I’ve started my new assignment for this second tour in West Africa. I’m conducting literacy research that will hopefully help local churches that want to work in the area of adult mother-tongue literacy in their communities.
My first research site was a small town surrounded by fields cultivated by subsistence farmers. I was there for most of the month of August, which is during this part of West Africa’s single rainy season. My interviews and visits took me out through fields of millet, beans, peanuts, and hibiscus. I discovered some other, new crops and fruits of the area, and saw familiar ones closer up. Some I got to harvest too. Others aren’t yet ripe and won’t be harvested until later.
Above is a fruit called neew in Wolof, and I hadn’t seen it before. I bought some in the local market, both fresh and dried. There’s a nut inside that can also be dried and eaten. The tree that produces the fruit was pointed out to me by a local.
Above left, this dried cake-like treat is made from the uul fruit, another new one for me. Right, the ñeebe were just starting to ripen when I left.
Click on each photo above to see several plants and crops I was familiar with but saw closer up and got to help harvest a bit of.
Above: And of course the region’s staple crop of dugub (“millet”), which had grown taller than me by the time I left.
It was nice to enjoy the best of rainy season in a more rural setting!