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Road to Rotifunk at the beginning of the rainy season.
Rotifunk is a center of local trade with its lively Saturday market.
Arlene’s former house in Rotifunk she shared with other women teachers, now rebuilt after being burned by rebels during the war..
A number of homes remain burned out shells, victims of rebel soldier occupation that owners have decided to not rebuild.
But many modern new homes in Rotifunk continue to be built.
With no running water system, carrying water from wells is a daily chore often given children & teenagers.
Battery run LED lights have replaced smoky kerosene lamps and their fire hazard. But reading – and studying – at night is still difficult.
Magdelaine is one of the adult education students in Rotifunk.
Example of Energy for Opportunity, a Sierra Leone Nonprofit for solar technology installing solar panels on roof.
Paramount Chief Caulker, traditional leader of Bumpeh Chiefdom
Director Steve Papelian with young Rotifunk friends
Goboi devil dances in Rotifunk.
Woman Sampa dancer in Rotifunk wears her Obama shirt.
The Bumpeh RIver is the only practical means of transportation for some small villages. Sometimes the only means.
Misty morning in Moyeamoh, Bumpeh Chiefdom’s second largest town.
Bumpeh River widens as it nears the ocean.
Fisherman’s colorful patchwork sail on Bumpeh River
Typical village, one of 208 in Bumpeh Chiefdom
Giant cotton tree dwarfs six foot man.
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker’s horn blower announces his official visit to village.
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker and his official horn blower pass through rice swamps on their way from Bumpeh River to a village.
Paramount Chief Caulker visits village to give a talk encouraging people to register to vote for 2012 elections.
Most basic house construction is mud packed on a frame of small tree limbs. Dried mud bricks are the next step up.
Heavy clay soil makes strong mud bricks, the most common rural building material.
Small motorcycles are taxi and delivery “truck” on small unimproved dirt roads. Note goat strapped on driver’s lap.
Arlene felt honored when the women’s Bundu devil came out to dance for her.
Men turn over heavy mucky flood plain soil, preparing rice swamp for seasonal planting.
Cutting newly germinated rice in rice nursery to transplant in rice swamp.
Newly transplanted rice swamps. The Bumpeh River area is a rice bowl for Sierra Leone.
Rice in rice swamp is ready to harvest.
The Bumpeh River carries daily tides from the nearby ocean to inland waterways. Rice swamp when the tide is in…
… six hours later same swamp when the tide is out. Work and transportation are timed to follow tides.
Harvested rice is par boiled in drums and then laid out to dry before storing for use.
Next is removing the husk. Here rice milled in bulk in a powered rice mill is winnowed by fanning.
Children pound rice to remove husks.
Women cooking in front of houses.
Most cooking in rural areas is still done on three stones.
Woman extracts oil from palm fruit in her canoe. Palm oil is a staple of the Sierra Leone diet.
Village children along Bumpeh River always appear when a camera comes out with calls of “snap me.”
Sherbro women sing and dance for the Paramount Chief.
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