えがおの森メンバーの活動ブログ in 山村塾 Int'l volunteers in Egaonomori, Kurogi by Sansonjuku

山村塾国際ボランティア・えがおの森メンバーの活動ブログです。This is the blog of Int'l volunteers in Egaonomorim Kurogi by Sansonjuku.

Weekly report From May 15th to May 17th

My name is Anani Isaac, I'm born in Paris and currently living in Athis Mons. I've decided to come in Japan few month ago. I needed to do something different, something that could be valuable, a very personal adventure and I'm glad I came here, since the last weeks spent in Sansonjuku were full of new experiences.

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This week in Egao no Mori was short, we work 3 days and took three day off. But the work became just more and more serious. We had already learn how to use the grass-cutter and had plenty of time on the field to practice. We began the work on the 15h in the goat field where we had to cut the grass on the edges. We could not finish, we were short on time, so we went back at Egao no mori and took care of the compost. We learn this day that there were 2 different ways to make compost : the first is the one we have been aware of since day one, the left-overs from meals and any other organic kind of food that was mixed with a special earth, the second was made out of goats excrement and layers were set, one layer of grass and one layer of excrement just like a french mille-feuilles. The goats excrement needed to be collected and while this work was done, at the same time logs of wood were cut to suit the boiler size to made the hot water. This last work is highly exhausting but extremely satisfying when it comes to get rid of stress. The hardest thing during this day of work was the temperature, it was very hot, however the principal risk, dehydration, was avoided by the many breaks we took, very helpful for both our bodies and our mind.

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The day after, May 16th, we worked in two different fields : the morning was spent cutting grass on the borders of the rice fields, the afternoon was dedicated to the care of the potato field.

The work at the rice field wasn't very different from the previous days spent cutting grass with the cutting machine, but this day we had to avoid cutting the electric links around the field. It was hard to dodge them since they were very close to the grass. On this very hot day, we went at the potato field after lunch and we had a serious work done there. The goals of this day were to separate the potato plant from other grass growing around, make sure the line of potato plants was clear on the field, so we worked on the edges and made trench as well, and building little soil mountain around every potato plant, cause as Mr Kumori said “Big mountain make big potato”. This day was as well very hot.

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The day after, May 17th, we went back to the rice paddies to finish the work on the edges. The work went well, but that day we knew the first problem this kind of work could cause : Mr Kumori told us during the lecture about Kusariki (cutting machine ) sad stories of farmers cutting themselves and killing unwillingly loved ones with this machine. We heard but I think did not really understood, I think that he was trying to warn us against the danger of daily use and getting used of this machine. Two volunteers lightly cut themselves during work, nothing dramatic but use this machine a lot give a certain kind of confidence, and then you stop being careful with it, and there comes the accident. You have to use it everyday like it's the first day, it is the better way to protect yourself and the people around. This Thursday afternoon we went back in Egao no mori and kept working on the window and fire wood.
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This short week was interesting in many ways, we did not just learn new things about farming, we started living like farmers and working like them. This is always very impressive when we go back after a long day of work, and on the road realize that there is other farmers, for some of them older than us, that keep on the effort under the heat of the overwhelming sun shinning upon our heads. Here we also learn to be resistant, first quality of any brave heart.

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Anani Isaac.


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by egaonomori | 2018-06-05 13:51 | 里山80日ボランティア
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