Farm life knows no weekends. This is a fact. As long as the sun shines, there is work to be done on the farm. Be it plowing, fertilizing, planting, watering, or harvesting. Once the rice planting season is over, it starts all over again with wheat planting season. I stopped keeping track of days because, really, what’s the point? Every day is a workday.
And everyone gets up so early! It’s so early that it’s still the previous night. My host-family, including the eight year and ten year old kids, are up and about by 4:30 am. I honestly don’t know what’s so important that needs to be done at this hour because I haven’t actually gotten out of bed to see it. I have a vague idea though as I hear stuff outside my room every morning. It starts with the dogs barking like a broken alarm clock, and then the cows start mooing as they’re taken out of their sheds. And finally the kids thump around as the parents yell at them to get ready. Asking a child to get ready at 4:30 am to help with housework? I’m sure that’s illegal. Grateful that I’m not a kid on this farm, I drift back into my dream world where there are hot showers and no spiders! By the time I wake up, half of their day is done. They must think I’m such a princess.
This afternoon, I saw Chandra (the daughter-in-law and house chef) walking out the door with a sickle in her hands like she means business. I instantly got excited because I knew that she must be up to some cool farming activity. She looked like a woman to be reckoned with. So I dropped everything I was doing, which was actually nothing at that moment, and dutifully followed her with a smaller, but equally menacing looking sickle.
Eager to understand what new farming skill I’m about to learn, I ask Chandra to explain what to do with my sickle. She simply said, “grass-cutting”. Cutting grass, really? Grass needs to be cut to feed the livestock. It’s actually very hard work – back-breaking-ly hard! I imagine this is what mowing a lawn with a kitchen knife feels like. My rational side is trying to comprehend why the animals couldn’t just come here and eat the grass to their hearts content. But I don’t have any energy left in me to speak. I’ll ask tomorrow. Grass-cutting is as exciting as it sounds. No doubt about it. I didn’t even bother taking a photo.
What was immensely more exciting was seeing a bunch of monkeys the other day! Here are some photos: