Written by: Gordon Clark, H4H Horticultural Consultant

Are you feeling overwhelmed with all that’s going on throughout the world? I am and its not the first time. Years ago I escorted a team of 5 doctors to Kenya to do a medical clinic at an orphanage; kind of an outreach to the local community. The doctors saw many patients in the first two days and distributed lots of medicine. After 2 days, we were approached by a no nonsense-take-charge nun. She persuaded us to take the clinic into a very rural area. In this small town there was an enormous stone church. Totally out of place in a community of tin shacks. By then we were down to 3 doctors and a few of us support staff. When we got there only a few people were milling around waiting for us as we set up the clinic in the front of the sanctuary. A steady stream of folks came in from outside to be treated. About the middle of the day a thunderstorm rumbled in and the nun-who-must-be obeyed told us the remaining patients would come into the sanctuary to get out of the rain. Not paying much attention to the folks coming in quietly, we looked up and the sanctuary was packed with about 400 people. The doctors had to treat all these folks in the next day and a half. Yes, we were overwhelmed but at the end of the next day, everyone was seen.

Now we are getting overwhelmed on a global scale. Within the last week, the UN World Food Program has predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic may become a famine of Biblical proportions. Ouch. So what do we do? Give up? My advice is don’t look at the BIG picture as it will cause you to do nothing. 

The PHF team in Haiti has experienced political upheaval, devastating earthquake and monster hurricanes yet they still persist. This week they are interplanting watermelons in the peanut crop. Timing is the key! As the peanuts (which are interplanted around the mangos) are close to maturity, the watermelon will get a good head start and use the nitrogen fertilizer the peanuts will provide. Pretty clever, eh? The team knows that you can’t waste time or resources. Big picture overwhelming? Zero in on something you can do. If we all do this together we will survive.

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