At ten o’clock we set off towards Nanda. Yapeco had borrowed a terrain vehicle. The distance to Nsanda village is 30 km and then, there is an additonal 7 km to the Kvakva village where the fields are located. The last 7 km is a dirt road which can be quite impossible. Today it was alright, because it’s been raining sparingly the last few weeks.
The first thing we did was to meet and get to know our so-called tenant farmers. They had their workday on the Nsanda project today. There are 20 families residing on the concession, and all of them cultivate about one hectare for their own use. They use it both for self-sufficiency and to grow crops for sale. From the beginning, they themselves suggested that they work one day a week on the fields of the Nsanda project to compensate for the use of the land. Some families have objected to this system and do not want to pay in work time. However, we hope this will be sorted out in some way or another.
Today there were nine tenants working in the fields. One had been there earlier, working for a few hours in the morning. This tenant is also teacher and she has to walk two hours to get to her students and the school. When we arrived they were peeling the manioc they had harvested earlier today. We talked to them for a while, and offered them soft drinks and biscuits. They seemed contented and were happy about the deal they had made with Julienne about the land and the work. In the project, we will stop the production of fufu. Instead, we will sell the manioc as raw roots. The processing costs more than it tastes.
We picked some peanuts and gathered an armful of manioc leaves for sakasaka to bring back to home. We checked the pineapple and ginger fields. We walked around the manioc field in order to assess how much of it was left to harvest. We estimate that we have about 5 acres left.
In a little barn on the site, we have about thirty sacks of fufu. Mitusi, one of our supervisors, will travel to Kinshasa next week with these. But the little barn is not just a place for our harvest, it is also where Julienne, Clement and some others are staying during the week to save trips to the village Nsanda. Here is a complete absence of all amenities. Everything has the simplest possible form. The stove consists of three stones outdoors. You sleep on a straw mat on the ground and there are just a few pans for cooking. The only things that you get in abundance are fresh air and heat. The other night, a snake entered the barn. Luckily, it woke Clement up and he warned the others. It all ended when the unwelcome guest had to pay with life for the intrusion.