On Va Cultiver
You see, here in Burkina, the rain starts to fall in June and lasts through the month of August. During that time, pretty much every Burkinabe man, woman, and child “cultivates” a field (no matter the size), plants seeds, and tends to the crops to prepare for the harvest in September/October. The most popular crops here are corn, peanuts, and beans that look like black-eyed peas. People use the corn to make tô (one of the staple foods here) or to grill and eat or sell on the street. With the peanuts they make a sauce for their rice, eat them, or sell them on the street. They mix the beans with rice and oil and eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner or sell it on the street. As you can see, Burkina is very highly dependent on its rainy season crops, whether for subsistence farming or to make money to live on for the rest of the year. To fit in, I decided to do a little farming of my own. I mean, how hard could it be?
Really frickin’ hard. Hard enough to make me hire someone with a tractor to plow a field for 15 minutes. It is actually pretty common to do that in my town so I didn’t feel too bad. Afterwards, Luis and I along with our friends Rouki and Solange planted corn, peanuts, and Moringa – a tree whose leaves are really rich in vitamins and nutrients. There is definitely a technique and science to planting depending on the seeds so I was very happy to have my Burkinabe friends there. Having been doing it all their lives, they made the planting look easy while Luis and I just tried not to look like asses (they use donkeys to plow here, too).