Echoes from our network
Isabel Carter, Footsteps Editor, United Kingdom. "At ECHO's first conference, I shared a vision about the year 2000 being a year of Jubilee when the backlog of Third World debt should be cancelled as a one-off celebration of the millennium. It was following the response from the audience that I was encouraged enough to pursue this vision. A billion people in the Third World are trapped under a mountain of debt they can never pay back. Individuals can declare bankruptcy-countries cannot. Africa now spends four times more paying interest on its debts than on health care. Over half a million children die each year because of cutbacks in their health services. The poor are bearing the burden of debts incurred by previous governments or corrupt dictators. For a billion people, development is being thrown into reverse.
"Much has happened since the ECHO conference. A group of dedicated people have been meeting and planning for over a year. Countless letters, applications, and contacts have been made. In April 1996, the Jubilee 2000 office opened in Christian Aid HQ London. We now have charity status and an enthusiastic Administrator and Coordinator in place! We are encouraging 'sister' groups to establish around the world. Jubilee 2000 is an idea whose time has come, a practical solution to a problem that has been afflicting hundreds of millions of people for over fifteen years. It will only succeed with massive public support. Please join us!" For more information write Jubilee 2000, P.O. Box 100, London SE1 7RT, UK; phone +44 0171 620 4444; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don and Nancy Richards with YWAM in Labria, Amazonas, Brazil, reported seeing very, very small fire ants which "guard" trees from leaf-cutter ants, according to farmers in the area. The fire ant nests look like thick tree bark and hang on the tree trunks. Someone collected a nest and secured it to one tree, then attached vines from that tree to neighboring fruit trees. The 15 trees connected by vines had no leaf-cutter ant damage. Some neighboring trees (not connected by vines) were completely stripped by leaf-cutter ants. This is very interesting, but we have written everything we know. Has anyone else heard of this?
Bill Lewis from Ethiopia recently visited ECHO and gave a good report on buckwheat seeds he obtained from our seedbank. When his family left Ethiopia, they left some plants nearly ready for harvest, and they were eager to see how the plant was used in their absence. He returned to Africa and sent this update: "We only had a few months to try it at about 5000 feet. We left our seed with church members when we went on furlough. We found that they love it. By adding a little wheat flour or oil they say it is as good as anything they have. I have some church property now with water available, so I will grow buckwheat continuously until the next rainy season for seed. We are really excited about the possibilities! The buckwheat here matures in 9-10 weeks and is prolific. The bees really love it. We will also be trying other things-even some of your chaya!" ECHO has buckwheat seed if you would like to try it in the highlands.
Martin Price offers this family recipe for buckwheat pancakes. Growing up in Ohio, we had buckwheat pancakes almost every morning from the time the weather cooled down in the fall until it became warm again in the spring. The reason it required cool weather is that we fermented the buckwheat on the cool porch or in the sparsely heated kitchen. To start, we mixed buckwheat 50:50 with wheat flour, then added some yeast and enough water to make a thick paste. By the next morning it had expanded to 2-3 times its original size. We then added enough water for a nice consistency for pouring pancakes. We never liked it the first morning, but ate it anyway. That night we added more of the buckwheat/wheat flour mix (but no more yeast) and the process was repeated. After the third day, the pancakes were absolutely delicious and gave a wonderful aroma when cooking. Buckwheat pancakes from a mix (not fermented) do not compare to how good the sourdough approach can be. It is like a totally different food, and it is very filling. Return to Index.
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