Dust Storm, Flat Tires & One Lonely Olive Tree

Yesterday some very strange weather started. They call it “sharqee” which means Eastern. In sharqee, the wind blows in from the East where it is dry dusty and arid. Along with it comes a white dust that floats in the air like fog.

It is quite a strange feeling because everything is grey but the sun is still burning hot. The wind is also quite hot. They say this only happens once a year and everyone seems to despise this weather.

We have finished all but one single tree. We almost finished yesterday but before we knew it the sun came down. On our way out of the dirt road into the fields and onto the rocky road into town, we popped a tire.

We ended up creating quite a traffic jam for such an unpaved road. One car stopped behind us to help. They lent us a tire that we put on. Then, in the struggle to get up the hill with a deflated tire, we killed the battery so of course we needed a jump.

It was very dark by the time we got home. The new tire was totally mangled and twisted from the drive.

Since that one last tree is about 4km away, we cannot go harvest the olives until the car is fixed.
Instead this morning we went to the two last trees that are located inside the town. These trees are very ancient (possibly Roman) and by now the town has expanded to surround these trees with houses and roads.

Ancient trees have thick gnarly trunks. We don't know exactly how old this one is but it might be from the Roman Empire

Being next to the roads is not a plus because the cars fling dust all over the trees and they end up with a white layer on top of the leaves and branches. We used face masks so as not to inhale all this dust.

The trees are really productive and even in an off year, each one produced a ‘kees’ (burlap sack) full of olives.

One Tree, One Kees

They needed some serious pruning. We ended up with two massive piles of branches. Of course the children take this opportunity to play in the piles.
Next I’ll be letting you know about the agricultural work at happens not in the farm but in the home. Let the mouth-watering begin!


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