11 February 2018
Seasons and activities in villages in Burkina
In Burkina, there are two main seasons one dry and one rainy. In between there are some transitions towards rains or away from rains.
The activities of villagers are mainly linked with the seasons. From May to October (rainy period) they are busy in the fields. The harvest keep them busy in November and sometimes a bit into December.
From December to May, men have little to do, but the women are always busy: taking care of children, gathering wood for the year, cooking, collecting fruits from trees, trading products they have produced.
Since 3 years we are working in villages which have a lot of cashew nut trees. We can see that the people there are better off than in the villages were we have been for a long time. One of the reasons is the existence of cashew nut trees. The collection of the nuts takes place during the dry season and the price of the nuts has been increasing every year. The field of cashew nut trees also does not need much work.
There is only one drawback: it takes 6 years before the trees produce at full potential. This is a long time for most people here who look at tomorrow and not much further. I have not yet found out why this trees was planted in those villages and not in other. Is it a question of mentality, an availability of land, an ethnical question?
Fruit trees season
The harvests of 2017 have not been good. One of the reasons is the early stop of the rains in September which is one month too early.
At the same time this short fall of rain has made the fruit trees develop a lot of flowers. Mango, cashew nuts trees, tamarin, baobab trees have a lot of fruits this year. The fruit season is also one month earlier than usual.
Malaria, Typhoid fever and now Lassa fever????
As if people here did not have enough, there is new disease moving around West Africa, the Lassa fever. It is not yet in Burkina, but how long before it comes here…..
All these diseases have about the same symptoms. It is very difficult to recognize which is which, specially here in Burkina where you get a treatment for malaria even before you pass a test.
Since the flowers came early, the harvest for honey is also expected to be earlier than normal. Bees are very busy right now and they are looking for any place where they can drink. Here along some spills from a water reservoir.
Citations of the week
The art of medicine is to distract the sick while nature heals him.
L’art de la médecine consiste à distraire le malade pendant que la nature le guérit.
The secret has been found, in good politics, how to starve those who, by cultivating the earth, make others live.
On a trouvé, en bonne politique, le secret de faire mourir de faim ceux qui, en cultivant la terre, font vivre les autres.
Have an excellent week.