The harvest has reached the fields around the college. As promised, here are some pictures. Everything is done by hand. The people work in small groups of four or five and bend or crouch down over the tef. Progressing slowly through the fields they work throughout the day, even in the midday sun.
With a sickle in one hand they cut several handfuls of the tef which they hold together in the other hand. Once they have got a bundle they leave it on the ground behind them to be gathered up later.
In the last photo the family is helping pack up the bundles at the end of the day onto donkeys to be taken back to their home, where I presume it will be processed further, seperated the grain from the rest of the plant. Cows and goats come along to chew away at the remaining tufts of the crop.
So it is very labour intensive work using only traditional methods. We have been told that around this time of year it is common for class sizes in schools and colleges to be much smaller as children have to help out with the work of the family in the fields. Now the countryside is starting to look very bare, the green has largely gone leaving behind only dusty earth.