Our Peace Corp partner, Mark McEnery, sent us an email today (he had to walk to a city that had electricity and internet). We were disappointed that Mark has not received the package that we sent to him in December. We will try again. Mark sent some fascinating pictures–the students were very interested in those during snack time today. (Pictures and captions below are by Mark McEnery)
This is Touama. As I mentioned, the fields are green this time of year, and there is still snow in the mountains, although it is melting so some of the rivers are full of water. In another couple months the snow will be gone and the barley and wheat fields will be yellow and ready to be harvested.
This is a nearby village called Azimim. Typical of the villages in this region, the houses are made of mud-brick and stone. Parts of them get repaired with new mud brick every year, so while the villages might be many centuries old, the individual houses are very organic, and never allowed to get too old.
Here is one of my host-sisters, Mina (right) and a neighbor/friend, Fatima (left), preparing vegetables for a lunch of chicken tajine. The household work which occupies most of a women’s day also offers a lot of time to socialize with family and friends.
Poppies are growing in the fields right now alongside the crops of wheat and barley. Men and women both have to regularly pull grass, weeds and flowers from their fields to feed their livestock back at home, and to help their grain crops grow better.
A boy calls out to his flock of sheep on a rocky hill outside Touama. Men and boys are often responsible for shepherding their livestock in the fields several times per day.
Herds of sheep are a common site in and around Touama. In the distance, the Yagour Plateau, at around 8000 feet in elevation, is covered in snow.