February 2015: Field work #3
It is not a secret I always come back from the field full of energies, positive feelings, nice memories and -of course- oranges&groundwater samples.
This February the field work was a bit harder than usual, mainly due to the bad weather conditions. We found rain and cold weather (for Tunisian standards), making some paths really muddy and in some cases hindering the access to the wells.
Anyway we made it: we were able to collect all the samples we needed and to interview all the farmers we met!
As usual all farmers and land owners were so nice to give us all sorts of citrus fruits freshly picked from the tree, lightening our days with a kind of crash course on fruit tasting. In addition we had the pleasure to taste olives, biscuits and artisanal bread (tabouna), all nicely offered while working by people who themselves were working.
In these moments a kind of complicity between strangers take place, resulting in an exchange of pleasantries and information, and we have the opportunities to answer to all the questions of the well’s owners (the first of which is very often why I don’t speak Arabic as I look Tunisian).
What I also really like is when we have the chance to meet and discuss with rural women, as it is a very precious occasion to know more about their perception of water-related issues.
In any case, linguistic gaps never prevent us from talking to people. Sometimes (if people do not speak French) we can benefit from the translation of our Tunisian colleague. In other cases we take advantage of the “gestural art” that characterizes both Italians and Tunisians, and -with a mix of intuition and luck- we can always (roughly) understand each other!
Now is time for lab analysis and data interpretation, but I am already looking forward to the next field work!
What about you? Do you like field work as much as I do?
Which is your best memory from the field?