A month or so ago Wat Opot made use of the rains that finally came and planted rice in a small field on the property. Now we don’t need to plant rice; one of the perks of having amazing donors, but Wayne wants the children to experience what everyone in the rural countryside does yearly.
The night before he informed the kids that everyone who eats rice must put in at least 2 hours of work the next day…as that was translated around the room, some giggled, some looked on in horror and some sighed with resignation. The next day bright and early every child I walked past said “Melinda eat rice?” and when I answered "Yes", they happily informed me “Melinda eat rice, Melinda work!”
By the time I arrived at the scene the second cartload of rice was being unloaded and the first load planting was well under way.
For a little background on rice planting you can click here but for the cliff-notes version:
Earlier in the season, rice seed is tossed into small field plots by the handfuls. This produces densely packed rice plants. These plants are then harvested and tied into bundles.
These bundles are delivered to the fields where they are then planted by hand. This involves taking a couple stalks and plunging them into the water and then shoving them into the mud on the bottom. (as Kate and Srey Oun demonstrate so nicely)
This is back breaking work when fields upon fields have to be planted.
But the finished field (and continued rain) assures rice on your plate the next year.
Back at Wat Opot,it seemed to be more fun than work for most. I gathered a group of the little ones and went to work…after some serious persuading prissy Srey-I don’t like water-Nich to get in with me.
As the time wore on the planting...
Looked more like playing...
After all was planted, everyone gathered on the side to rest a bit.
But for only a bit as someone got the idea to go ‘wash off’ in the nearby creek, although by the looks of the water, it wasn’t really any cleaner than the rice field. But it was ‘new’ water and watching them run and jump around it was questionable if they really worked hard enough in the rice field.
Just another example of the day to day happenings at the most awesome Vulnerable Children's Home in the World!