Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

When I visited Zimbabwe after meeting my Wife I stayed on my Mother-in-Law’s farm. Each day I found myself involved in the day-to-day activities of the farm and got to know several of the workers personally. The initial barriers of being the Son-in-Law were broken down by my willingness to get involved in the activities that the workers were required to do. It gave me an understanding of the difference between their lives and my own – between semi-mechanised arable farming and getting hi-tech telecomms services delivered to major businesses, between living in a suburban street and living in a circular mud hut. Their life was so much physically harder than mine but I suspect that mine was significantly more stressful with responsibilities that they did not have. The hardest thing I had to overcome was getting them to understand, “I’m not Boss… I’m Martin”

Sadly, AIDS is rife in southern Africa and I know that several of the people in these images have passed on in the years since they were taken.

You can read about the Weekly Photo Challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/humanity/

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9 Comments

    1. Hi Colline – they certainly do – none of them have means of transport so getting in to town means either travelling on the farm’s pick-up on one of its regular runs or flagging down a pick-up from a neighboring farm and paying a few dollars as a fare.

    1. Hi Renate, thanks for popping by. Actually they’re little girls 🙂 The boys invariably wear shorts – you can see one of the lads watching the mothers threshing the Soya harvest.

    1. Thanks Patti – it was nice to share a cool beer with the workers at the end of the day 🙂 Especially after I’d done the run into town and battled in the warehouse to secure our share from the brewers! – Four to five times a week we went through that trip visiting fuel depots, markets and shops to get supplies for the farm, its shop and its workers as required. The roads are the worst ones I’ve driven on, making the worst in the Uk seem like motorways 😦 But to spend an hour at the end of the day with the workers was golden time and made it all worthwhile 🙂

  1. The two worlds — British hi-tech, Zimbabwe farming — might almost be on two different planets.
    You and Epi certainly faced many differences, and yet, surmounting those, you are united in humanity and in love. Yours is an extraordinary story.
    (I hope she is doing splendidly and gaining strength by the day.)

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Judith. Epi is getting better quickly now and will be starting a physio course next week aimed at making her fully fit. She hopes to be back to work in November (if her employer’s health team agree). As an aside, I’ve cooked in a circular mud hut and they actually make fine kitchens for cooking over an open fire 🙂

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