Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rice harvest

During the first presidential election this year my Baucau host family had been in a motorcycle accident just after voting.  It wasn’t good especially with the five of them on the one bike.  Only my host mom and the 1.5yr old who she was holding fell of the back of the bike and were hurt.  The baby bumped it’s head and my host mom cut her face quite bad.  It is amazing to me for one that five people can fit on a bike and secondly that given the risk with three children under 5 they drive that dam fast and with no helmets.  Anyway it is normal here.  I think Timorese are either really good drivers (NOT) or just extremely lucky, if not people would be dying daily.


On Saturday I spent the day in the Natar (rice patty) with my host dad watching as they divided up the rice harvest.  It was fun to see their traditional method for how it is done.  There was a bit of chanting which we had trouble translating into Tetun from their local language but I got the idea.  They kept asking God for thanks and making sure that the soil and water is healthy for the next year’s harvest.  We then killed a goat and ate it with rice right in the natar.  They took palm leaves and quickly wove bowls and spoons for all of us.  At sun down we climbed back in the car and headed home where I was of course forced to eat again, not that I am complaining.

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