The bush cutting goes on up at Orange Field. We had to fell a bois canot tree yesterday – making sure it landed where we wanted was a chance to put theory into practice. Fortunately it worked. The rest of the time was spent swinging machetes and raking out vines. It’s incredibly tough work and I don’t want to use any kind of chemical weedicide. I was alone up there this morning when a woman using the trail to get from the village to church stopped to have a chat. “Are you doing all this by yourself ?” she asked. “I have help sometimes,” I replied. “Ah well, you white people like all this kind of work in any case,” she said. “Is that right ?” I grinned. “Yes, oui,” she smiled, setting off again. “But I’ll whisper a little prayer for you anyway.”
I thought about what she had said and, whatever her reasoning, she did have a point. After years spent in a big city office, getting sweaty and muddied up on my own piece of land did indeed feel like some sort of salvation.
Half an hour later, dragging thickets and vines to a pile for burning, I heard the sound of hymns coming from the church. I took a breather and listened. Everything felt good.