If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interviews

8/5 Lucy Burdette, The Key Lime Crime

8/12 Maggie Toussaint, All Done With It

8/19 Julie Mulhern, Killer Queen

8/26 Debra Goldstein, Three Treats Too Many


August Guest Bloggers


8/8 Leslie Wheeler

8/15 Jean Rabe


August Interviews

8/22 Kait Carson

8/29 WWK Authors--What We're Reading Now













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Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!


Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!


Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.


KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.


Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.


Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

A Second Step


A Second Step

I wrote about the effect a bicycle could have on a child, a family and ultimately an entirely community in a developing industrial country.  As a writer, I appreciate that experiencing something in person gives a perspective not available in other way.

An example of cash-poor living concerns a device estimated to have been invented 10, 000 years ago, namely a kiln.  One of the villages we visited was home to a tribe that migrated to Tanzania some years ago.  Needing a way to survive, the tribe developed an economic niche as brick makers. 

By local standards they would not be considered poor because they have all the necessities of life.  I observed that only children walk in this village.  Everyone else runs.  A man with a pick dug clay out of pit. He stopped only to hurl rocks out of the way. Another man slapped clay into a two-brick-mold, hurried the filled mold to a drying area, flipped over the mold dislodging the newly formed bricks, ran back to dip the mold into a pits of muddy water and restart the process. A third man ran with a wheelbarrow full of clay.  A woman stacked six bricks on her head and quickly carried them away.

We talked to a local elder who explained the faster they worked the more money they made.  Each family had a separate business.  Some families had built a kiln and some had not.  I asked if the villagers shared the kilns. He said they did not. Sounding like my capitalist father, he said those with kilns had saved money for years to have then.  Those families (like his) made a major investment and others in the village could do that too by working harder.

            Asked the price of bricks, he said roughly six fired bricks for a dollar and six unfired bricks for twenty cents.  Using a kiln increased the value of bricks five times.

            He said he wanted his children to get an education well beyond his so they could leave the hard life of brick making for something easier and better paying.  Our guide pointed out that the villagers did not sell bricks every day. It might be a long time between sales. 

            Apparently business loans and mortgages are difficult to obtain.  When people want a house or a kiln they spend what cash they have to start the project.  When they run out of money, they stop building.  As soon as they accumulate more cash, the building resumes.  I saw many unfinished buildings both in the city and the countryside. 

4 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

Interesting blog, Warren. I admire their industrious ways to make money and survive. When you said they run everywhere, I thought of the marathoners who are the fastest ones in every major marathon. They are all from Africa.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Warren, what an amazing journey you have had. Did the man want to send his children to faraway places for their educations, or did they have schools and colleges in a close proximity to the village?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, do the international micro-loan agencies not function in their area of Tanganyika? I know those NGOs have been a fundamental resource for bettering the quality of life for many communities in Africa and other developing nations.

E. B. Davis said...

It seems to me that there are many things you could make with clay and kiln. They are all competing with one another. They have the concept of capitalism in their grasp, but fail to realize that producing other products and creating new markets would create more sales. Too bad, I imagine having many unfinished buildings in the community is depressing.