Today we said goodbye to K after a brekkie eaten to the soundtrack of the girls drilling K on correct influenza etiquette:
"you got to eat icypoles"
"yup. Garigari-kun are the best ones. Get mummy to but some."
"you don't have to eat if you're not hungry but you have to have a drink-"
"a big drink!"
"a big drink or an icypole!"
"you can't go to work!"
"you can't go and play with your friends"
"you can watch lots of tv!"
and headed across the mountain to a friend of new neighbour and co-rice farmer W's.
We were there to plant up seed trays of rice to start in a greenhouse before transplanting to the rice paddy.
It was quite a process:
From the bottom left:
1. taking an empty seed tray from the pile, checking for damage (they are planted by machine so if they are damaged they won't slide out smoothly), filling it with soil and then using a dustbrush to remove about the top 2mm.
2. feeding the dirt-filled tray through a machine that punches little depressions in the soil and then drops some rice (in its husk) into them.
3. Quality control: using tweezers make sure there are between four and six grains of husked rice in each section of the sections. The machine puts in anything from none to nine so it's quite a job...
4. (At the front where I was working when I wasn't shirking taking pictures) pour more soil on top, level with a length of board and place in stacks on the truck. Stacks that are staggered half a depression to the left and right to avoid the top trays compressing the lower ones. This is important as there are 20 trays to a stack.... This morning we did 200 trays worth!
The girls were fabulous. I had taken along drawing materials and their skipping ropes figuring they would be bored but nope:
Aren't they cute?
Can't believe I just said child labour is cute....