still here/lost the blogarithm
Last weekend I went to Castillon to document the selection of 50 new houses that we’re going to rebuild. It’s a really isolated, resource-poor, and mountainous zone. I slept well in a down sleeping bag, even. I spent three days there, and we did a lot of hiking throughout the zone with the Health Agent.
This is the sub-zone of Tosier. There are perhaps 20 homes here. It is about a two hour hike from the road, and this involves going down one perilously steep ravine (some serious elevation change), and up the other side. When descending, one of my co-workers asked the health agent, Phito, why people would ever choose to live here. Phito’s response was another poignant question: “Why would you assume it’s a choice?” In the dry riverbed at the bottom of the drainage, we sat on the rocks to take a little rest and eat some comparette. I started playing with the rocks, as I tend to do. I broke one in half and gave it a sniff: petroleum! There are all sorts of things under the ground here. Resources waiting to be tapped. There are known bauxite deposits, little-known (though my geologist friend is very confident) natural gas, and oil?
February is bean-planting season. Due to a dearth of good farmland, beans are planted in the steep hillside. Yes, this is as problematic as it sounds. Collectives of planters, known as kombits or corvées, plant the beans together, and slowly work their way up the hill. They stab the ground with a machete, drop three seeds into the hole, and step on it. They sing lots of songs as they work, and show a great deal of camaraderie.
And this, mesyedam, is a really nice sunrise.