest of the story about the rug.

We have a goal to raise $100,000 this year to support orphans and vulnerable children in this village.  Click below to make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount today.

 

Support This Work Tanzania
Support This Work: Pinteresting Against Poverty (not affiliated to Pinterest, just fans of Pinterest and projects.)

Posts Coming soon: Planting Our Own Multi-Vitamins | Filling Nutritional Gaps in a Hungry Village

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Preparing Cabbage

I can remember stepping into a mud brick building.

They called the space — the kitchen.

There was a boiling cauldron in the room filled with smoke and coals,

— and pieces of ash flying around as if it were Armageddon.

The  cook was trying to boil enough meal to feed thousands of people.

The boat oar swirled with great effort into the big iron pot —

–which once prepared, would be sloshed into bowls where students would line up by the hundreds, before breaking down into groups of three or four, around every prepared bowl,

— to eat the gruel — with their fingers.  

The cook knew the students could not survive only on meal alone — they needed nutrition.

So they would pull cabbage from the field, and chop it up, adding it as a relish to the mix.

It seemed they didn’t have enough.  

Nobody seemed to notice.

Village schools know that children who worry about where their next meal is coming from — are not able to focus as easily on absorbing the lessons from their academic studies.

To address this, the headmaster created a plan to address the hunger of his students.  The students at different grade levels alternated one day a week each to work in the fields which produced the food that maintained them in their studies. 

The process seemed to work.  The students were better nourished than the children who did not participate in the fields, or have access to the program.

Cabbage is one of the world’s healthiest foods, and includes high levels of manganese — which fight cancer, and Vitamin B1, Vitamin K, and gives students a boost of academic energy and mental concentration .  Cabbage is also a food that is easily grown by children.

The short tender cabbage roots need only a little soil to be able to produce a decent volume of food, which means — they could even be produced on the rooftops of inner city schools with minimal efforts — and can grow in the hot tropics or even the mild winters with only a bit of environmental adjustments.  

What if every elementary school in more developed nations planned a four-hour nutritional production course and field into their curriculum?

Surely — it wouldn’t cost as much to keep them nourished, with all of the efforts and hands involved.

We hope that the next time you eat cabbage, you remember the children in the fields.

Scissors | In A Village

You may think — that it is easy to help a widow in a village.

I can tell you from experience: It isn’t.

As the widows stand in a strange doorway — encouraged by their friends to investigate a new work opportunity,

— several realize, as theirs hearts beat fast —

— that if they were — not– by my side hoping for our help —

— that they would be doing something — that they know how to do. They would not have to to conquer any of the insecurities — of a task unknown.

A lack of formal education leaves many feeling shame — and with a fear that they can’t learn. Many — understandably — fear opportunities — more than they hope — for the good of them.

But not all — are so fearful. Some are brave.

Scissors | Stories From Widows In A Village

Their bravery — creates a challenge — of it’s own.  

One widow, who had a better education before she was removed to the village of the destitute (as women are not allowed to own property) spoke up — encouraged by the opportunity to work with an international NGO. She had once been advised of her labor rights, and her act of bravery was putting those long-lost lessons to the test. She knew to ask foreigners harsh questions and negotiate a good deal. The only problem? That foreigner — happened to be — me.

“Now. You!” She says in a way that makes me jump. “You say that YOU want to have a rug of these cloths.”

“Yes.” It was true.

“You! say that you! will pay us to do this work. Is THAT the truth?”

Read About Other Projects | Pinteresting Against Poverty

“Yes.” I answered honestly. We were ordered to get a rug for our facilities, but thought perhaps we could make one out of our old clothes. Instead of buying a rug — we decided to try to hire the widows, to give them a day’s work at a man’s wage.

“And…” she pauses, “How is it that you! expect us to cut these cloths?” As she points to the teetering tower of rags and remnants.

I’m already a little bit tired of being ‘me'(!). I looked back at the teetering pile of unsalvagable laundry.

It’s important to say that knives are used — to do — just about everything in the village. A knife can be used as a fork, knives — can cut grass, protect from thieves, deliver babies, cut umbilical cords, prepare foods — they can be heated to repair the soles of shoes — and cut clothes. 

Bunk-a-Beds
Read About Our Bunk-A-Bedding Project | In A Village

I forgot to ask them — to bring their own tools today.  I admitted this, blushing.

“Well, well.” Says the widow. “You! are not prepared for us laborers!” She cackled.

“I’m sure we can find something to use.” Confidently, and a little more tired — I sent children to rush around looking for supplies.

Out of knowledge, I asked, “Now, what would you use at home?”

The widow laughed, slapped her knee — and started to dance — with her hands making cutting motions. “What do you call theese!!” Her arms cut through the air as she giggled.

I blushed. “Scissors.”

“YEs! YEs!” She cackled, and the women also blushed. “We need your little — contraptions! Those little machines!! That do like this!” She laughed and danced cutting with her fingers through the air — and some of the anxieties. If we were unprepared, it was enough that — in the humor of the moment — the other women were relaxing and also hiding their smiles.

I still blushed. It was funny.

After all — how did any civilization get so “advanced” that we needed something as complicated as scissors to cut up cloth? It did seem funny, in the village.

“So when can we start?” Asked the widow.

“Right now if you’d like.”

Children were showing up with all kinds of sharp edges, offering their possiblities. There were a few pairs of Crayola scissors included in the mix — that I was both ashamed and proud of.

“We need to have the rug — before the magistrate comes to re-inspect. They never tell us what time they are coming — so — I hope by the end of the week we can be finished.” I explained.

Still laughing, the widow cackled with a dry voice pretending to be an uppity movie star, “We need 50,000 each to be properly equipped to do your job. And we get to keep the tools. Agreed?”

In other words, they were asking for about $70 worth of scissors.

I laughed. The widow went solemn. “We are widows.” She said all of a sudden seriously.

I nodded in acknowledgement of the title.

“You have to respect our rights, and equip us as you would have yourself equipped. Otherwise we cannot work for you.”

I sighed. It was going to be a long day.

And they wanted scissors.

This is how projecting with the widows started.

Welcome to Pinteresting Against Poverty.  

(A special note to my son if he happens to see this post:  No child, I did not chop up your blanket into little pieces – I just used it for the picture.  Don’t worry.  Sending you a kiss on the cheek, and wishing you a good first day of school.)

We invite you to follow along, and read with us, as we try to use projects to save a village.   We invite you to cheer for the children and widows of poverty — and their storie and successes — as if they were your favorite football team.

Donate A Pinterest Project Online Today and Support This Work: Click Here

Click Here to read the rest of the story about the rug.

We have a goal to raise $100,000 this year to support orphans and vulnerable children in this village.  Click below to make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount today.

Click Here To Make A Donation To Our Village | Pinteresting Against Poverty

Posts Coming soon: Planting Our Own Multi-Vitamins | Filling Nutritional Gaps in a Hungry Village

Have a comment or question? Feel free to contact us below!:

Fried Bananas | In A Village

Bananas are a wonderful fruit of the sub-tropical regions.

Full of nutrients, bananas are a good option for nutritional consumption, however —

one of the beneficial aspects of a banana fruit — is that the nutritional absorption level of a banana actually changes when it is cooked.

Adding oil and deep-frying a banana, can transform about 4.5 grams of otherwise absorbable matter into a form of digestible protein.

Calorie-intake is a battle for malnourished children — who suffer to absorb sufficient numbers.

Click Here For A Fresh ‘Banana Pancakes’ Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

Something so simple as food preparation — with coal, a pan, oil, fruit, and salt or sugar — helps to make the little food they have stretch longer and nourish their bodies more deeply.  Something so simple as frying the bananas before placing them on top of pancakes helps their bodies to be nourished for more hours in the day.

They don’t necessarily need more food — they need better cooking resources.

Oil is full of calories which cause the body to digest food in general — in reference to this post — the banana — more slowly.  Oil is the key ingredient that helps to slow down the metabolism of the children’s hungry bellies — enough to really get the full benefit of the vitamins and minerals that they are consuming.  (Click here to read our new post about coconuts, which have healthier oils..)

The starch in the peel of a banana is also medicinal.  It can be boiled down into a tea which can compete with any prescription muscle-relaxer and also aids in sleep.

Bananas have a lot of volume, but not a lot of calories.  

When prepared with heat and oil, the nutrition goes a lot further.

So, the next time you see a hungry widow on the side of the road — if you really want to help her —

— give her a good ol’ frying pan, some cooking oil, coal, and a spatula.

If you wanted to be really helpful — you could give her a small bag of cinnamon spice — which helps to combat intestinal parasites that would otherwise also be unwanted competition for the absorption of the same calories.

Would you like to sponsor a morning of banana pancakes for the orphans in our village?  It costs about $25, and we’d love to make more short videos to add to this post.  Click here to donate now.

Short Video: The children in our village actually learned how to make caramel, and then made caramel-stuffed fried bananas with cinnamon and sugar.  Click here to read the post and see the recipe they used..  

Subscribe to follow along on our projecting adventures in a village:

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Support This Work: Pinteresting Against Poverty (not affiliated to Pinterest, just fans of Pinterest and projects.)

 

Chalkboards

There were so many children to teach, and so few supplies.

They needed paper, and pens.

I had remembered to bring banner of the letters of the alphabet, but it wasn’t practical to pack a year’s supply of paper —

— and ballpoint pens exploded in the pressurized cabins during the flights.

We were going to have to make due with whatever we could afford.

It occurred to me — that we probably needed a chalkboard.

Chalk was able to make marks on the concrete, and we could also draw into the dirt… but I was so relieved when someone passed by,

and told me that they had found real chalkboard paint in the village.

We used the back of a shelf — to be our first chalkboard.

After several years of the regular black paint, we discovered a ‘recipe’ to make homemade chalkboard paint of any rainbow color we could achieve through food dye.

Now we can paint a chalkboard — almost anywhere.

Click Here to Read Our First Attempt at Chalkboard Paint

Subscribe!  Each blog post is designed to teach you something new about the battle for international human rights — in each thirty second post.

A Cookie

One of the first things that I noticed about children in poverty-stricken villages…

— despite the hunger which was so evident in most of them,

Click Here For A Great Recipe For Peanut Butter Cookies | Gimme Some Oven

Was how fun… how delightful, it is…

to feed them.

The children always want to know what you are eating — and to look at the brightly colored wrappers of  your supply of protein bars you knew would run out soon enough.  

Notably, something that they really like – is something that they don’t have often.

Sugar.

A family member had bought a cookie decorating kit, which I somehow managed to bring all the way across the world, due to the fact that it had all dry ingredients – no liquids.

I woke early one morning, and headed to the living room, just as the sun was rising. I took full advantage of the few moments of holy silence, while the children were still sleeping and made my way around the table and desk, setting out the ingredients for the kids to decorate cookies as they awoke.

The first little girl woke up. An eight –year-old. She heard me moving around quietly and her sleepy, tousled head silently found my stomach and she wrapped her arms around me.

“Can I show you something?” I asked, taking her by the hand.

I showed her the bright yellow icing, and the sprinkles, and the rainbow-colored sprinkles.

Click Here To Learn How To Make Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies | Gimme Some Oven

 

“What is it, Aunty?” She asked, looking at the stack of packaged butter cookies, in the shape of butterflies and flowers.

“It’s an art project.” I whispered.

She sat down and I showed her how to ice a cookie.

She thought it was paint. She took to the decoration of her piece — thoughtfully — in her little pink nightgown.

 

Learn How to Make Tropical Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies | Gimme Some Oven

The next little boy wandered in. He was only six-years-old. He had been living on the street with his brothers until just about six months before. Now he was in kindergarten. He took his new school responsibilities very seriously and always wore a solemn, worried expression.  He knew that school  and church — were the factors which made his life comfortable, and separated him from the way that he lived on the street.

 

I sat him down, and put in front of him a cookie.

I watched him begin to decorate it.

More children filed in, but graciously and quietly it happened almost one-by-one.

And so it was each in a quiet moment that I was able to show them their task.

They loved the sprinkles. They loved the bright color of the icing.

But none of them – knew – what a cookie was.

“Don’t eat it.” I had told them. And they had listened.

As Made By The Children Of The Village | Click Here For Their Favorite 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I suppose Crayola markers and tempera paints, and glue also appear edible — to someone who doesn’t know what they are.  

The kids had gotten used to this command not to eat the educational supplies they created with.

Finally – near the end of their quiet decorating, one of the girls – a very bright child – asked – “What is this, Aunty?”

I grinned.

“Everybody,” I announced. “Stick your finger in this… just a little bit.”

We passed around the icing bowl – and everyone placed a bit of the “yellow paint” on their fingers.

“Now,” I smiled… “Taste it.”

As they all began licking their fingers and their eyes went joyful and wide.

“What is THAT, Aunty!?”  One child demanded.

“It’s a cookie.”

I took the children out to the porch and they had their beautiful treats carefully on trays, and we took some of the best pictures.

The kids began to nibble on their treats, but not one child ate the whole thing. For nearly a week, I watched them sneak into the kitchen and take out their cookie and have just a few more bites.

They knew of scones, they had heard of cakes, they were learning — how cooking on a stove was different than cooking over am open fire.

– but until that day… they didn’t know cookies. And icing.

They loved these things called “cookies” and wanted them to last forever.

We’ve been baking cookies ever since.

We’ve tried many different cookie recipes, with many different ingredients we can access in the village.  Hopefully we can post more about those — including ingredient substitutions for commonly missing supplies, soon.

Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions

“Is it big enough?”

You know despite the many languages the children speak…

— this is the question running through their mind every time their little knees bend to weed around the new vegetable.  

The new “it” is a green pepper plant this time.  Newly planted.

It’s a fruit they have never tasted before.  

Click Here for a printable Easy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

“Does it need more water?”  Worries a little one, looking at the white flowers and angular green leaves.

“No.”  It might actually be smaller due to all of the love it’s gotten.  The plants are a bit hardier than they think, and are more suitable to desert climates, or dry seasons.

“I know I am really going to like this.”  Says the widow, watching over the plant one afternoon.

There had to be at least twenty people standing around the pan on the day we picked this pepper.

All had to be fed.  Myself included.  

The vegetables were flavored with a new vitamin-packed fiber treat.

They were not aware of how big the vegetable would grow, and needed guidance, one dared to pick one of the small fruits to add to our dinner pot a bit early.

The children were very happy with the flavorful introduction of green peppers to their diet, and can’t wait to pick them.

They are beginning to learn, is that a green pepper, is not only green.  The fruits will go through a delightful color change as they are allowed to age.

There are brilliant reds, and oranges, and yellows —

The children planted their first pepper seed gently in an eggshell, to test the soil and conditions. Later, when the plant was stronger, they transplanted it outside.

as soon as they are not so hungry to have to pick them green.  Then they can enjoy meals such as this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.  

Peppers contain a lot of nutrition that the villagers lack, such as potassium, and vitamin A, vitamin B, niacin, and dietary fiber.  Peppers can grow decently in dry or drought environments.  In the village, we poured our tomato and pepper sauce over rice and corn meal, but the children have a special love for all things ‘noodle’, and every once in a while we splurge for a bag of pasta – especially on holidays – and sometimes for art projects and decorations.

We are always in need of more vegetables for the village.  If you would like to contribute towards a Pinterest project such as this, please make a donation at this link, today:  Click Here.

The children are busy planting their second garden of the year this week, but hopefully we’ll have more pepper videos and recipes to come, soon.

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