Saturday, February 28, 2015


Another little glimpse of live in Lormoruchbae. Right now the ladies are preparing the sorghum that they harvested for selling.  Sorghum, by the way, is used in the states predominantly as animal fodder. Here it is the best staple food they have. It was all harvested a few months back and they have been using little bits of it slowly each day as they were eating it but they need money so now they are getting some ready to sell. That means getting it out of storage and drying it again. (Mostly this step chases all of the bugs out of it.) 

Then it all has to be threshed. This is back breaking work in the heat of the sun.

First it is pounded with big heavy sticks to break the majority of the seeds from the stems. Then it is pounded again with smaller sticks to make sure no seeds are missed.There were 7 of us pounding and it still took nearly 6 hours.  I was HUNGRY by the time we finished and yet we couldn't even eat this because it is for selling. ( I was also ridiculously sore and exhausted but that is not the point of this post.) Besides the sorghum still has to be ground in order to be palatable/cook-able. And grinding it is also a few hours of work for a normal sized family to have enough to eat. 
Milling sorghum
The longer I stay with these folks the more surprised I am that they can survive at all. It seems the average women here must burn 3,000+ calories in a day (more if she is pregnant) and there just does not seem to be enough calories to go around. I was very happy to go back to my hut and make some mac and cheese. (Thanks so much Mary for sending some!!!) And I felt quite guilty that in 30 minutes I had a hot meal ready to go while most of these ladies were headed out to their field to dig up some cassava which needs digging, then the hike back, then peeling and an hour of boiling before they will have something ready to eat. 
It just doesn't seem fair.
Cassava- their dinner
My dinner

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