Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're back!

It seems we have completley neglected our blog over the last month and have only managed a couple of entries!! I could blame it on the soccer world cup as that has taken up a lot of my non work time but in all honesty there just hasn't been much to write home about! June is the start of summer and it's already 30degrees everyday and as sticky as a marshmallow! The humidity only just lets up over night but by sun up it's back! Things are about to get much worse too. June is also the rainy season so it rains pretty much everyday, although the last two have been stunning! These things combined with the fact we are in mega save mode has meant no extreme adventures. Time is winding down very fast and we only have 4 weeks of classes left. Then 2 weeks sitting at our desks over summer holidays and then it's all over! A month of traveling after that and then we arrive back in the mighty ChCh on Aug 28th! Wow time flies!

Some of the fields in Yamaga....lots of work!

Jichan driving the planter and bachan in the background on her wee get-a-round scooter

Last weekend was a break from the norm and quite an exciting one at that - rice planting! Slowly but surely ever rice field in Japan will be filling up, most already completed. We went to Jo's and checked out how it's all done.

The machine delicately placing a few roots into the mud - incredible.

Driving off into the sunset

Cos he's a guy

I'd like to say I played a key role in the process but in all honesty I did virtually nothing and was problem more of a pain in bum than anything else! But when there is a photo opportunity I'm not far behind! After flooding the fields for a few weeks (using an amazing system of diverting water from the creeks) the fields are covered in calf deep mud and prime for planting. A fantastic machine with thin metal wheels chugs through the mud and somehow delicately puts a few rice plants in the ground, all in perfect rows at a perfect distance apart! Where the machine can't do humans take over and plug the gaps. Watch out for the snails, frogs and snakes!

Making more of a mess than anything else....this patch won't end up growing....sorry Tomooka family.

Back in the day it used to all be done by hand and apparently the whole community would turn up, plant the field, then move onto the next one, eventually doing everyone's!
It was really cool to see how it works and another example of how hard the farmers here work.

I couldn't wait until lunch