Grains of Rice

Anyone who knows anything about Jóola agri-culture knows that rice is of utmost importance to both farming and culture.
 This being my third visit among the Jóola and many visits to the village of Bandial, it was certainly time to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the rice fields.IMG_8338
To say it was difficult is surely an understatement. After one hour and one bundle of rice, Remy heard me unconsciously sigh and suggested we go home. I was so relieved.  He says that people used to be embarrassed to buy rice from other countries but now it’s practically the norm. The long hours spent under the sun carefully cutting each stalk to then be shucked renders villagers so exhausted they can’t even cook it when they get home; despite their hunger. Most people carry their loads home by bike but just our two bundles were too heavy for me to cycle with my recording equipment so we sent them by car the following day.Turning the corner to the lodge I Enampore, I was so thankful to smell dinner already being prepared. Some count grains of sand but the value of a grain of rice can only be measured by those who plant it.

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