Posted by: cgross1 | February 12, 2012

Shea Production Season

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted – largely due to the fact that things have been so busy here! It’s production season, and has been since the beginning of November. So far my women have produced 40 tons of shea butter, and we have another 20 tons of shea nuts waiting to be made! All in all, a very productive time for my women!

I have been working with the president of the association to make some changes to the way shea butter is produced. Recently, with the help of funding from the United States African Development Foundation, we were able to purchase multiple machines that run an electric generator. This is a big step up from the machines we have now that run on manpower or a gas generator. We were able to procure filters, roasters, grinding machines, and even a machine that will mix/beat the shea butter so that the women don’t have to exhaust themselves doing it by hand. The women were very excited to see these new machines – they have yet to be used, but hopefully they will be hooked up and fully in use for the next production season.

Soap production continues – finding a packaging option that looks good enough for export has been a challenge, but I am sure that in the following year we will be able to come up with something that can be shipped to Europe, and eventually the US.

Projects planned with my women for the following three months (before they head out into the fields to cultivate) include a world map project (painting a huge world map on a wall at the association for education purposes), malaria awareness campaigns, hand washing stations (and other hygienic initiatives), and nutrition awareness campaigns. It’s hard to believe that I have only nine months remaining to fit in all of these projects before I head home!

Please check out the shea butter gallery for more/updated pics of my women working with shea butter.

Until next time,




  1. Wow galfriend, this is so incredible. What a humbling experience.
    Wait…what do you mean you’re coming back? So soon? Didn’t you just leave? 🙂

    • I know – it seems like I just left! It’s been great so far working with my women – I can’t believe that they’ll be leaving the association to go work in the fields in three months – and I won’t see them again before I leave! Except if there is a special occasion or something – but work doesn’t start up again until the end of November, unless “cold season” starts early. So I have to get everything done now!

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