I have two main jobs. The first one is washing the windows on the cab of the combine, so my dad can see what he is doing. The other one is taking loads of grain to the elevator.
This means that I drive a tractor, two wagons, and roughly 25 tons of soybeans 11 mph down the merrily down the road, dump, and come back at 20.6 mph. That is the fastest the tractor will go.
In the elevator, my grain gets weighed, tested, and dumped in a highly systematized process. My main concern is getting my wagons into the dumps (I have about 4 feet of clearance. total) and not running over anyone. The nice part about the whole process is that the only time I have to leave my tractor is when I run over to the office to get my scales ticket.
I, or my dad, makes more money on each trip that I make than a Togolese farmer makes in a lifetime. Or in a very long time anyway.
My dad harvests, threshes, and cleans more grain in an hour, or less, than my host dad in Togo does in a year. My friends in Togo used to tell me they want a tractor to help them farm. What they really want is a combine because that would save days of labor.
Still, whenever I am rolling to the elevator, holding up traffic and listening the radio, I often space out and have visions of lines of women walking home in the dusty evening with basins of soybeans on their heads.
The radio plays 95% of the same stuff it played when I left for Togo. so much for "new-rock alternative". It has been an interesting re-education though. I am re-learning all the crappy bands i listened to in high school.
since this post kind of sucks, here are some pictures from farming
|Ntifoni picking cotton. It was about 115 that day|