Farm Life in Chencha

People often shutter when we mention our living conditions in Chencha, Ethiopia: no running water, a pit latrine for a bathroom, electricity that's not always reliable, internet if we’re lucky, and a lack of most modern conveniences. We had all of these things in the capital city of Addis Ababa while we were stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire for three months, but we’ve gladly given them up for farm life in Chencha, with its fresh, clean air, plenty of productive work to do when we want to, and plenty of room to play when we don’t want to work.


Baby Girl’s face says it all:


Big Smile
We love our little farm life!

Here are some pictures from around the farm, as I’d rather show you than tell you what we’ve been up to. You’ll see that a lot is going on, like setting up the house, construction, gardening, raising the new flock of chicks for the hatchery, and just enjoying the life that God has blessed us with.


Our Humble Abode

Welcome to our cozy, little house on the farm in Chencha. Come on in and sit a spell.

The current kitchen. Soon to become the kids' room.

Kids room/dining room/living room. We are ready for the new kitchen to be finished so that this room can be a little less multi-purpose.

The Construction Crew

Here we are, me and my big helper, getting started on our new kitchen.

You’ll notice our construction materials are basic to say the least. They are small trees, which were cut and hauled by yours truly.

Here it is waiting for tin on the roof and concrete on the floor. Then cover the walls with tin or bamboo and we’ll be ready to start cooking.

All work and no play make Dawit a dull boy. Here’s a little tent we made during some of our “off” time.

A Little Gardening

Dawit is showing off his own little garden, which was the first one we planted. It’s hard to see, but he’s pointing to the freshly sprouted lettuce. Now he has a thriving little garden full of small lettuce plants, spinach, peas, swiss chard, and, of course, weeds.

Jess calls this one our “7 garden”, because the paths resemble the roman numeral VII. Dawit and I think it looks like “Yii”, but we’re not arguing with momma. Anyway, it boasts a small apple tree in the upper corner and is sown with a cover crop of fava beans to enrich the soil before we plant our veggies.

A Much Anticipated Flock

Here is a look at the new parent stock for the hatchery. This picture was taken when the chicks were about 6 days old. We are looking forward to when they are 6 months old because that’s when they’ll start laying eggs that we can hatch. Everywhere I go, whether visiting neighbors, buying a few things in town, or even traveling an hour away to the nearest city, I am asked when we’ll have chicks to sell. People are eager to start their own small flocks for extra income.

Here are the chicks with all their amenities. Of course, they receive lots of water and feed, but we also have to keep them warm during the chilly Chencha rainy season. The big, upside down dishes are actually our homemade brooders, or chick warmers. These brooders keep the room a comfortable temperature, but if a chick is feeling a little chilly, all she has to do is get under a dish and take a little nap to warm up.

Thanks for letting us show you around!

For more about life on the farm, check out Jonathan's previous articles:


On the Farm Update #1: Welcome to the Farm


On the Farm Update #2: Apples

On the Farm Update #3: Chickens