Sunday, January 15, 2017

Slim Pickin'

January is already halfway over, signaling the peak of harmattan season and the endless sweeping that follows every gust of dusty wind. While most of my village friends complain about the cooler temperatures, I embrace the breeze and falling asleep without a pool a sweat. But, I know I've adjusted to the climate because even when it's in the low 80s, I can be seen wearing jeans and a sweatshirt (I have yet to start wearing a down jacket with fur hood like those seen around town.)

January also means cotton season. Right now all of the large open spaces in Adourekoman are filled with heaping piles of soft cotton, carted in from the fields. The village cotton committee is charged with weighing each persons crop and ensuring it gets loaded into one of the huge trucks that pass through town en route to the storage facility. Last week I decided to help load a couple baskets onto the truck, and while it was fun joking around with the guys in the truck, the best part was my cotton bound dismount from the top rung of the truck bed (certainly not PC recommended!)

I've talked about cotton a couple times on the blog, but this year has been harder on farmers. With the cost of seed and fertilizer going up and the price of cotton going down, many of our farmers are barely breaking even on this years crop. It's a really sad situation and has a lot of people considering planting other cash crops next year.

With everyone busy finishing up the cotton harvest, things have been pretty slow in village. Luckily we haven't seen any sick people at the health center in the past couple days (which could mean that they're refusing to come to the center instead of my optimistic "no one is sick and everyone is washing their hands!" attitude.

Sending lots of love from dusty, yet somehow healthy, Benin!