One of the important things that Zambeze Delta Safaris has done is to encourage the locals to raise their own crops. ZDS has selected areas near the village and set them up as agricultural plots. They will plow them each year so that they are ready for planting. The villagers are given seeds to plant, and once the seedlings start to appear, they are given fertilizer to quicken and further the growth.
After that first helping hand, the villagers are left on their own to tend the crops and harvest them when they are ready.
As we were driving to the rice field, we passed four women headed there to work. They happily joined us on the truck and saved many miles of walking for the day. A half-mile down the road, four others joined the group. It was fun to listen to them talking and laughing….probably about me!!!
I look at their lives and think how hard of an existence the have but they seem happy and content!
As they hopped off of the truck, they headed for the shallow well to fill their water jugs for the day’s work….
The water table is close to the surface so they don’t have to dig far to find the life-giving liquid….
This woman is Elizabeto, one of Zakarea’s wives…..
….and she is busy harvesting the rice. She uses a sharp knife to snip the rice stalk before she adds it to her sheaf.
Once the sheaf has reached the appropriate size, she ties it off with a long strip of leaf and adds it to her harvest…..
I can’t imagine how long it took her to harvest all of this…..
The rice itself is gorgeous….
….and apparently it has a wonderful flavor!!
There was a young boy who followed us into the field, and I finally asked if I could take his photo….
I love the pose that he struck!!!
He stayed close to us for the entire time we were at the field and when we left, he and his two friends….
…. chased the truck. The other two boys faded out after a short distance, but he kept on running for at least a mile, all the while pushing a wheel at the end of a stick….
I LOVE the look of sheer happiness on his face…..
When he finally pooped out, he gave a little laugh. I turned and waved, and he responded in kind!! These are the interactions that make my travels SO wonderful!!!