Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Back in Bukavu 3/7. Mweha.

Some random pictures in this post (three are not even from Mweha):

Let's talk about very important signs in the Congo. If you see leafs hanging next to a house like this: STOP. They sell Kasigsi (the local banana liquor). Put some extra whisky and sugar in it "et a votre soif!". Depending on the quality, a litre bottle is around 500 Congolese francs (around $0.50).

This is actually a picture made about a month ago. Now, in contrast to the first few villages, I spent little time with the guys when they are working - and especially when they interact with respondents or game players. That is, I either try not to be present or will sit quietly in a corner at a distance observing my team. There are two reasons for this: 1. The best way to learn is to make mistakes (so I let them make them and discuss the mistakes made with the team in the evening), and 2. Having a Muzungu present might influence the behavior of the respondent. Not only is this common sense, last week Jacobus Cilliers, Oeindrila Dube and Bilal Siddiqi presented an interesting paper at Stanford University providing evidence for this in Sierra Leone.

People use this in their stoves to prepare dinner. Men in the forest set fire to trees, the lady goes there and buys them in (really big) bags full and then sell it at the market. I forgot the prices but one pile is a few hundred Congolese francs (900 Congolese francs is $1). To prepare foufou one pile is sufficient, but for beans you are more likely to need three. The stoves people use are completely inefficient (a lot of heat escapes) and thus unnecessary expensive in use and it's bad for the environment. Maybe somebody should do an evaluation to investigate how more efficient stoves can be diffused in society (here). :)

This is such a common sight in the Congo. Women with (very) heavy packs on their bag: filled with bananas, manioc, etc. I'm at least 1.5 heads taller than the average Congolese women, and (I expect) much stronger, but I'm sure I won't be able to carry this.

And another common sight in the Congo. On the left you see manioc lying outside to dry. Once it is dry, people grind it (the famous picture of Africa of women using those wooden sticks hitting it down into a wooden bowl), then boil it, and you have foufou. The staple food in Congo.

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