Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hope mixed with belief.

Angus is up early to talk to men in dark suits. For half an hour, while Angus talks, Bob sleeps with his chin resting on my foot. He snores loudly. I tell the dark suited gentlemen that we have a bad line.

It has rained overnight. The Senegalese melon pickers are unused to rain.

They've somehow managed to topple a heavily laden trailer into the drainage ditch. Muddy skid marks show where the mishap happened. The melons have fallen on the long grass rather than the hard tarmac so the crop is, I think, salvageable. An important factor when you're paid by the number harvested. One of the melon pickers tells me he comes for three months a year, works twelve hours , earns $100 a day and sends back the money to his wife. It is enough to put four children through school. '' They will all become doctors and be very wealthy and very good ! " he tells me with the broadest smile of hope mixed with belief that I've ever seen.

Bob and Sophie have found this unusual start to the day to be highly entertaining. Sophie has tried, but decided she doesn't like, squashed melon.

Have you ever heard of Wolf Trees ? :


  1. I do hope the melons were salvageable...exception being Sophie's rejected one.
    Never heard of a wolf tree. Beautiful in its own way.
    'Dunkirk' intense.

  2. May all the Senegalese melon picker's dreams come true.
    Off to see 'Dunkirk' tonight. (As a child my Uncle Jack kept a small wooden yacht at Rye Harbour. When we walked along the catwalk to reach his boat, we always passed an old battered fishing boat and Uncle Jack would always tell us with some pride how this vessel had been part of the Dunkirk evacuation.)
    Cheers, Gail.

    1. Enjoy. Today, the small boat armada would probably be outlawed by someone with an i-Pad from health and safety !

  3. Hari om
    I too wish the fellow all best for his family dreams... having seen this in action at the other end, as it were, there is every chance his children will do well. YAM xx

  4. My heart goes out to the Senegalese melon picker. He has no margin for error.
    The other day we saw a similar sight at a rond-point: a truck with a trailer had tipped over, and there were sheep everywhere. Quite a traffic jam. The sheep seemed unperturbed.

  5. Hope the melon pickers were all OK. The father-of-four's ambition for and dedication to his children is impressive and heart-warming. May they, and he, do well.
    His labors make me more conscious of the kind of effort others have made to bring me my morning melon.

  6. One of the news-shows last year featured seasonal farm workers and their families. Here in the US, it can be an entire family (including children) that will work in the fields 7 days a week. Many are paid based on how many buckets or bags they pick of whatever crop they harvest, which as I recall averaged about $6-7 an hour. Not enough for this back-breaking work!

  7. Thanks for mentioning the Wolf Tree - never heard of them but spent the past hour researching them (being a passionate and unapologetic tree hugger). You come up with such interesting things, Angus! xo