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Locust discussion.  

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Location 2. Area description.  

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Location 2. Farming discussion.  

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Location 2. Farming discussion.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
18 Oct 2004

    Geography
  • Senegal
    Dakar
    Locality
  • Dakar
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 14.70943   -17.45318
    Geography
  • Senegal
    Dakar
    Locality
  • Near Kayar
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 14.91893   -17.12109
    Recording TimeCode
  • 51:05
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D8
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Decoded MS stereo

Show: Locust, R. Harris
Engineer: Leo Del Aguila
Date: October 16-23, 2004

Tape 1
(130-2.10 MS stereo technic, mid capsule MKH40, side mic MKH30 etc)

Sunday 17 October

3:00 AMBI indoors footsteps on tile, ceramic, resonant voices

3:58 car slam, outdoors, birds 4:16 out

4:28RH could you introduce yourself please?

4:30 I am Mr. Hassan Diop, I am working in the plant protection service and I am taking charge of the focusing division

RH so you are responsible for all plant pest, not just locust, is that right?

4:53 yes that's true

RH that sounds like a big job

4:55 D it is yeah,

How long have you been doing that?

D I have been doing this job since 83

RH 83, so this is your second time with locust, the locusts were here in 1986, right?

5:12 D in the 1993, and 2004, in 1987 I was in the U.S. doing my masters, I was not in Senegal.

RH I see, how big a problem are locust compared to other pests that you deal with?

D 5:32 the other pests that we are dealing with, if you want domestic ones, they are not difficult to control compared to the locusts (Latin name)

RH that's the Latin name?

4:54 D- yes that's the Latin name is so, damageable, it's just a big pest and once we are inviting country it's very difficult for us to control it. You get the point?

RH- yes I understand

6:20 D- its very difficult to control it, because we are not in charge totally for the, for the the issues for the area

RH- you're not totally in charge because they are coming across international borders?

6:32 D- right that's the point. Its just very very very dangerous pest.

RH- and how much damage do they do?

6:43 D they can do 100 percent on crops, like if you right now to the field, you can see field damages 100 percent.

RH The entire crop is wiped out?

D- yes in a matter of hours.

RH that's hard to, I suppose once they arrive at your farm it is too late to do anything?

7:07 D yah, it depends to the instar of the insect?

RH- the instar, the stage of the insect?

D- yes if it's just in the L1, L2, L3 you can use traditional methods, like digging

RH- digging?

7:32 D- yes digging ditches and using powders, dust powder, pesticide. But once they are in this stage 4,5 and the immature adult, its very difficult to control. Even if they are in the pink color. The one we are dealing now, they are very mobile and very difficult to control. And you need the aircraft and you cannot get people involved to control it by manually or by using sprayer.

8:14 RH it's too late for manual sprayers at that point?

D- it is too late, it is better to use aircraft now

RH I see, what is the biggest swarm you have seen

D-oh, this year?

RH- yes

8:24 D- the biggest I've seen that was in the end of September, beginning of October 37, I mean 30 of September. I saw one between Theis and Mehend em Peid, about 50 kilometers long?

RH- 50 kilometers long? That's like 30 miles long!

8:48 D-yes to maybe 10 or 20 kilometers long that are usual.

8:52 RH how long did that take to pass over you?

8:55 D- oh, maybe about more than two hours,

RH- two hours!

D- that was really a big swarm, unusual

RH you must have been frightening for farmers I suppose to see that coming?

D- sure if you saw them, I mean when they are coming and try to run, you can see the soil is covered. The soil the trees, everything is pink color.

9:29 RH pink from the color of the grasshoppers...

D- yes I can show you some pictures I too

RH 9:41, so you are trying to do battle against this enormous army of insects. Can you possible win?

9:49 D-possibly win? We have started since June 29th and up to now, we are dealing with this problems. It's very hard to get rid of because of the nature of the pests and the number of insects. Its just amazing, billion and billion and billion. And like I said, in the stage we are dealing with now, is very mobile. Yesterday I called the director of San Louis about your trip to Diab, the day before had a lot of swarms. Yesterday up to 10 they didn't see anything. They are moving around and they are very mobile.

10:47 RH do you have a lot of people on the ground then, trying to figure out where they are?

D- yes we have people like what do the prospection (?), people to survey and try to mark where they are. With the GPS, plan and spray.

11:05 RH- so satellite GPS so you can figure out exactly where you are when you see them?

D- yes it is very necessary.
Very important tool, GPS.

11:15 RH- how many aircraft do you have now, fighting the locust?

D- right now we have, 17, 1-7 aircrafts, in fact it is 18, the but the 18th one is just if you want a gift from brazil, its a brand new one and we are mounting it, it is not ready yet, but right now we have 17 aircrafts

RH- is that enough?

11:40- yeah, yeah, I think they came a little bit late

RH- what do you mean?

11:47 D- what I mean is that our president were calling the donors and telling them that you have to come quickly to come and help us. We don't, Like he said, Senegal doesn't need money, but we need equipment, aircraft (sirens in the background 12:03) and pesticides, but we were just waiting until the damage came and we started getting this help of pesticides and aircraft.

12:20 RH so the donor waited to see if there was a lot of damage and then they finally believed that you needed a lot of help.

12:28 and they sent a lot of mission (something?) go to the field to see by themselves

RH- so they had to see for themselves to see that you needed some help (yes) but not it's late in the season (D- interjects often).

12:45RH what's going to happen to them right now, if left alone, would they go away from?

D- sure, but you cannot left them alone, you have to break the cycle. Because if you don't break the cycle then they go up to the Magreb countries like morocco, Algeria and Tunisia for the winter breeding and starting next year from June they can come down again and we need even though we don't have any more crops to protect we need to kill a lot to break the cycle of the insects

13:34 RH do you think you can that or (yes)

D- I mean we are trying but most of them are going up north

RH so you are trying to kill them before they move north

D- yes that is what we are doing now.

13:46 RH I understand that by and large they didn't get into the southern part of Senegal, where where I guess that is the richest agricultural area, the most agriculture is a little bit farther south?

13:57 D- yes, we have what we call the peanuts basin

RH the peanut basin?

D- yes the basin, the half south and half north but in he middle of the country. We are lucky that the worst part of the country were not attacked or invaded by the insects but the half north of the country is really bad, yeah that is really bad

(AMBI dishes and pots and pan noise continues)

and the insects at or eat if you want all the dried crops, we call it the dried crops because the farmers they, in fact its just the rainy season, if you want crops, its not irrigated ones and right now the irrigated ones on the Senegal river, like rice,
15:18,
they are also attacked now, because it is green compared to the to the weeds and crops that coming little and little dry.

15:33 RH So dry crops would be grains? Would they be like wheat and sorghum.

D- millet

RH oh millet

15:42D-millet and peanuts and nyebe, I don't know if you know this kind of plant. Its a kind of bean you're gonna see in the field.

15:47 RH So but this I understand this was a particularly good rainy season this year, so, at the beginning of the year farmers were expecting really good crops?

15:58 D- its was just good enough to unload the crops to fufill the cycle, but unfortunately its just a cycle that was here, and that was the bad point, or the bad news for us.

16:24 RH clearly farmers who's fields were attacked, this is a terrible thing for them. (sure) for the country as a whole, (yes) how, I mean, when you look at the total crops, do you have a forecast for what the crops will be like for the entire country this year? Is this going to effect the total output for Senegal?

16:42 D like I said, the from the middle of the country up to the north, the damage is very huge and um, starting today, the mission of FAO and world food in order donors they will go down to the field to try and asses the damage and to see, the donors will help the farmers because for sure we're going to have a lot of damage for those crops.

17:31 RH but on total do you think there is to be an okay year for Senegal for the entire country for agriculture, I mean compared to last year or the year before, do you think you have about the same amount of crops or do you think you have will have a lot less?

17:44 D a lot less

RH for the whole country?

17:50 D- for the whole country, a lot less. A lot less for sure (background noise)

17:57 RH what is the biggest problems for farmers up north , who's crops are destroyed, I mean they've lost a year of income and they lost food they were planning to eat I guess,

(D yes) what else have they lost?

18:10 D they have lost, I should say, their identity.
They will need maybe help, and they will started to move to come into town. In French they will call it, the royal exodus (?) they will leave the village to come to city to find a job or whatsoever

RH and then go back to the village or whatever when the rains return?

D- sure.
But its very tough if they don't get help from the government.
Yes it's going to be very difficult for them to make it because the dry season is very long. We just have three to four months of rainy season and eight months of dry season

RH 19:02 so we're just at the end of the rainy season now

D- it is yes. It is.

(ambi 19:16 background noise, doors, birds, shoes on tile, some clanking 19:43)

19:50 RH is this the worst crop destruction you've seen since you were in charge of plant protection?

D- sure, for sure. Even in 88-89 it was not like that. Because the swarm in 88-89 they came after the harvesting periods. Because instead this year the insects come at the beginning of the campaign.

RH- the beginning of the harvest season?

D- no the beginning of the sowing season. That was the first time we experiences this type of invasion, that's why it was very bad. During all of the rainy season we were dealing with the (latin?). First they came from Mauritania.

RH- the adults?

20:47 D- the adults. They were copulating and then putting. Laying their eggs in the soil. A little bit every while they stopped. And after that we were starting to see the larvaes

RH- the larvae yeah

21:04 D- the larvae and the larvae will move up to five step, L1, L2, L3,L4,L5 and l5 they have the last, the last molting phase and from that they are going to be adult. But a young adult. They are trying to ¿

RH- to fly a little bit

21:40 D- and after that they are accumulating energy and from that instar they are very mobile and they are starting to move and eat everything they can eat to become fogetters and they can fly 100 or more kilometers.

22:08 RH 100kilometers a day, that's like 30 miles a day

D- 30 miles a day or more

22:15 RH and this was, you said this was in the planting season (yes, that's right), so that would be in June? (D interjects) So you've known for months and months that this was a building problem?

22:23 D- yes the first time they came on the 24th of June, that was my birthday (laugh), and we started to control them on the 29th with pesticide. That was okay and starting July 14th the second invasion started and from July 14th up to now, its really yeah, its just uh

RH constant?

22:59 D- yeah, its constant during this period.

RH So almost four months?

23:07 D- yes almost four month we are dealing with the (Latin).

RH ¿ wow and finally help has arrived

D- a little late

RH it must have been very frustrating in June or July knowing that this is just getting to be a bigger problem (D interjects yes several times)

23:28 RH I guess the hope now is that you can prevent them from coming back next spring right?

23:34 the donors and all the countries maybe are aware that we need to stop the development of the insect otherwise next year its going to be started again. And the cycle can go up to 2- 3 years if anything is not done. It's going to be very

RH- 2-3 years

D- yeah, it's going to be a tricky period.

24:07 RH it seems like a problem that gets relatively easy to stop at the beginning and gets harder and harder.

D- yes, its better to prevent instead of controlling. If we prevent like we said, the FAO at the beginning of the invasion, they were just asking for 9 million dollars.

24:27 D
The around august nothing was done, and they were asking for one hundred million dollars. (rooster) and if we could have get the 9 million (siren) at the early stage of this we were able to control the invasion. I mean the 9 million dollars is not for Senegal, it is for the Sahel Division.

25:00 RH the whole Sahel
D the sahel division, yeah (siren still) but even right now we need even maybe more than 100 million dollars in order to prepare the coming season and right now the insects will move up to morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

25:20(AMBI siren louder) kids screaming) 25:43

25:47 RH yes and I recall correctly in the late 1980's. (kid screaming) in the late 1980's when this happened, if I recall correctly it was 300 million dollars to control them right.

D- sure, sure sure. The specialists of the, of the in French (French for locust) or (Latin name given), the Locusts they were saying that 9 million dollars, if we had 9millions dollars, we could have done what we preventing, control for 70 years, for 70 years?

26:32 RH I don't understand that, 70 years?

26:34 D- what I mean is if um, (technical noises, electronic scratching?)

26:45 during the if you call it the word in English, the (electronic scratch?)

RH the quiet time?

26:52 D the quiet time, right, if you had 9 million dollars we can face and limit the invasion.

RH so if you just spend a little bit every year, you can essentially prevent the big storms?

27:12 D- up to 70 years, seventy seven zero years, if you had 9 million dollars at the right moment. Compared to the 200 million dollars we are talking about for controlling the invasion. It is very difficult to control the invasion.
27:33 D But also the donors or the country they are not willing to put their money when things are quiet. They just wait until the damage and to (something) to react.

27:55 LEO asks to say that again

28:04 D the donor countries they waited too long, to me, because at the beginning, if they acted very quick we could have controlled the invasion ( quick siren again) they act its not the right moment , because the damage already done. That's my point.

28:33 RH and for you, I mean, remembering 1989, you knew that the locusts were going to be back. It was really just a question of when. Did you ask yourself, maybe it will be this year? Maybe it will be this year?

28:45 D you know, the FAO had a programs called empress, emergency preparation system. They launched, warning to the countries to the donor...

29:06 RH just call em locust

29:07 the locust is here, they will come they will come they will come, but no reaction. Otherwise, that's why I said, the FAO was asking for 9million dollars at the beginning, around November, October 2003 but they couldn't get that money. And things getting worse and worse and worse and worse and after around august, one year later, they were asking for 100 million. Right now I think they have collected about 70, 72- or 74 million dollars. And uh, its not going to be maybe, sufficient?

29:50 RH may not be sufficient?

D- yeah sure.

RH so as somebody who is responsible for protecting the crops in this country you must be a difficult decision for you every year you have pests on the ground that the farmers want you to take care of but you also know that some year, the locust will come back so it must be hard to make to choose between whether you take care of the pests that are here today or prepare for the locusts that may or may not appear this year or next year or the next year but will come back after some time?

30:32 D- uh maybe a couple of years ago, it was very difficult maybe to predict, the locust, but right now we are having tools that would allow us to know if we are going to have an invasion or not. The matter is..to get the money to face. That's the point, otherwise, it's not just something that going to come ¿Pwoooh¿ (sound effect) and burst on your head. You can see signs of the signs of the invasion coming, you can see that. Because you have what we call the gregarious countries, like Mauritania, a part of Niger, Mali and Chad, they were places the locust live there.

31:40 RH they live there every year?

31:42 D every, they are here, their place. But once they need to monitor, because once they get a number, they get a big number, the become, what you saw, they become gregarious.
RH 31.58 they yeah,

32:00 D the physical condition are good, now they can start to move and to fly and to invade other country. Like Senegal is not a gregarious country it is an invaded country. Tunisia also and in our region we have a, the occidental countries within the nine countries we have two that they don't are not gregarious countries. But morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Chad you can find locusts (kid background scream)
every time of the year. But not depend on the ecological condition they are going to be gregarious or solotarious (?)

32:56 RH I see, you can see in other countries from when they are changing from their solitary form to their gregarious form (yes) you can know its going to be a bad year?

33:04 D yes
and right now , we have not finished yet, we spray about , treated about 400 thousand hectares

33:22RH you sprayed 400 thousand hectares?

D-Treated
400 thousand hectares and maybe we have in the infested area, more than 700 thousand

RH so you've treated a little bit more than half?

33:39 D yes a little bit. And its not finished yet. And maybe we're going to reach the million infested area and maybe 5 or 600 thousand be treated area.
33:55RH sounds like a big job
D- yes and the job the most was done by, we had 43, 53 trucks mounted with these big sprayers in Senegal. And we have countries helping us like Libya and The Gambia also they have a team here, and Morocco. They sent early planes, two bounty aircraft. They are little planes. They are little little aircraft. And by the end of September beginning of October. They sent big aircraft from morocco, c-130

RH c-130 those are cargo airplanes right?

34:51 D- yes but equipped with sprayers.

RH equipped with sprayers? Wow, they must hold a lot of insecticide

D-10, 000 liter.

RH 10 thousand litre, yeah.

35:02
RH so your neighbors are helping

D- they are helping and they are helping themselves too, cause if we don't stop the cycle here it is going to be a problem for their country too.

RH thank you so much.

36:24 AMBI courtyard with AC.
Birds chirping, kid crying/babble, rustle- water poured, 37:21
40:15 out

lobby of FAO AMBI
40:33
[ ]

47:28
AMBI car starting and seatbelts, some speaking, car off 47:50

48:01 farmers speaking? Chatting
48:23 plane overhead
48:46 chat, laughter
M we've got to go further
49:06 get back in the car, car starts 49:18 idleing50:07 out (dominant left ear)

50:33
M he said we go to the mayor office
RH okay
M quiet

51:07
RH we're at a produce market right outside of kiyar
We might go to Babmar or Hiyel and those villages indicate us where the damages crops started to explain, what kind of damages
51:35 RH none of these farmers suffered any damages to their crops.
M he explained a bit a little bit, but if you go to those farmers they will explain more. In the two villages Bambar and Haeyel.
RH okay, how far is that?
M it is the second and third village we will meet, after the next bump.
RH okay lets do that
51:59
M conversing in Wolof? With company
52:40 we will go with him. He explain in the wild area we will find a lot over there.
RH we will find a lot of damage or a lot of crickets?
M we will find crickets
RH near by here?
M52:57 maximum six kilometers
RH on the road this way or this way
M this way.
53:14 LEO where are we going/deciding
53:37 AMBI people voices

53:50 RH we were uh¿.AMBI people voices
54:03 RH stand up--we stopped a little produce market outside of Kayar. And asked people if there knew of any locust damage. Is that man a farmer that says he will take us to see it? Do you know what his work is? And at any rate a man came up and said he knew of some damage and he would take us to see it.
LEO we are outside this market in the same village,
RH the sacks of onions, artichokes, I mean not artichokes eggplants, big sacks of onions, squash all sorts of vegetables here (AMBI commotion, people buying and selling) people gathered under the shade of a tree to sell their produce.
54:53 we're going to walk around

AMBI market conversation ¿kilo liver¿55:19, womyn's voices
56:10 M there is lettuce, eat um everything there is nothing ¿.
56:-57:08 car honk
57:15 something spilled? More market conversation, sporadic car/bus 57:43
57:52 bus passes noisy.
58:22 squeaky latch open and close,
58:37 gate open, crates stacked?

59:08 inside car (AMBI-LEO)
AMBI 59:24 car driving, rattle in car, car on road sounds making turns/accelerating, slowing
1:0037 RH what is the scarecrow for?
1:00:47 animals, animals would like it was human
near car accident? (Richard sounds nervous)

1:01:00 --1:01:42 car rattle (sounds a bit overloaded)
1:02:10 some word in unison
1:02:48 RH what are these cattle called?

1:03:27 LEO A whale
somebody walking over there

1:05:17 car and chains? Brakes noise?

1:06:59 bumpy road
Squeaky car 1:07:18
AMBI ends

Prickly pear 1:08:19 Leo remarking
1:08:40 M when the locust came, they came by the forests and trees, they spawned there and from there went into the fields

Leo there is plenty of green to my eyes
1:09:08 hissing sounds
Lowering the tire pressure

1:09:25 RH How far from here
100 meters? Maybe we should just walk 1:09:50

AMBI 1:10:49 tape ends/begins again car rattling
1:12:13 M okay you can stop here, I will show you

AMBI 1:12:22 unbuckled, car doors slam, walk through grass

1:13:29
RH we are right not far from the town of Cayar, in a very sandy dune area with a bank of trees and behind the bank of trees is actually the Atlantic Ocean. And as we stepped out of the vehicle we saw crickets emerging from the grass, actually when we stepped out of the vehicle we law locusts immerging from the grass. A handful flew up and disappeared. Along here are planted small plots of crops, they look like maybe squashes and they are no more than 50 long by 25 wide. Actually 25 yards long, and just baking in the warm sun. a man has brought us out here to show us the situation. Let s go talk to him...

1:14:25 FX walking through grass 1:14:43

RH the locust are spreading in front of us as we walk sort of hopping in front of us and going into the field.

Ambi ¿ clicking, uneven recording.

1:15:06RH this would be considered a mild infestation here, even though there are plenty of insects. (crunching sound in grass, can't tell if it is tech difficulties or possibly locust underfoot??)1:15:24 out

RH we're going across a field that is burned. FX footsteps further in the grass, voices fade in, Wolof?

1:15:45
All of this was created by locusts that is why we burned it, to let the locusts fly over
1:16:00 RH so the locust would fly away?

1:16:05
I am happy to...

1:16:20
my name is Momodu Bah

RH and what do you do?

1:16:25
M I am a farmer, employee in a farm

RH is this your farm?

1:16:35 M- he said this is for the village. My farm is not far from here. Those are farms that were invaded by crickets, now the guy has gone before everything is damaged.

1:17:15 the locust used to spawn where it is very soft.

1:17:29 the locust used to lay their eggs like in the forest so they will lay there and the juvenile will invade the farms.

RH what was growing here?

1:17:48 M
a white like a carrot,

RH oh like a turnip?!
When did the locust come?

1:18:01
M one month they have been here one month

RH so one month ago they came and they ate all these turnip crops

M yes, the red one came here two days ago. The red locust came here two days ago.
1:18:34 RH so I guess that means there were hoppers that were here and ate the crops and now...what were the locust like that ate these crops? How big were the locust that ate these crops?

1:18:55
M a small one, hoppers.

RH hoppers and now the big ones are here? Tell me about your farm, how much was damaged on your farm?

1:19:10
it damaged a lot my farm, since one month they eating my crops, but those fields damaged during the rainy season. Right now people are not working, waiting for a better time because of the locusts.

RH what would you normally be doing at this time?
1:19:56
M cropping carrots , onions or a many orchards
Cucumbers
RH did you decide not to plant more crops this fall?

1:20:35
M yeah we decided to stop because it is very expensive the carrot is around 8, 000 and the onion is around 20, 000

RH to buy the seeds?
M so if we buy the locusts we will lose our money so we decided to standby.

1:21:20 RH so you didn't buy seeds?

M so they did not yet buy seeds

1:21:37 we did not yet buy seeds because of the locust.

RH how are you going to earn money this month?

1:21:46 M
try to another thing, we'll try

RH just something?
M yeah
RH hmm how much of your crops were destroyed?
1:22:19
M I bought 10, 000 orchards seeds, they destroyed it, my brother and I bought two ¿
RH clarifies

M Two kilos of pepper seeds and we lost all of them. There are a lot of damages over here.

RH Were you able to harvest some of your crops?

1:23:14
M yes, I was able to sell a wheat of carrot.

1:23:48 RH where¿will you stay here or will you go somewhere else to make some money now?

M No I will stay here. I won't go somewhere else.
1:24:12
AMBI crickets, birds1:24:30 out

1:24:35 MI ask can you find, still find locust in the forest. Yes you know, I know somewhere, at one point they will move out and destroy everything.

1:25:07 RH
are there still locust in the forest?

1:25:09
M yes

I guess I could work with that. As you stand here you can sort of see ones dropping down¿ were there more locust here all at the same time or was it ¿it was the hoppers here that

Leo rearrange mics 1:25:48

AMBI 1:25:57 ¿1:26:25 arrangements
Ocean and goats suggested

AMBI 1:26:35 walking towards water well
1:26:54 well, splashing water drawn, bucket clicking, pouring 1:27:27 wet footsteps walk away and pours on the field 1:27:40 voices

M you see the red cricket are flying

1:27:58 RH there is one right here on this squash plant.

1:28:00
M then AMBI

Are these squash? Are these watermelon?
1:28:20
M cucumbers
RH oh cucumbers okay (FX water pouring 1:28:36)
1:28:41 M these are groceries but I don't know *mumble

1:29:02 walking with water pouring FX
1:29:21 water fill and pouring out 1:29:30
Crickets 1:29:35 -- 1:29:48

1:30:23 pouring FX

1:30:38 out

1:31:07 RH what are these dry squares here?
1:31:18 M it was a tomato nurseries. The locust brought them out
RH the locust ate them up? So you want to say it again?
M 1:31:42
These are a, tomato nurseries the locust ate them up.
RH 1:31:47
There are no plants left, just squares of sand and a locust sitting in one of them as a matter of fact
1:32:04 (AMBI, wind and footsteps 1:32:16)

1:33:32 AMBI
Ocean, birds crow quietly 1:34:05 crow

1:34:45 AMBI wind, ocean, some tiny chirping and crickets (Leo breathing? mic movement?) crows?
1:35:54 goats
1:37:02 cricket
End

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