Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Carrot with a Disability?

I have started a consultancy assignment for  UNICEF. A very interesting job, to conduct an assessment of UNICEF's partners' capacities in order to develop an overall capacity strengthening plan for partners and UNICEF staff. How I will manage to capture all the different levels of competence - organizational, technical and cross cutting, of over 400 different partners divided over 6 sectors (health, education, protection, nutrition, HIV AIDS etc) into one plan is still a big question to me, but that will be for later concern.

Range of target groups
UNICEF has quite a large program in Madagascar, with many different target groups. I name a few: teachers, students, primary school students, parents of students, infants, children up to 59 months, youth, mothers, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, sex workers, MSM (Men having Sex with Men), local authorities, doctors and health personnel, girls at risk of abuse, boys at risk of abuse, persons with a handicap, etc. All together this can cover almost the whole population of Madagascar, except perhaps the odd male rice farmer, tough I am sure he's targeted in some of the nutrition projects.

Handicapped? Or disabled?
What strikes me most with working with the UN is the jargon. For example I wrote: person with a handicap. Can we still say that? Or should it be 'disabled person', or 'person with disability', or 'differently-abled person', or invalid? Terminology changes over time, and for the best. Saying: 'a disabled person' actually implies that the entire person is disabled, which is nonsense. I kind of like the 'differently abled' word, though it almost implies something positive...

Carrots with a disability
Anyway, I thought of all this when our gardener pulled at a bunch of carrots that Soleine planted in her little garden some months ago. They came all kind of handicapped. With half a leg, or shriveled up bottoms. I have no idea why, can anyone tell me? Have they been in the soil for too long? Is it because the seeds were thrown in haphazardly, like they do here in Mada?

And the final question: should we call a carrot with a handicap, or with a disability? Or differently-abled carrots? Ha ha! What say you?




10 comments:

  1. Interesujące. Pozdrawiam.
    http://punkt30.blogspot.com/

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  2. I think in the film "bridesmaids" (which I am sure you have seen or will see) such carrots are referred to as "lucky". Would this be applicable to your protégés? Carrots are sensitive to all kinds of bugs; these look very edible!
    Olivier

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  3. i'd say the carrots are physically challenged ;).

    - Kiek

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  4. Growing up in Africa, most carrots looked like that, but then, there was no UN and no PC. They still did the job - tasted good!
    Maybe it is just our perception that has changed, and that, maybe, is the UN's greatest success.

    Cheers,
    Hugo

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  5. Hi, I have been visiting your blog. Congratulations for your work!I love all your stories and the way you write...Have fun in your stay in Madagascar and make sure you are covered with an Expat Health Insurance . Have a good weekend ahead.

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  6. Physically impaired carrots grow like that because they stumble upon an impermeable or semi-permeable layer of clay or loam. Best carrots are grown in sandy soils. Oli4

    By the way: last week in Tajikistan we used similar monsters to make excellent candied fruit. Just 1. cut 1 kg up in small cubes, 2. Blanch them 4 minutes in water of 80 degrees. 3. Dip them in 3 kg syrup with 65% sugar and 35% water, adding 30 gr lemon juice per kg. 4. Boil the cubes for 2 hours until they are fully glazed (make sure the syrup temperature does not go over 97 degrees so that water does not evaporate too much). 5. Dry in the sun. 6. Add powdered sugar and 7. Enjoy!

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  7. It is true that they tasted fine, even raw, despite their physical challenge! :-)

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  8. Hahahaha! Love the carrots:-) Once bought a gold-fish for my occupational therapy practice, got home and discovered only its one fin was working. Had quite a laugh about the appropriateness of an OT buying a disabled fish. You and the carrots seem similar to me.

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  9. A differently - abled carrot is a crotar.
    Padre

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