Tuesday, March 25, 2008

work has commenced

success! the work has commenced. things are totally not as i planned or pictures but it will work out nonetheless and perhaps better than i had hoped -- inshallah.

the morning started out with delays -- of course. i wanted to go down to the valley around 9:30 and start digging my bareroot beds. of course i was stalled and also given the news that there was no charette for the transportation of manure. talla told me to wait, so i waited around, slowly losing patience and was just about to head out on my own when he finally showed up again. we made motions to go down to the valley but then talla offered the idea of doing the pepineer behind our compound. it seemed like it would work and would be good since it is right by the road, close to water, and for laziness' sake...right by my hut.

it took us a while to figure this all out -- it is hard for me to have these impromptu conversations because i have so little wolof to express my thoughts and moreover, i have to think quickly and on the spot (which i am not so good at in the morning). the only reservation i had is that the aspect of a community pepineer is a little lost but then i suggested that in the future, i would use the valley's pepineer as the demo field -- and maybe next year it will be ready for a community pepineer. i am quickly learning that nothing is as it is planned and that i really must be flexible. moreover, i didn't come here to do things my way; this is for my village so if what i envision doesn't pan out, it is okay, so long as it works out for the community.

we started to gather sand and manure to fill sacks when talla changed his mind AGAIN and suggested i use our compound's storage area for the pepineer. why not? it's sufficient space and already has fences and is within the compound and all this big space is holding nothing but a few sacks of bissap and monkey bread. this way, the pepineer is super protected with fences and watchful (hopefully) eyes.

so that was decided and we started to mix the soil. talla often insists on doing the labor, which is a little annoying, but at this point, i am just glad to be getting my work started. plus, for sustainability's sake, it is good to have him do the work as there is no way i will be here forever (no way!). we started to fill sacks -- had a slow start and broke a few -- but soon it was me, talla, fatou, aas, and mamasou filling sacks. it was a family affair and talla was in a jovial mood -- joking with fatou and laughing at the kids (rare).

we got a good amount of sacks filled and they are currently stowed away in the new pepineer area and i am covered in dirt and happy.

i also seeded 61 pomme kennel (sweetsao) seeds in my backyard. god, i hope they sprout.

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