Yes ...!

Newsletter februari 2014
Tuma Viela

I wake up in the night from the wind that suddenly starts blowing…We are all waiting for the storm to come down on hot, dry and dusty Ghana. Storm means a change in weather and also announces the first rain, which will finally make an end to the dust. However, tonight it is just going to be a heavy storm. Because it has been really dry these past few months, it will be a real sandstorm.

In order for me to close his door, I drag Faruk and his mat to the back of his cabin. Because of the heat, he has been sleeping in the door opening of his room. He doesn’t wake up…I decide to check on Lizzy in the other cabin, but she is also sleeping soundly and has no clue as to what is happening around her… The gate of the compound slams against the ground, zincen buckets are rolling everywhere. Bend over, with my eyes closed against the dust, I desperately try to save some of the laundry… I enter my cabin and try to close the door as best as I can, but because of the draught and the ever hungry termites, the door has come loose of its clay hinges and as a result I pull the door with me into the room…For a while, I try to get the door back into its position and feel the sand getting through the large cracks. I wipe the sand from my bed and say a quick prayer, hoping that our grass roofs will survive the night, finally I fall back into sleep.

The next morning the landscape has changed…The yellow, dry grass surrounding our compound suddenly appears to bloom. Shocked I realize what I see before me: during the night the kapok tree has shed much of her fluff, resulting into small dots adorning the spikey grasses. Initially the beauty of this completely eludes me and in a panic I start to collect the white fluff into my bucket. Aghast I look around, but then I start to smile and realize that we just cannot control everything. Especially, the things Mother Nature sends us. The only good news about this white kapok is that we now know that it is ripe for picking, something we should put to our advantage!

You might think that this cannot be a Tuma-Viela newsletter…How is kapok related to plastic bags? Why an introduction on Mother Nature, which has got nothing to do with the anti-litter campaign that we have started? You may remember that our foundation ‘Adwuma Ye’ supports a second project, which is closely related to Tuma Viela. This is the New-Cooking Project… And yes, we are really excited about this…We eat and sleep this project but besides this we still gave our attention to the thousands of children who visited us this year. Their bags full of plastic litter, which we in turn turned into schoolbag and raincoats.

Are you interested in T-Z? Would you like to read about the Ghanaian eating habits? Would you like to know what the 7 advantages of the New Cooking Bag are? And would you like to see pictures of our new workplace? This you can all see on our new website:

Ferdinand van der Gun, who is closely involved with ‘Adwuma Ye’, has put a lot of effort into our website and has turned it into something beautiful. I am very grateful to him!

So, from now on, you can expect two newsletter from Ghana…
Firstly, one about Tuma-Viela, a project for children and the environment;
Secondly, the New-Cooking Project, a project for women and the environment.
Both are very close to my heart!

     The next morning I immediately phone the kapokfarmer, the man who will deliver to us hundreds of bags full of kapok. Just like yesterday, I immediately tell him, “It has started!” He doesn’t even ask me what, but smiles and says:

“I have also started…!”