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Amid my alien corn - The empty,…
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Amid my alien corn - The empty, getting-nowhere idleness of our life in…

by Betty Lussier

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The empty, getting-nowhere idleness of our life in Madrid, or rather of my life in Madrid, weighed upon me. I wanted to do something with my hands and brains," Lussier stated in "Amid My Alien Corn," a book she wrote in 1957 chronicling her North African journey.

"Once one has farmed, one always misses a farm," she further explains. Lussier took her four sons, a tractor and enough seed for 1,000 acres and settled on a farm in Morocco. She set out to produce hybrid corn because she felt it was the one crop, hitherto untried in Morocco, that would most benefit the country.

As interested as she was in successfully raising a new crop, Lussier also focused on improving the social conditions of the people who worked on the farm, setting up schools and health clinics. When she returned 25 years later as part of a U.S. delegation working to set up income-generating activities for Moroccan women, she saw fields of corn and thought with satisfaction: "That's me, I brought it here."
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