Thursday, 29 November 2007

Thai Kids Are a Picture!

Something every child raised in a Thai rice growing village will always remember is harvest time. It's a wonderful occasion as in all farming communities.

Mama Papa are out in the fields cutting the rice and you go out early with them and play all day long in the warm sunshine. It's not too hot and its dry and you get to ride on Papa's little tractor and to sit and eat with all the workers... uncles, aunts and cousins, while granny chews betel and keeps an eye on you.

The grown ups are drinking lao khao and are very happy. The hard cycle of the rice crop is nearly over and there'll be some money coming in, good food, celebration. The dry season is long, featureless and hot but now is the time to be out in the fields with the family for the great climax of the farming year.

Harvesting rice is a subject that's notoriously difficult to photograph though. It's usually a haphazard jumble of figures in a flat landscape. They wear broad brimmed hats and keep their heads down and it's hard to get any faces or to compose a decent picture. But capturing the kids is another matter. They all know me and they gaze in wonderment or even pose for me.

These shots I took yesterday and I couldn't wait to post them. We're off to Koh Chang for a holiday tomorrow. Cat's going with the village school. For the first time ever the school's got some money from Surin and they're renting buses and all 95kids plus some parents are off to see some museums and have a first ever glimpse of the sea. The children have hardly left the village before, likewise many of the parents. I'm driving down to Koh with Peter, and Cat and Laylai are going to leave the bus in Chantaburi join us on the island.

I'll be posting some descriptions of the rice harvest a little later when I've written them and I might even manage something more about Koh Chang.

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