Monday, November 17, 2008

Bee Kind

Such was the theme of a vacation Bible school at a church in Virginia this past summer. Those kids (and their parents) donated funds to bee used in an Ik bee-keeping project. This was the first somewhat major community development project (besides healthcare among the Dodoth) we’ve undertaken, so we were very cautious in handling the money. I wanted to hand the cash to the carpenters myself and load the constructed bee-hives directly onto a truck to take them to Kamion (in Ik-land). No middle men. No muddling up. Our caution paid off, it seems, and last weekend we loaded twenty solid, wooden bee-hives and trucked them to Kamion. The cheapest transport for hire was more money than we wanted to spend, so in the end we used our personal vehicle. It was very satisfying to offload the hives and assuage the worries of the Ik. They have been the butt of many development schemes rife with deceit and corruption, and as such have adopted a more or less ‘believe it when I see it’ attitude. The poor condition of roads and the insecurity of the area make successful development projects all the rarer. After two weeks of waiting with no word of the bee-hives’ progress, the Ik of Kamion finally saw their hopes fulfilled. On behalf of the Ik, we extend a BIG thank you to the church in Virginia for their real-life, concrete attempts to bee kind. We also invite any of you to buy more bee-hives for the Ik of Kamion and other areas. A good, wooden hive is going for about $25.

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