One of the things I really like about Kathmandu is how quickly you can get out of the city. In about thirty minutes you are out of the maze of chaotic streets. After 40 minutes, you are in the countryside. It makes a day trip easy, and you don’t have to worry about endless hours in traffic like we did in Manila.
I like the closeness to country life that is still evident here. I like seeing how food comes to the table. In Nepal most activities are still handled manually. All around you can see the seasons and routines, and how everything harvested has a function to feed people, animals, or fuel fires.
Our recent trip to Sankhu was just a 45 minute drive and we stayed at a small cottage with views out across the rice paddies.
From our ringside seat, the views across the valley were of farmers bringing in the rice crop. Its a family team affair with at least one person cutting down the tall rice stalks, another shaking the grain on to a hessian cloth, and another tying the stripped stalks into bundles.
Once they bundles are dried out they are piled in haystacks, and eventually brought inside for storage.
Towards the end of the day, farmers gathered up the rice grains from the burlap sheets to put into sacks for transportation. But the final task beforehand was to toss piles of grain in the air to remove some of the husks, dust and dirt. Only then could he fill the sacks and carry them home for the day. We saw a mechanized version of the grain cleaning while we walked through the village:
Its a lot of very hard work and risky business. Watching the harvest come in gives you a whole new level of respect for a simple bowl of rice.