Archive - December 25, 2010

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School Garden Project, Madarounfa

School Garden Project, Madarounfa

by Margot Miller (Niger 1972–74) This essay was first published on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on January 31, 2006 THE SUN SLIPS ABOVE THE HORIZON on the dot of six in Madarounfa, a mere thirteen degrees north of the equator, close enough that sunrise and sunset vary almost not at all the year ’round.  The ten primary school teachers who have gathered for this late-December, weekend school-garden-project instruction are up within minutes. Once they have washed and made their separate trips to the bush, they gather for breakfast under the old baobab tree. It’s still cool and they drink hot tea, brewed very strong, with great chunks of sugar chopped out of a cone that comes wrapped in blue paper. Jon, the American who is instructing them, has made oatmeal. It’s nice of him but the teachers find it rather bland. They add sugar and salt and are polite while . . .

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