Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some things are left unspoken...

This blog is currently being updated by CTI Volunteer and Africa Committee Vice Chair, Andrea Brovold. Andrea and CTI's Executive Director, Roger Salway, are traveling through Senegal and Mali to demonstrate one of CTI's newest set of devices, the Thresher and Winnower. This new set of equipment can help subsistence farmers increase the quality of their grain and reduce waste--nearly doubling their grain yield. 

November 28, 2010

This Thanksgiving was spent visiting a village on the boarder of Senegal and The Gambia. This village was different in many ways but as Bamba pointed out--notice the square huts and the 4 homes that make up a larger square in the schematics of the village. The space, the culture and the patterns of organization are the underlying theme of this post. Who would have thought I would be using fractional geometry on this visit...all those years of tutoring DID pay off!

This morning Alfonse, Director of NCBA Farmer to Farmer project told us that our good work was not going unnoticed. The villages and the people were a buzz, and someone had been promoting us on the local radio station! We are famous. 

What is more validating however, is the immediate looks of astonishment when we are able to produce in 5 minutes what a woman with the traditional pestle and mortar could in 40. The smiles resonate loudly.

One such woman was Dougal Guey a 60 something year old woman, whom exclaimed to me "C'est bon! have a friend here in Kayemon" We then took a photo and she was gleaming with happiness.

Saturday evening we are picked up by Renee and Therese for a demonstration to Therese's association of 100+ women. She points to the back of the truck with pride, and there sits a freshly, almost deceased, TURKEY! She, Bamba and Renee went and found our Thanksgiving feast. From what I understand he was running around like a turkey with his head cut off, and hard to catch-sorry for he bad joke, but appetizers and dinner were manifique! We are escorted to the rooftop where wine, beer and spring rolls are shared among TARANGA--Wolof for friendships, and the bond that is unspoken. Before too long, the turkey has cooked, the smells resonate through the air and it smells just like home. We move downstairs to their dining area, and just as the prior visit, the power shuts off, so again, we eat by a 3 candle light. Before too long, it is time for us to go, Therese says to me (translated by Bamba of course) "I have left my heart with you". No translation needed. While there are language barriers, there is a common knowledge when a special friendship is made. This is no different, only more special.

1 comment:

  1. what wonderful work you are doing... it freshens the heart