Each Saturday this month was spent in celebration of the new rice harvest. The Farmers are finally finishing up the rice harvest. However, this year harvesting rice was difficult due to the intense rainfall we experienced here in the mountains. We had to be vigilant of rainfall in order to keep the harvested rice dry in the rice field.
Each year, when the rice turns from green to light brown we know the harvest should begin. We take our sickles in one hand and grab the rice stalk with the other about a foot off of the ground. With one quick movement we cut the top half of the rice stalk from the main stalk and lay the remaining top half in a pile on the ground. Usually, we lay the top half horizontally over previously cut stalks to keep the pile off the wet muddy ground. After piling up about four or five bundles of rice stalk, we move on through the remaining rice stalks, repeating the process until the entire field is finished. After the rice is freshly cut from the stalk, another group of farmers arrives to collect the piles and relocate them to an area designated for threshing. This area is generally cleared and covered by a large 20×20 foot blue tarp. We usually lay a drum, or piece of wood in the center of the tarp and beat the rice against to remove the rice from the stalk. After the surrounding piles of rice stalk are all threshed, we bag it and move it to our rice bank, usually located around our homes. This process can include many farmers and take many days.
However, through cooperation and hard work, we finish to the sound of music and celebration.Overall, some farmers lost rice due to the excessive rains. However, in spite of losing some rice, we are all thankful to pass through the season with enough.A few weeks prior to the harvest, the river around Bala village grew very large. According to the village elders in 30 years they had never seen the river get so full without flooding. We really praise the Lord for His provision and protection. As harvest season ends we prepare for the cold weather of December. Please remember to keep us in your prayers, especially the health of all of our children and village elders. Nayu and I would like to thank all of you, who have remembered us in your prayers.
May God bless you and keep you!
Witoon and Nayu