Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I haven’t written in a while (a reoccurring theme in this blog), but I have a reason for this. It is hard to write about things you’ve done when it doesn’t seem as if you done a lot. In a village the size of mine, farming dominates everything else and doing any sort of development work is really tough to do once the rains come. I’ve distributed new varieties of seed to some of the farmers to try out in small test plots, but that is about it as far as Peace Corps related work goes.
That being said I’ve spent a lot of time in the fields. Either plowing, weeding or planting begins as soon as breakfast is finished and is an all day affair. If one were to walk though village during midday they would be lucky to see an old woman. I now live in a place that is a ghost town from 8:00am to 7:00pm. Added onto this Ramadan just started, which means fasting for a good portion of the village while the sun is out. Everyone grows millet, sorghum, fonio and peanuts; a few people grow cotton and rice. Most people are initially shocked when tell them that I farm. “Eh!! I be se ka senneke! Eh!” (You can farm!). There is a general perception that white people are incapable of doing manual labor. I’m not sure if this is as strong as the perception that all white people have money, but it is certainly less true.
Life is good, Mali is pretty and I always have a place around the food bowl.