Jeff and Chris are located in Fandéne, a small village just 7 km outside of Thiès. They live and work with a family that is part of a partnership with Heifer International. Excerpts from their journals tell more about their typical day.
If he (Thomas, host father) doesn’t decide its too hot for us, we head to the fields to start watering the plants. We draw water from his well to water a wide variety of fruit trees and some ground we recently worked for rice starters. In the morning we also try to collect a mixture of three types of leaves for the goats and sheep. This is all done relatively slowly with mango and nap breaks in between. At around noon we head back home to sit for a while before lunch. We usually catch part of the world cup game with half the village in our living room before heading back to work at five. Thomas usually directs our work in the afternoon with something new. We wander home at about seven or eight and catch the other world cup game.
This style of workday is one very different than the one I am used to in the States, the idea of the separation of work and relaxation. The work I do here could probably be done before noon and then I could relax and do something more leisurely. The style I am used to is work to finish things; here it’s the “tomorrow we’ll finish” idea and days are only planned the night before which isn’t always the best idea. Today though I am starting to pick up their pace/idea of work and leave behind my nagging Western ideas. Recently, I’ve been planting millet frantically before the rainy season is in full swing. It’s rained hard twice already but Thomas says it’s still coming soon. I wonder how much planting and watering we will do during the rainy season? I have no doubt my days will change when the rain comes but unsure how.