Agnes has always been very shy and never attended school. Even now, she avoids speaking Pidgin English. Selwyn says: “With an uneducated woman, you are sure you will always have food to eat and a mat to sleep on.” But Selwyn insists on education for his sons and his daughters and will let them choose their own marriage partners.
Land inherited on the woman’s side
8:00Agnes prepares to go to one of the family’s gardens near Jeevo, her mother’s village, a half hour ride away by canoe. In truth, it is her land, as land is inherited on the woman’s side. “Women give life, just as the earth does,” says Selwyn to explain the tradition. Paddling quietly, Agnes sings to give herself rhythm. There are more and more motorboats now. “Once you discover how fast and easy it can be to get from one place to another, the will to paddle leaves you,” she says softly.
Selwyn plans his family
The first thing one notices when entering the house is the calendar with which Selwyn plans his family. He follows his wife’s menstrual cycle very closely: Selwyn cannot afford any more children.