Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sigh of relief, and current food security in Niger

Estimated food security conditions, 4th Quarter 2008 (October-December)
US AID /Famine Early Warning Systems
Green: Generally food secure
Yellow: Moderately Food Insecure

Orange: Highly Food Insecure
Red: Extremely Food Insecure
Black: Famine
Gray: No Data

(My village is in the "yellow zone" on this map)

8/19/08 What "moderately insecure" actually feels like:

IT RAINED! Finally! After three long weeks of not-a-drop, after which the millet had gone brittle and yellow and slouchy in the fields, the sky finally filled with cloudy water balloons that popped above us. Mun gode Allah! Thank god! Sunday morning at 4 AM--wait it was Monday-- wind and splatter drops woke me and brought me indoors, where I sat and listened to the downpour begin. It is fabulous news, the best thing for farmers far and wide--everyone is talking about it, and praising God and smiling skywards. We got a good soaking! And then, not two hours later, another storm came through. So there is a sigh of relief shared by the thousand or so of us in town.
My roof is a little more waterproof since Ayuba and Shaibu fixed it up, but it still leaks in several spots, so I'm getting good at timing when I need to move and/or empty water buckets, pots, and cups that I rotate from drop to drop. One way you can gauge how hard it rained is by the number of household articles set out to dry in the sun the next day: clothes, mats, mattresses. This morning all of the contents of Narba's little hut were strewn about her concession! And yet no one complains because the blessing of rain for the harvest trumps all, even the caving in of mud walls and huts that I saw this afternoon.


Marilyn said...

I am relieved too that the rain came for Jessica....and I am still reading (if you were wondering). Just busy with the kids!! Big hugs to you and John. Jessica said you guys were going for a visit...when is that planned?? xo!

Kerry said...

Looks like we will make a trip to Niger end of July/first part of August 2009. In the rainy season! We'll be awake all night listening for thunder and undergoing jet-lag.

Marilyn said...

sounds awesome! Are you all going to be around during Christmas time?? So I can stop by and say hello? I would love to see you while I am home. Big hug