Sunday 31 July . Finally a rest day. I (Rifka) tried to sleep in but the sunrise was too beautiful and the rooster was crowing . David made coffee and lots of fried potatoes for breakfast. We also had scrambled eggs, chapatis and fresh papaya.
Yesterday, David experimented making a solar oven of a cardboard box and aluminum foil. We painted a pot black and sealed it in a plastic bag. Temps can reach 200F. We cooked a little bit of chard in about 2 hours (see www.solarcookers.org)
Justine (our lab tech who lives here with her two children) made 2 cakes today. One she cooked on her charcoal burner, the other we tried to bake in the solar oven.Unfortunately we waited till the afternoon and the sun went away so the solar oven didn’t work. The first cake came out great, just a little bit of burned crust on the top.
The village basket weavers came and showed us how to make baskets. It is a many step process, but we tried to roll the sisal (a little like maguey or century plant) fibers into string and then weave them together. It is amazing to watch how fast they can do it.
Rifka brought little bottles of nail polish that she gave to the ladies in the basket coop. It was a big hit and they all put the nail polish on right away. You’ve got to see the pictures of David painting Chairlady Mbette’s fingernails!
The basket co-op displayed of over 100 baskets for sale and it was very hard to choose, because there were so many colors and different styles. I did my best to support the economy. The basket co-op has existed for years and currently has more than 600 members. Baskets are priced by size a medium-sized one costs around $10 and takes 2-4 wks to make. Tomorrow, the co-op will sell 300 baskets to a crafts wholesaler in Machakos.