Saturday, February 16, 2008

longing for plants

Dacryodes edulis – the prune
Canarium schweinfurthii - the tree by Ecole Publique
Cola acuminata – the kola nut

a few eclectic thoughts to jot down. the above scientific names belong to 3 trees native to the region. so many other ornamental and fruit trees i'm seeing here aren't native. the 3 trees above are the prune, a close relative, and the Kola nut. all with fruits that are edible or useful in some way. a local high school teacher here in babadjou – trained as an agronomist – helped me identify the scientific names.

today i took a walk with Mira, her friend Josiane and little Isma down the hill towards Josaine’s place and beyond. we walked along a stream (little waterfalls and all) and through much “bush”... palms, vines, trees, etc. Mira picked a few flowers and gave them to me. she said something about Kelly (the volunteer who stayed with the family before me) also liking flowers. i would’ve been content just taking pictures of them... now they’re in a bottle on my desk, in my room. sans problem, it was sweet of her.

anyhow... all this coupled with a short talk with Chris (an agroforestry PCV) this week have me longing for plants. i miss them. i feel like there’ll come a time when i’ll have to make this choice b/w education and plants... teaching and trees. if i can’t combine the two, that is. in all three cases (education, plants or both), where will i go?

Chris worked in ecuador for 3 years before coming here. he actually replaced John Clark (an old botany TA of mine from undergrad) out on the reserve where John collected plants for 2 years (and got a few named after him). all as peace corps volunteers. so the talk with Chris also got me thinking, for better or for worse, about how much i miss working with plants...

here’s an impossibility: i want to transfer to a place like Ecuador and live/work on a reserve like John! i’ll look into more possible ways of gratifying such botanical desires before too long, like working plants into my primary or secondary projects. for example, collaborating with an agroforestry PCV on a secondary project... yes!

anywho... final thought is that i found one of my last TO DO lists from back in the US. interesting looking at what i wanted to do/buy before i left... and what i didn’t. i miss home. have many letters i want to write home... to family and friends. but i’m going to yoga class with Kay now. hope it doesn’t rain. peace.

1 comment:

  1. IMAGE: isma'ila (my host-sister) on our little trek along the stream in babadjou. i can't think of the name of those flowers she's holding right now... but i do recall identifying them at some point. it'll come back to me, insha'Allah.