Monday, September 15, 2008

Rainy season routines

Photo by James

On Wednesday morning I accompanied my friend Amu out to the fields where her husband Habibu and his brothers Ayuba and Zabairu were working. Wait--I should explain what these rainy season days are like; it will give you an idea of how people spend their time now. The last few weeks I have awakened at 4AM to the sound of women pounding millet to make hura (millet, milk, and hot pepper drink) for their husbands and sons to drink before heading to the fields at 6. Once the men and boys all leave, the women continue pounding for the rest of the day's meals, plus they pull water and wash clothes as usual. At around 10:00 AM, one or two women from each household will carry (on her head, in a big round gourd the color of dry grass) more hura and tuwo (millet mush with sauce--think polenta, that's about the right consistency) to the fields for the guys to eat during breaks; this is what they'll have to eat until they come home. Depending on how many women and girls are in a family, sometimes the hura/tuwo carriers will stay out in the fields and work the rest of the day, until everyone comes in at about 4 or 5 PM. If there aren't many girls in a family, they'll have to come home right away to make food for dinner, gather firewood, pull more water, and take the cows and goats out to forage. (I finally figured out that at noon each day, women herd all their animals out of their concessions, through the streets, and to the giant puddle outside the village to drink, eat the new grass, and I guess, socialize. This explains the mooing ruckus that surprises me every day about 11:30: the animals are reminding us that they are ready and waiting! The animals stay out until around 6, when they seem to find their way back, or are rounded up by their people. It's cool to be out and watch the goats and sheep charge for home, each one knowing exactly where to turn off.)

1 comment:

NIGER1.COM said...

I am looking at the photos closely to see if I know the people on it
In konni i am somehow related to every body
hey samsiya I still can figure how you have only access to your email but can t visit websites