Rice Harvest

While the terrible floods in Bangkok and central Thailand have inundated the countryside and the suburbs, much rice land has also been destroyed. The price of rice and many commodities made in Thailand has already risen and more than 500 lives have been lost from the floods.  Even the production of the children’s ARV medications they need for the treatment of HIV/AIDS has been reduced if not stopped altogether as the manufacturing plants succumb to the rapidly rising water. Thankfully up here in the northeast of Thailand almost 600km from Bangkok the rice harvest is unaffected by the floods down south. On the land belonging to Sarnelli House the rice harvest is in progress, towards the end of the school holidays in late October the older kids were out harvesting rice with the staff and the volunteers. However, now school has returned the staff continue harvesting during the week and the kids go out on the weekend. The season has been good and it is estimated that there will be enough rice harvested to feed the children for the coming year, and so the very large cost of buying rice for the year will be diminished. The final result will be known in a few weeks but Ms Wan and Ms Peh the rice experts are hopeful.  Using the new tractor and the threshing machine and the rice mill all donated by kind sponsors Sarnelli House is able to do most of the processing of the rice from the land to the kids’ plates without having to pay for extra help or equipment. The children work together well with the girls maybe arriving a bit later to the fields and with more to say about the sun, the heat, the boy’s teasing and the reduced chance of finding an eligible boyfriend out in the paddies. However they all pull  together somehow and the work evens out so that it is shared by all. Although the bigger boys like BM, Geaw and Dton from St Patrick’s put in the most effort with the Jan and Oscar boys coming in second.  This season the harvesting has even gone on into the evening and lights and hookups to the electricity to take every opportunity of the workforce.

15 November 2011

Kate Introna