Archive for November, 2009

Mr. Idiris drawing by hand

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Mr. Idiris did a great job remembering his rainy season route. In the beginning he made some clear moves in the northern direction of Kaduna, but after a couple of weeks he suddenly turned sharply east. After that, he made a slow loop, in the direction of his dry season camp, and stayed not too far from it for the last two months of rainy season.


I was surprised. What had happened? After some questioning we found out that the news about the religious crisis in Kaduna in June, 2009, first reached him by radio, but he sort of ignored it and moved on. Later he met some Fulani people at the market, who told him that he would be risking his life and the lives of his cattle if he moved on toward Kaduna. So this finally made him decide on turning back, and not traveling far at all this year.

Workshop on rainy season with Mr. Idiris

Monday, November 30th, 2009


We start by making the robot drawing based on Mr. Idiris’s trip on Thursday, when he did his shopping for Sallah (the Festival of Sacrifice). As the data clearly shows, he covered a lot of kilometers on his motorbike, buying rice but also visiting markets just for the enjoyment of it.

After discussing this trip, I explain the situation with the collar to Mr. Idiris. As he took such good care of it, I feel a really bad about breaking the news. I also explain that we still expect the data to be downloaded, but that we need to send the collar to Sweden first, and this will take time.
In order to still discuss the rainy season transhumance route with Mr. Idiris now, we asked him to please draw the route by memory, and explain as best as he can what happened on the route.


In order for him to do this, I prepared a bottle with sand, with a special, slightly larger hole in the lid, as I expected Mr. Idiris to want to make his drawing fast.  (He does everything fast!)

Late at night

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Tomorrow we have a workshop with Mr. Idiris, so I give the downloading of the collar data a final try. But it does not work. At first, I don’t know what to do.

Thinking about our experience with the workshop with Binta today, where we based our discussion on the relation between two tracks, I decide to try something similar. The Thursday track we collected from Mr. Idiris could maybe serve as a starting point, and in connection with this track I could ask Mr. Ideris to draw his rainy season transhumance route by hand. As we had no usable GPS data, this seemed to be the best option.

The main thing is to find out about his experiences during this trip, and I force myself remember that the use of the robot was primarily a means to this end. I try to keep this firmly in mind and not be to discouraged by the disappointment about the lack of access to the collar data.

Workshop with Binta

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

091129binta work

In the workshop with Binta we combined the track we collected this year, where she visits the Dutse market, with the one we collected last year, were she visits the fruit market in Kubwa. Both locations are considered to be satellite towns of Abuja. This way we could discuss both markets, and find out how she makes the decision to go to one or the other. From the tracks it becomes clear that Binta makes several stops along the route, to sell to customers. I am looking forward accompanying here next Saturday, so I get a clue how this is organized.

Collecting sand

Sunday, November 29th, 2009


In order to have enough sand for the workshop with Binta we went down to the river to collect the fine, white sand that can be found there.