Seasons of sand

Full Title Seasons of sand
ISBN 0671769359
ISBN13 9780671769352
Publisher New York : Simon & Schuster, c1993.
Authors Ernst Aebi
Overview In 1987, Ernst Aebi happened on a dismal little village in the Sahara, seven days by camel from Timbuktu. Its name was Araouane, and for centuries its abundant water supply had made it a bustling hub of the caravan routes. But now, with the region's trade all but dried up, it had been reduced to a squalid cluster of shacks with a population of 120 who found themselves virtually adrift in the desert. It was a tableau of misery Aebi couldn't forget. He returned to Araouane with a truckload of date palms, seeds, and farm equipment, a vision of self-sufficiency he was determined to share, and an antic sense of humor that would prove to be a crucial tool. The local dialect eluded him. The villagers had never seen, let alone tasted, vegetables. It hadn't rained in more than four decades, and the water level had sunk to 170 feet below the sand. An ancient class structure supported a white merchant class that ruled the town from afar and kept in perpetual thrall the blacks who worked as their slaves mining salt. Little by little, though, Aebi achieved success. The garden began to flourish, and those who wouldn't tend it learned they wouldn't eat. The villagers built a school, then a hotel. Former masters worked alongside former slaves, and for the first time, men alongside women. The villagers were introduced to money, and with it, to the complexities of competition and ownership, and the means as well as the hope for a better life. Most important, they tasted self-reliance, a gift that their ongoing struggles cannot erase. Seasons of Sand is a great and often hilarious story, a real-life fable of altruism and adventure for anyone who has ever wondered whether one person can make a difference in the world.
Subjects Africa - Travel Essays & Descriptions
Agriculture & Food Supply Policies
Economic Development
North Africa - Travel


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