Monday, July 13, 2015

The Rice Field

July 8, 2015

It has been a crazy week this week so far, and this is the first chance I have had to email. 
On Monday the DL planned a fishing activity but as a back-up plan he asked if they could come over and learn how to make donuts and then watch a movie. We said yes, but were really hoping they could go fishing! We love the elders but we had things we really needed to get done. When I got up Mondaymorning it was raining, and it rained until about 5:30 or 6am. Then it stopped and kind of cleared off and was dry right up until they were suppose to go fishing. And then it rained with a fury! So we had the elders over. Mostly they wanted to EAT the donuts and watch a movie, which was fine. It was fun having them over. 
Then yesterday was zone meeting and visiting in Sandoval and Bagong Sikat. This morning we went to the Church property to check on the pumpkins. They really don’t like all the moisture. Dad still has 2 plants that are ok, but the others, the roots rotted because of all the rain. Tomorrow, if it is dry, we are having a service project with the missionaries. We are going to use bolo knifes or large hedge trimmers and cut down all the tall grass. Then the neighbor told us we needed to have truck loads of rice bran brought in and spread over the ground, and then burn it. That will kill all the roots and in about a month it will be ready to plant. You may remember we had the ground cleared and burned a few months ago and have been waiting until we got rain so we could have it tilled, but in the mean time, all of the weed, grass, etc has grown back. You would never believe it was cleared a couple of months ago. So, that’s why the neighbor told us to do it this other way. We hope it works. (I hope this is making sense – probably  not!) 
Anyway, last week we had quite an experience. We had a service project to help a member plant his rice field. It was HUGE!! I had no idea. But we really didn’t plant. The rice fields here are sectioned areas that are tiered so the water will flow from one field to the next. So we went from section to section building up the little “walls” that divides the sections. They are not really walls at all just dirt piled up maybe a foot or so. I don’t really know. We did not have shovels, just used our hands. But, all the sections are flooded because that is how you plant rice, so we sloshed around in mud and water up to about mid calf. After I was in there for a while I started thinking what was probably in the water – karibou droppings – like cow pies only bigger, dead snakes, insects, bugs, snails, and who know what. It kind of made me sick to think about, so I tried not to. The worst part was that, of course, I fell down in the mud and was covered in mud from the waist down.  We really only did a very small part of the sections. There were other workers there doing the tilling with a little hand tiller, and also doing something with a karibou pulling something behind him that kind of breaks up the soil. Also, some were planting. They actually just throw the seed out. I am not sure if they go in afterwards and thin out the plants or what, but with that big of an area, probably not. But with no big, modern equipment, it is A LOT of work.  After about 2 hours (we could only stay for 3 hours) the son of this member took us to the far end of the field where there was a stream and little lake. It was kind of fun, and I was able to wash off a little bit. After that we went back to the house and sister had made some lunch for us. Really, I’m not sure we were much help. I think it was more giving us the “experience” of a rice field. But I am glad we had the opportunity. I am grateful I do not have to work in a rice field!
Last Sunday we started our visits with the families preparing for the temple. I think I mentioned that this time around we are going to take the couples that just went to the temple with us – one couple to each family – to teach the “living the gospel daily” lessons. We took the Abrigo couple to visit the Tana family. Brother and Sister Abrigo did a wonderful job! There was a good spirit there and I think everyone enjoyed it. Brother and Sister Abrigo volunteered to visit another family if needed, so that is great!
Well, sorry that I jumped around so much. But you get the gist of what is going on here. We continue to get rain, which is nice, but we have breaks of sunshine which is also nice.
We hope you are all doing well and hope you had a fun 4th of July celebration.
We love hearing from you all!
Love,
Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma

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