Thursday, 22 May 2014

Hard Earned Flour

Life here is very different to the western world. For example, things take more time. I took this photo from the verandah of the lady I study the Bible with each week. What you see on the ground is their maize flour which has been freshly milled, and is now drying in the sun. 

If you would like to get an idea of the process my friend goes through to earn this staple food, here it is, from my still limited understanding:

  • Walk an hour or more to the field each day.
  • Plant maize seeds by hand as soon as rainy season starts
  • Weed the field by hand each day
  • Harvest the maize by hand
  • Carry the maize back to the house little by little by bicycle
  • Shuck the maize (take off the outer green layer and then the kernels by hand)
  • Extend the kernels in the sun to dry
  • Carry the maize kernels to the mill (they carry it on their heads, wrapped in a large piece of material) OR
  • Crush it by hand using a very big wooden pestle and mortar type instrument
  • Winnow by hand using a basket made of reeds. 
  • Lay the maize flour in the sun to dry.
I am probably missing parts of the process, but you get an idea of the time that is involved to provide flour for your family!

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