25 December 2013

The View from Here: My Day as a Tourist in Galmi

Last Wednesday was a public holiday: National Day.  I think it has something to do with no longer being a French colony . . . but I'm really not sure and have been too busy converting photo formats and therapizing patients to bother googling it.

Since I tend to be more of a procrastinator-type personality . . . though I prefer works-best-under-pressure . . . I decided not to tick of the many things on my Don't-Have-A-Honey Do List and be a tourist for a day instead.

Seven of us non-Nigeriens trekked to the far reaches of our village and went to visit with the Clay Pot Maker, the Blacksmith, the Spoon Welder and the Baker.  It was fascinating and lots of fun.  We were followed by hoards of children who loved having their photos taken.  And by the end of the day, my camera was as exhausted as I was.

As the spoons are made, the sides of the handle are shaved down so they are smooth.
A cramped workspace which also contains a clay kiln used to melt the aluminum to make the spoons.
Spoons are made in a smokey tiny hut. 
A rigged bike rim used to keep the fire going.
Village women stop their cores for a quick chat.
Pounding grains of millet off their stalks.
The blacksmith's tools.
The blacksmith uses leather pouches to pump air into the first to keep it
hot . . . bagpipe-style.
The Blacksmith demonstrates how he pumps air into the fire.
The blacksmith demonstrates his trade.
Galmi has many beautiful faces. 
This lady's lenses had been glued into the frames.  The right one hadn't been aligned properly when the glue set.

In the home of the Clay Pot Maker.
Giggles are the same in any language!
Nothing like good friends!

(Quite often, his is how I feel inside!)

Clay pots are cooked in the coals and hot ashes of a fire pit.
The girls who work 'cooking' the clay pots use a long stick to pull the vessels from the fire.


Marie Ardill said...

These are incredible! Thank you for capturing such beauty.

Lauren said...

Thanks for posting these pictures, Deb! You do a fantastic job of capturing emotion. Praying God's strength for you today. Merry Christmas!

Elisabeth said...

Me Lovely photos. They remind me of the trips I took into the local town when in India to Pottery street, and the leaf plate makers home. Best wishes for 2014