Saturday, August 30, 2008

Planning a grain bank

Road near Tajae
Obviously from reading this you know that I know zip about grain bank management. I asked around and learned from a neighboring PCV that CARE international has a project of some sort called ADD (sorry, not sure what the acronym stands for, ha) in Tajae, a village just south of here. So a few weeks ago I rode my fancy-pants bike down there and set up a meeting, returned the next day for the meeting, and am excited/nervous/hopeful that the ADD folks are on board to come to my village and train us up.
Their office was full of young, enthusiastic, educated, confident Nigeriens- it was REALLY cool to talk with highly competent city folks who respect villagers and village life enough to move out here and work with them. I think it's typical for the wealthier, urban upper class of Niger to look down to the rural class, and it's certainly unusual for them to choose to live in a village, even if it's just for part of the year. Also, there is a level of suspicion and distrust of the wealthy felt by villagers; I have high hopes that when the ADD women come they will be well received and respectful in turn (the village women were also adamant that they wanted ONLY FEMALE trainers).
I'll go back to Tajae in the beginning of September to formalize and plan the training with ADD...timing is going to be key, as Ramadan is about to start, and I would be asking for trouble if we planned a meeting when everyone is hungry and tired.


NIGER1.COM said...

ramadan karim that s what you should be telling friends
now this month here is a spiritual month ,

Kerry said...

Thank you, Niger1. Ramadan begins in Africa at sunset on August 31, 2008. It will last through September 29. Please remember that Jessica's letter was actually written several weeks ago on August 10th. Ramadan remains a sacred time for the village and she intends to respect this.