In mid-June, Mwenda Ball left Canada for a “walk” in the forest... in Mwinilunga, Zambia. Mwenda is the daughter of Dan Ball, the founder of the Beekeeping project where African Bronze Honey comes from. She's there learning everything there is to know about Beekeeping in Africa before coming back to work with our Schools Program starting in August.
When Mwenda was packing to get on the plane, we tasked her with a single question... “Describe the beekeeping project in Zambia for us in a word.” Her answer was “Exhausting!” Then she explained a little more...
“I’ve had quite the experience in the bush. I stayed with a field worker named Likando, we travelled everywhere by motorbike buying and weighing honey. We stayed overnight in a village and met many, many, many people. I played with the children and fell in love with them.
Everything takes time and patience plus the ability to repeat things over and over. Everyone wants something from you, whether it's money, a job or just time to talk. Shoppers (in Canada) really have no idea just how much work is involved in getting this honey to their tables! This just isn't a ‘regular’ business. Working with villagers who all speak different languages and have culture differences all adds obstacles that you must overcome... and it all takes a toll on you. So that would have to be my word about Beekeeping... Exhausting!”
Thanks Mwenda! That's after her first couple of days too... She'll be back in Lusaka in the next day or so and will be able to send another update and pictures.
P.S. No wonder it's exhausting. She took a 27 hour - 7,641 kilometre trip the day before heading straight into the bush to live with a beekeeping family while weighing and buying honey for the Project.
Stay tuned for More Mwenda.