On Saturday, Siobhan and I spent the day planting corn in Weepon’s field with several of the other villagers – including the young girls from school, and even a lady with her tiny baby. Our day started at 7AM with a truck ride to the field, when we arrived Weepon handed out Karen bags filled with corn covered in bright pink pesticides which prevented the small plants from being eaten by wild animals.
This corn is grown specifically for animal and not human consumption. The field had been prepared the day before, so we spent the day putting two pieces of corn in each hole, and being followed by a villager who would close the holes up behind us.
The fields around the village are all very steep as they are on the mountainsides which resulted in unstable footing sometimes. We worked our way up the field for several hours before stopping for a lunch of eggs, Musato (a spicy vegetable dish), noodles and spicy sardines cooked by Weepon in the field. We then had a nap in the shade after all our hard work that morning, in preparation for the afternoon heat.
In the afternoon, we worked out way back down the field, struggling on the terrain and in the hot sun. The villagers didn’t seem to struggle as much as us and were multitasking; the lady with the baby was breastfeeding along the way!
We finished around 4PM, very tyred and dirty with pink stained hands. We were longing for our cold bucket showers – not for the first time! Overall, it was a great day topped off by Weepon’s husband Sum Chai practicing his English on us and saying ‘Thank you for your hand today’.
By Phoebe and Siobhan