Speaking of food management (in the last blog), I've found that I truly enjoy canning food and it's become a hobby. Not that I can do it much because I'm limited by the number of jars that I have over here. But, when I have empty jars, I can whatever the Ik are bringing me.
This week, the Ik learned that they can barter with me for goods and services with their produce. I just happened to have a suitcase full of clothes, and as is my way, I made each person exchange something with me. If they know that they have something I want, it gives them some leverage in our little Timu economy and our transactions become reciprocating. This is all in an effort to decrease dependency and increase independency.
Well, the first to find out that I had clothes to exchange were...the children. They came in droves with a handful of onions or a cup of tomatoes. They lined up at the door, dropped their produce in a basin and proudly walked into my clinic to choose their item of exchange. How could I deny children who appeared so hopeful to get a new shirt without holes in it? The closest shop that sells clothes is an 8-hour walk for them.
When the exchanging was all said and done, I walked away with 10 pumpkins, 14 lbs. of tomatoes, 20 lbs. of onions and 25 lbs. of beans.