Ethiopian Farmer Still Has Green Thumb

Ethiopia farmer

Teklu Hadgu shows CRS staff how he continues to use irrigation to improve his life. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS

Today I returned to a water project I last visited 18 months ago. This is an incredible place, where the villagers have worked with CRS to tap a natural spring. The spring is large enough that it provides water year-round to two faucets, one to an animal trough and the other to fields further downhill.

Here is one of Ethiopia’s oases: a slash of verdant vegetation cutting a wide path down the rocky slope. And here is where Teklu Hadgu—the 69-year-old father of eight I wrote about in the fall of 2008and who is featured in this year’s Operation Rice Bowl—works the magic of his green thumb.

Teklu still has as much energy as he did a year and a half ago, and it shows in his garden. While other plots lie fallow as villagers wait for the frost period to end, Teklu’s plot already has big heads of cabbage sprouting up, an orange tree bearing fruit, and small patches of tomato, cabbage and other vegetable seedlings waiting to be transferred to larger areas in coming weeks.

It was so good to hear that Teklu and his family continue to do well, regularly selling their extra crops to cover their household needs. We heard that the other villagers are doing well too, even as the extended drought continues. While my time with Mark Ojok in Uganda still fills me with awe each time I remember him, I’m just as amazed by Teklu’s efforts and zest for good living.

– Reported by Debbie DeVoe, CRS’ regional information officer for eastern and southern Africa

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