I liked this article about the vibrant informal economy in Narobi. A lot of people have the idea that the economy is built from the top down- big business creates jobs, etc. But the truth is that that system doesn't work everywhere. I am thinking of some of the ghettos of our cities- high unemployment,big business doesn't want to put in grocery stores, despite sources saying that there are 30k people in the area.[that's a whole lot of potatoes!]. Big business isn't doing a thing to give jobs and services to many people in those areas. So a lot of informal businesses crop up- hair braiding, tattooing, car repair,the selling of everything from plates of food to bootleg videos.
People are building an economy from the bottom up. In America, and in Africa. We're not disposable cogs. We're vital pieces of this economy. Never forget that.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
And what I'm happy about is fresh basil. I could bathe in the scent. I love the leaves growing so large, some as large as my middle finger. They are the only things that have done well this year. The only tomatoes we have are cherry, and there's always banana peppers, but my rosemary died, my krim tomato died, and the green zebras aren't bearing. That's gardening for you.
Gardening is a rich heritage too. Every year, we get purple hull peas, and pear preserves from older women who have gardened their whole lives. Gardening gets you into the soil, out of your head. It gets you away from the American myth of total control over your destiny. If it rains too much, too bad. That's it for your rosemary. It gets you back to the rhythms of the earth. Our children should garden- I don't want a generation to grow up without the smell of fresh basil on their hands.