Peace Corps year 2

index, month 13

Price paid by SODEFITEX to farmers per kilo of cotton, in CFA: 250 [revised, Jan 06: 195]

Approximate equivalent in US dollars: 0.50 [ditto: 0.40]

Fee Musa Bah paid a guy from Tamba to pick a quarter hectare of cotton, in CFA: 15,000

Approximate equivalent in US dollars: 30

Days before Musa was in the field helping him: 1

Babies born in my family compound: 1

Toddlers weaned in my family compound: 1

Cotton and peanuts are the only crops left in the fields—both are collected into giant piles, the cotton to wait to be picked up by SODEFITEX, the peanuts to dry so that they can be threshed and the nuts collected.

I don’t think any of the village farmers really make all that much money off of growing cotton since they get all the fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that they dump on their fields on credit from SODEFITEX, who then takes that cost out of the price they pay for the harvest.

Bomel gave birth to a son at the hospital in Tamba. He was still nameless when I left for Christmas since they were postponing the naming ceremony (usually a week after the birth) until Deya returned from a trip to Burkina Faso (a conference on livestock) and Mali sent money from Spain.

Mahamadou was weaned cold turkey style, which made him very, very pissed off. He spent an entire day howling furiously, but then the next day seemed to have kinda forgotten about it.