Spent the morning working in the rice paddy with a group of women from the village. It’s harvest time, the more hands the better!
Standing deep in the thick squishy mud I’m grasping the ripe stalks near the top, then slicing the bottom with my small hand made machete. Trying to get as big bunches as the woman who are working beside me have.
Then as I hand each bunch to the woman following us I notice she is wearing a long sleeve shirt. In fact I notice as the heat of the day rises they are all wearing long sleeve shirts.
She whacks the stalks into a huge basket being pulled behind her. The rice kernels break free as the stalks slam into the woven bamboo until the basket is full.
The tropical sun rises high into the sky, Gamalan music drifts from the temple, my coworkers in woven hats are not breaking a sweat in their long sleeves, while I am drenched to a degree they haven’t seen before. It’s funny for them.
We make a lot of jokes while we work. They want me to marry a girl from the village and they have a lot of suggestions who that might be. The more outlandish the suggestion the bigger the laughter.
I am trying to keep up with these women but honestly the heat has risen into the high 80s, the sun is right above us as only the equatorial the sun can be. But of course I can’t quit! No way!
The fat ducks are waddling around after us happy to have the stalks gone from blocking their next meal.
By the end of the long hot day a pile of big bags of rice sits on the side of the road in front of my place. Two pickup truck loads! Impressive.
I know about the two pick up truck loads, because I was just returning from the other work I was doing that day, starting a production of large brass casting of frogs and alligators that clients special ordered.
Yes Team America dropped out at lunch. Sigh. And those women? They were still joking about who I should marry, and still hadn’t broken a sweat. Wow!