East West News Service - Payday Featured Image

Only donkeys could traverse the rocky nine-mile track running through fields of opium poppy before the U.S. arrived and began paying local farmers to build a road that would allow them to get higher value agricultural products to market. Men could earn from $5 to $10 a day, and those with a donkey able to haul rock, sand and water could take home an extra $8. Cash wages make a big difference in an economy still largely based on barter. So when paymasters arrived at the tiny village of Jimaab at 9 am they found workers who had been waiting since 7:30 am