Peace Corps year 1

index, month 8

Small animals that got stuck in the corner between my hut wall and bed: 2

Fields planted with seed I distributed: 10

Fields planted with seed I distributed that were planted with the recommended seeding disc, which determines plant spacing within rows: 8

Lowest observed temperature in my hut, in degrees Fahrenheit: 75

Total sprouts so far out of dozens of basil, carrot, green pepper, squash, and pumpkin seeds planted: 2

Approximate number of newly-hatched tadpoles in large pond by my village, in zillions: 2

Small animals: the hedgehog featured in last week’s post and a frog that made noises like a roosting chicken.

Temperature: it’s very, very humid, which makes even the mid-80s unbearable. And nothing dries, so everything smells. I’m told even my clothes will mildew before the rainy season’s over. It’s a glamorous life I lead.

Sprouts: two brave little pumpkins. I reseeded yesterday, this time with seeds that hopefully aren’t three years old.

Village moments from the past week:

Seven little girls, ranging from just-walking to 3 or 4 years old, gathered in a circle: each had a piece of cloth that she scrubbed back and forth and dunked into an invisible bucket of water.

Two teenage guys bent over, weeding millet with short-handled hoes, and a girl who had come out to the field to pour tea for them.

Two-year-old Djenaba, after clunking herself in the head with a stick three times her height, reacting by hitting the stick back and calling it a bad name.