How to get a free drink in the village

<p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RDjg0Y6VRpw/TfjDNxTvs8I/AAAAAAAAAGU/OiXnIiE54SU/s1600/Meeting+before+building.JPG"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RDjg0Y6VRpw/TfjDNxTvs8I/AAAAAAAAAGU/OiXnIiE54SU/s400/Meeting+before+building.JPG" style="height:300px; width:400px" /></a></p>

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<p>Today we set off to the village of Lalanayo on the border of the park.&nbsp; Our goal was to meet with the community members to discuss replacing their open wood cooking fires with fuel efficient rocket stoves.&nbsp; What we got in return was a secretly whispered offer for a drink of local beer.&nbsp;This generous offer was proposed by Mama Eliza, the new owner of a freshly built rocket stove.&nbsp; She had proudly offered to be our &ldquo;guinea pig&rdquo; to demonstrate to the community the benefits of having a rocket stove.</p>

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<p>The aim of the new stoves is to reduce the amount of firewood needed for cooking (this obviously includes the cooking of food AND beer), and therefore reduces the trips needed to collect the firewood from the bush.&nbsp; Eliza currently spends 1 hour every day collecting a bundle of firewood and uses approximately two small trees for each bundle.&nbsp; Through the stoves we hope to decrease the rate of deforestation along the park boundary, but also to reduce the number of illnesses exacerbated by the daily smoke inhalation and the occurrence of burn accidents suffered by children.&nbsp;</p>

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<p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e7Eeeao_KUw/TfjDrOhnA3I/AAAAAAAAAGY/-KJYQ6z-8u0/s1600/mixing+ash+into+the+mud+for+better+insulation.JPG"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e7Eeeao_KUw/TfjDrOhnA3I/AAAAAAAAAGY/-KJYQ6z-8u0/s400/mixing+ash+into+the+mud+for+better+insulation.JPG" style="height:300px; width:400px" /></a></p>

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<p>We had a very productive meeting and an equally enthusiastic team helping to collect the mud and cow dung to build the stoves.&nbsp; As I sat there with my hands covered in cow dung I was amazed at how many people were willing to join me!&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

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<p>After posing with her new stove (despite the fact that it needs a couple days to dry first, she insisted the photo would be enhanced through the use of props) Mama Eliza pulled me aside to make her grand gesture.&nbsp; A cup of local beer in exchange for 1 rocket stove?&nbsp; I think I may have come out on top with this one.&nbsp;</p>

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<p>So to sum up our day in Lalanayo:</p>

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<p>Time spent building the stove: 45 minutes</p>

<p>Cost of building a rocket stove: US$1</p>

<p>A drink of homemade local beer: PRICELESS</p>

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