FFA GO: Africa – July 25, 2011

Potato Farmer Initial Meeting

By Team B (Tom, Elisabeth and Ashley)

We ventured a full 3 hours outside of Kigali to the northwest corner of Rwanda today, near the town of Goma. This is right near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lake Kivu. The purpose of our field visits today was to visit with potatoes producers in the province and help identify possible solutions to their common problems. Producers in the area work in groups of 20-30 individuals who use a practice called “positive selection” to selectively breed for desired characteristics in potatoes. As part of these plots, Non-Governmental Organizations also provide training in identifying potato diseases like bacterial blight and viral infections.

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FFA GO: Africa – July 24, 2011

Safari

By Teams A and B

This morning the sun shined as bright as our willingness to learn and explore at Akagera National Park in the eastern city of Kibungu.  The park is over 2500 sq. km. of savannah, showcasing an environment and ecosystem much different from the US.   With a variety of swamp land and characteristic hills (Rwanda is the land of 1,000 hills), the landscape was ever-changing with a variety of animal species.  Seeing zebras in their natural habitat was the highlight of the safari.  Other animals such as cape buffalo, antelope, boars, hippopotamus, and a variety of birds were seen also.  The awareness of biodiversity allowed us to take traditional views of African safari from media like the “Lion King” or “Madagascar” to a first-hand level. 

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FFA GO: Africa – July 23, 2011

Travel to Akagera Park

By Teams A and B

Nonohoyah (no-NoHH-O-Yeah!)

What is Nonohoyah? Why, it is a carefully crafted combination of the different ways to say ‘no’ in Rwanda. There is ‘no,’ which I am sure all of you know what language that is in, but in case you didn’t it’s English. Then there is the French version of no, ‘noh.’ And lastly the Kinyarwanda way to say no, oyah. If you inhale quickly and exhale while putting a Hawaiian twist to the punctuation as you slowly pronounce the word, you get our GO: Africa phrase of the day.

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FFA GO: Africa – July 22, 2011

Coffee Washing Stations Visit

By Teams A and B

Friday, our teams were very fortunate to be visiting coffee washing stations and processing plants together. I speak for both teams in saying that we will definitely be thinking of the extensive process needed for coffee the next time we order a cup of Jo. Coffee beans are located inside a grape sized fruit (called cherries).

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