Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gardening, Three: Affordable Labor

Labor is cheap here in Southern Africa.  You can tell, if nothing else, by the type of gardening work you can find people doing here. Work that would be done with tools or machines is simply hired out as labor instead.   Some examples...

  Above are three gardeners (the school employs oodles) that literally trim every path with yard scissors every week or two.  They do it for eight hours a day!

Our yard: In places where there would usually be stone borders or decorative rock in America, here the grass just ends and the gardener trims and then re-shovels the dirt into perfect mounds once a week to provide an outline for shrubs.  Talk about high maintenance.

If you look past Jonas and friend Luke, you can see the gardeners in this park in Jo'Berg, South Africa.  In America, I'm pretty sure it would have been one person with a riding mower. We watched for three days as three gardeners literally weed whacked the ENTIRE park for eight hours a day.  Understandably, they were still not finished when we left on the fourth day.