A Day at the Rice Field

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It’s hard to be thankful for rice when it’s in your food bowl three times a day. But a day trip to the rice fields changed my perspective.

Growing rice is back breaking work that every Gambian depends on to survive. Although it’s so labor intensive, tending rice fields is women’s work. First, the women clear the land and till the soil. Then, they plant a nursery. After about 6 weeks, they transplant the shoots into the rice paddy where they must clear weeds incessantly. About 6 weeks later, when the rice grains turn gold, harvesting season begins.

I helped my neighbor and her friends transplant rice for all of 20 minutes before they demanded I rest.

“You rest. Camera me,” they laughed before we all were forced to run for cover and rest under a tree when a thunderstorm rolled in.

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–JDF