Resourceful

A resourceful person will see an opportunity when others only see an obstacle.

- Garrett Gunderson

Most children do not have toys, but a few are made from scraps they find in garbage piles. 

Even in the bush and most rural areas, African children love to play soccer (the national sport).  They can’t afford standard soccer balls, but in the drier sub-Saharan regions, they (and adults) rummage through garbage piles in the cities and make them from discarded trash bags.  In tropical southern Uganda, where banana trees grow, Africans make much nicer soccer balls by compacting dried banana leaves.

Motorcycles—or “boda bodas”—are used to transport everything from king size bed frames, sofas, cases of water or soda, live animals, stacks of mattresses, 100 pound bags of commodities to even whole families! Since most Africans own no means of transportation (even bicycles are not commonly owned), Africans with a little money pay a small amount to boda drivers to transport them.

Africans who are fortunate enough to own a bike—generally built like those in the early 1900s—also use them as taxis to transport many things, such as filled jerry cans of water from creeks, springs, or boreholes (wells); live chickens, goats, or pigs (to and from market); other people; and 50 to100 pound bags of charcoal or produce such as cassava.  The filled jerry cans (similar to our five – pound gas cans) weigh as much as 44 pounds.  If they don’t have a bike, the women generally carry the water and produce on their head.

This simple school building in the bush is being built by tying branches together.  Africans wet the soil, making a large pit area where they cure it into a clay-like mud  by stomping in it with their feet.  When it is the right consistency, the blobs of mud are passed down a chain of people who fill all the empty spaces.  African Promise Expedition assisted in mudding this school.

Termite hills are generally very large

Swarming termites before they shed their wings

Outside of the cities, Africans must live off the land.  Even many people in cities return to their village land where they grow their own food.  Often people only have enough food and/or money to eat one meal a day.  Termite mounds–often six feet high–are abundant.  During certain times of the year, Africans are able to “harvest” the termites.  They clean them well and either boil them or fry them.  Fried termites taste like bacon—yummy!  Children that are really hungry can be seen licking the ground to eat them during termite swarms.

(Note: Certain ground termites, even in the United States, often swarm when the weather is warm after a heavy rain.  They lose their giant wings and fall to the ground to reproduce and build more colonies or termite mounds.  The Africans harvest them by shining a flashlight on them.  Because the termites have soft shells, the light dehydrates them and they die.  The Africans collect them, wash them and eat them either raw or boil or fry them.)