We met, later in the morning, with some farmers who told us of their struggle to protect their farms and livelihoods from the threat of mining.
Like the group we met earlier in the week they speak of limited success insofar as five municipalities have been declared mining and hydroelectric free. This has to be renewed however and there is always fear surrounding change of political power and/or corruption. They are anxious that there be international awareness of and support for their concerns.
From there we made our final visit and stop on this trip. We went to a farming community comprised of women who have learned new skills and joined forces to farm together.
One of the women spoke to us about nutrition and weight control (pulled my stomach in as best I could!!) and especially in children. Through Trocaire’s help she has received training in this area and monitors the children’s weight, offering advice when required.
as clearly did one of my travelling companions!
A number of women spoke about how much this work means to them and how thankful they are to God for the harvest. As was the case in most of our meetings children were present. They brought a lovely touch of innocence and, maybe hope, to what were difficult scenes. Children can focus our minds on the future but also on the need to mind them now.
Chances are that, with water, are the common denominator in many of the stories we were privileged to hear over the past six days.
In a picture which, like all pictures,tells a thousand words, I’ll leave the final word to the children: