Unsung Heroes (part II)
Last month, we started part I in a series entitled “Unsung Heroes”; a tribute to all the Malagasy people who work so hard, day after day, to eek out a living in order to care for their family the best they can.
Just outside of Antsirabe lies a small wet valley where 7 families work long, hard, dirty days making bricks. Bricks are used, especially on the high plateau for houses, buildings and walls.
Men, women and children are working, they are dirty and they are sweating. Their drab colored clothes are a reflection of the drab working conditions they find themselves in, day in and day out. Young boys are in 10 foot deep holes, digging up the clay soil. Upon hoisting the soil up, its packed into a rectangular wooden box that has been sprinkled with ash. The finished bricks are then laid in the sun to dry and later fired in a kiln. From the kiln, there is a trail where ladies walk with 12 bricks stacked 6 high upon their head as they bring them to the roadside stand to sell. These are tough, strong women! Their goal: to carry 2,000 bricks a day to the road. Their wages: just under $1.00 a day. These ladies are hired by the owner of the brick-making business who himself, makes just a few pennies for each brick sold.