I have Civet farmers and exporters ready to move forward with this project. What we need now is participation from the West to take it to the next level.
We live in a tiny lush apothecary’s garden in a vast galaxy that provides us all our food, fragrance and medicine. Let’s all take care of it. Believe me, Ethiopia is not as distant as we like to think. Let’s pay the farmers more for their product, not less as we have till now, not because they’re asking but because it’s the way it should be. Let’s give this rarest of Nature’s products the value and esteem that it deserves, and give the farmers the rewards and return they should see for their efforts regardless of what country they live in, or how poor their economy is.
Likely the most important and unexpected result of this “tour”, was the wealth of information that was shared with us by the Samburu on the medicinal and cultural functions of many of the local trees, plants and animals. The Samburu have a well-developed medicinal, spiritual/mystical and astrological tradition. They have a strong connection to the planet Venus and their creation myth tells of their origin on Venus before migrating to earth. This is reflected in the Ankh/Venus type adornment worn on the forehead of many Samburu women.
Though I hate to open on a negative note. I’m going to anyway :-). I’m still shaken up by the small fire in my lab the other day. Small being a relative term. It is a small space and could have been much worse given all the high-proof alcohol tinctures and essential oils crowded in […]
Professor Dagne has a good stock of Frankincense essential oils at the moment, which isn’t always the case, and I am buying a nice selection from him while i am here. The purchase will help support his work with local flora, and selling them to my customers and peers supports my projects with the resin harvesters and Civet farmers in Africa
Our planet is a very small garden in a big universe, it belongs to all of us. We are all affected by every tree that is felled for charcoal or agriculture, every animal that suffers or loses its habitat, every green-space is our responsibility. Poverty, disease and strife anywhere in our world is our business. All of us. Space, borders and ownership, all distinctions, are all illusions. It is one living dynamic organism of which we are all intrinsically a receiving and contributing part, we are woven in to the fabric of this planet wherever we are. We can’t afford to look the other way.
I want to thank everyone for their generous donations to my work with indigenous harvesters and efforts to establish fair and sustainable trade of resins and other fragrant/medicinal materials. I could not have met and worked with Civet farmers, Somali resin co-op managers or the resin harvesting women of the Samburu tribe without your financial support. This influx was unexpected and heartwarming. Much more than money, I was bolstered by the appreciation and warm moral support for these ventures. It makes me feel like change is possible in our world. That we can all work together to make this a better place for everyone, plants, animals and people. It felt like a net of love that somehow appeared under a crazy idea and a leap of faith. My deepest and most sincere gratitude to you all!
Well. Looks like I’m moving and leaving Canada.
I say looks like I’m moving because at this point I don’t know exactly how I’m going to get there. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, one packed box on top of the other, filling one garbage bag at a time, and tackling logistics one issue at a time. I figure if I keep going I will find myself at the other end, and it will be good.
I have just been invited to Northern Kenya to work with the women of the semi-nomadic Pastoralist Samburu tribe with their wildcrafting business and help set up a fair trade platform that will make their lives a little easier, especially through the unpredictable droughts. As it is in many Patriarchal societies, life as a woman is no easy thing. Doing this work has been a dream of mine.