The rest of the pictures are of the onion seed beds just outside of Fond Verrettes--actually in one of the four ravines that converges at Fond Verrettes. This is the only ravine that has a constant trickle of water in it--it is fed by a mountain spring. So people rent land in the ravine, clear out rocks to make seed bed plots, add compost and manure from their yards, and plant onion seeds. They water them using watering cans and water from the small stream that flows through the middle of the ravine. It is currently the dry season, but as soon as the rain comes--in March or April--they will transplant the seedlings to mountain fields about a 3- to 4-hour walk from Fond Verrettes. The timing is crucial here, because rain will also cause flash floods in the ravine and destroy seedlings left there. Yet there is no way of irrigating in the mountain fields, so they cannot plant the onions until after a rain. Most amazing, the onion seeds come in shiny modern-looking packets with instructions in English. The seeds come from Oxnard, California, twin city to Ventura, where I live.It hasn't rained in Fond Verrettes since November (it's the dry season), so everything is not only rocky but dusty. Then there is the the expanse of the huge barren riverbed filled with cobbles from the 2004 disaster that killed over 1500 people--a constant reminder of the death and destruction that has marked Fond Verrettes' history. These things together made it a most poignant place to be on Ash Wednesday. Moise and I went to the 7 am mass and the priest marked crosses of ash on our foreheads. "From dust you come and to dust you will return."