Something rather atypical has sparked a contemplation of my elderly-ness.
You would not believe what I have been doing in the evenings here in Mali, West Africa, after I take the Invisible Humanitarian cape off. This picture summarizes it….
I have been making eel nets. Well, been trying to.
The evenings are long here, with not much to do, and no one to do it with. So I set to being productive for my fisherman life back in Canada. I have been putting it off, but finally had to get to it, as I will need these new nets this coming summer.
Someone asked me if I brought the net webbing from home. That was a very good question.
Well, actually, I bought the net web right here in the Sikasso market , Mali, West Africa. People do fish in the rivers here. They make throw-nets, and little cage nets. So some basic fishing supplies are there, but limited in range. They have nothing I need for any other type of fishing I do. But they do have the webbing size I need for eel nets.
However, thought they do have the mesh size I need for eel nets, only one little cubbyhole in the whole town had heavy enough webbing for my purposes. They generally use much thinner product than I do.
I cleaned the guy out of about $500 worth of net webbing supplies so that I could get to work on the weekend. Kassim Sanogo was all smiles as he measured me the yards I needed. I doubt that they have people buying as many yards as I did that day.
First I had to go find scissors.
It did not take long to find what I needed. I bought two pairs of these tailoring sheers, for three dollars each. I knew I would dull several pairs with the work I had to do. They worked well enough. Though I had to stop to tighten the nut every five minutes or so.
I set out to measuring the size I needed. I had to hand count 100 meshes wide, by 5 yards long. Then I had to individually cut out all 36 net patterns. I worked for eleven hours and managed to cut out twenty four by two in the morning.
I went to bed, and in the morning I picked up where I left off a few hours earlier. By noon I had cut out all thirty six net patterns. I then set to designing the funnels. But I first must make sure the funnels hang properly, buy doing one complete net first, so that I don’t waste material, if I discover need to make changes in the pattern.
It consumed another two hours to stitch the first funnel onto the main body of the net. I easily have at least 12 hours more work on this one net.
I was so cross-eyed by mid afternoon, I could do no more. I had to quit for the day.
My eyes, my old aching eyes. My eyes feel their age.
Part 2 – When Your Hair is Grey