Sebastian negotiated with the Village Council at Makuyuni to establish a plot of mpingo trees near their village. Seven acres were allocated for the tree plot and a salary was established to pay the villagers and farmers who wanted to work on the plot. Funding for this entire project, which would come to encompass 17,000 mpingo seedlings, was entirely provided by donations from the Good Gifts Catalogue. This funding provided a source of income that allowed families to pay school fees and buy school uniforms and gear for their children, put new roofs on their houses and outbuildings and provide for other necessities that are hard to come by in the cash-strapped economy of Tanzania. Makuyuni is about 20 miles (32 km.) from Moshi, on the east side of Mount Kilimanjaro, less than 2 miles (3.2 km.) from the border with Kenya. These workers are beginning the hard job of hand clearing the plot. Acacia mellifera, a thorn bush called the "wait-a-bit" bush, because of its hook-like thorns which grab at clothing and skin (and thereby force passers-by to "wait-a-bit" until they can untangle themselves), grow from 2-3 m. in height and are the primary ground cover. This plot is very level, at an ideal altitude (about one-half mile or 800 m.) and climate for mpingo. 6 Dec. 2007.
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