Typical Day in Chauffard

6.00amThe day begins for the mother and father of the household with a cup of coffee with two sugars. It doesn’t come from a Nescafe jar but through the grinding of coffee beans grown themselves. This caffeine provides the energy for the day’s labour in the field ahead. For the children, their day begins by putting on their school uniform, eating a piece of fruit and setting off on long, arduous journey to school.

Man from Chauffard begins his days work

Men from Chauffard use large knives to harvest their crops

The children of Chauffard walking to school

8.30am – The children of Chauffard arrive at school. The children will be seated in the same classroom for the duration of the school day. One of the main reason children attend school is to receive a meal. Lessons will last until around 3.30pm. They stay on an extra hour to do their homework amongst their classmates.

The children lining up for school

The school canteen and water source

12.00 noon – The men and women of Chauffard are still hard are at work in the fields. If they have some fruit to spare, they take a piece to cure their hunger. This usually consists of a banana or mango. The farmers usually grow watercress as it grows quite quickly. They also grow green beans and coffee beans. Some farmers will be able to grow sugar cane.

People from Chauffard working in the fields

4.00pm – Clothes don’t stay clean for long in Chauffard so regular washing takes place. No state of the art washing machines here; all clothes washed by hands with soap in the rivers. This exercise takes hours and many hands. The children help out once they have finished their lessons at school. The women and children takes this opportunity to fill up their water jars and take home with them. They carry the water jars on their heads.

The women and children wash their clothes in the rivers

The children carry water from the rivers to their homes

7.00pm – Once the sun sets, all the family will have returned home from their activities. An evening meal may again consist of a piece of fruit or if they can afford it, a bowl of rice. This depends on the availability of firewood to cook it. Chauffard suffers from severe deforestation leading to landslides. The price of rice has risen to an unaffordable price in the last 20 years. They also take this time to pack their crops in to sacks if they are going to the market that night.

A Typical home of the peope of Chauffard

 2.00am – Once a week, the men and women will take their crops to the market. The nearest market is Carrefour. It takes around 5 hours to get there and the people of Chauffard aim to be there at sunrise to give them as much time as possible to sell their crops. They carry their sacks of crops. anything from watercress to beans  or carrots on their heads. If they don’t make enough money at the market that day, they return another day with their crops to sell another day. If they are not going to market during the night, they will sleep and do the same the following day. On Sundays they rest and attend church.

The markets in Carrefour where the people of Chauffard bring their crops