Micah: Unmitigated


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The Duties

November 1st, 2009 at 22:32

What does one have to do to receive such comforts in Thailand? And, Should one give WWOOFing a try? I will attempt to answer these questions and more in the 700 words or less below.

The jobs have been divided between the House and the Farm (please reference “The Accommodations” post, or actually just reread them all, it will help).

Some of the House projects have been: digging, spreading sand, laying bricks, and then stuffing the brick holes with dirt and sod.

grass in bricks

grass in bricks

This is Japanese style, yo, which fits with the general theme of the Daruma farm/spa/coffee shop. “Daruma” being a hollow Japanese doll, with no arms or legs, that is used to make wishes. Other dots I will connect for you: Host speaks Japanese and lived there for a few years, nearby town of Si Racha has large Japanese population, and there are numerous golf courses in the vicinity.

Other projects at the house have been: grouting the rest of the tile coffee counter, moving furniture around in circles, and sanding a table. All not bad gigs, nice to work in shade and less strenuous.

The Farm work can be creative at times but mostly falls into the manual labor category. Creative: Affix eucalyptus support beams to then add green roof over seed station. Molding a mud and grass wall around chicken coop. Then mixing and applying a mud/concrete/lime plaster onto it (stray dogs nearly wiped out our hens and chicks).

chicken coop

chicken coop

You can see on the right side that we used a different method. The grass/mud wall requires barbed wire to hang from, thus we went with another layer of wire fence lined with bricks. We buried the wire and bricks down a couple inches so that the dogs couldn’t go under.

I also assisted, in a limited fashion, with the formation of a wood burning oven.

Labor: Digging and weeding for new corn field. Operating backpack weed whacker and a heavy mower to cut grass in flooded field (got a wicked burn scar on my right forearm from engine, nice souvenir, and located where I have always wanted a tattoo). Roto tilling and weeding another area to plant stuff.

I dig

I dig

The most enjoyable, cutting down an old banana tree with long machetti, feeding it into the shredder, and then dumping into big barrel for fertilizer. Recipe: add a packet of dry stuff, water, about 4 gallons of molasses, then stir. (note: once a banana tree’s fruit is ripe and removed, it’s life is over)

a piece of land all you need

a piece of land is all you need

The worst job was mowing the field you see above, too many undulations and puddles, it was heavy, and hurt my back. The picture was taken after a 7 day drought, so it looks dry. Plus, I had to dodge young mango and banana trees all while avoiding irrigation pipes. You can also note in the middle of the pic, the duck enclosure: we built another one to the right of it today and herded the ducks over. We also moved the grass roof over and the old pond will become a rice field.

Another painful task was moving old piles of scrap tiles and wood while battling biting ants. I’ve ruined a few articles of clothing so far and drink mass amounts of water working in the hot Thai sun. My farmers tan is progressing nicely and I get new scratches everyday. And to answer the 2nd question I typed in the intro, I would/will do it again, I recommend it, but it depends on the person.

Hostesses parents are in town for Loy Krathong, first full moon of November holiday. It is fun watching them, with the Father lending his expertise on the farm and Mother cooking some sticky rice dessert wrapped in banana leaves. Wednesday I will catch the train to Bangkok and stay for just a single evening, before taking the 12 hour ride up north to Chiang Mai. Internet may not be as accessible, so a lack of writing doesn’t necessarily mean trouble. The code will be: 63 hours without words = capture and ransom money needed, 64 hours = everything is okay. I have to go pour another beer for the Father. น้ำแข็งกับเบียร์โปรด

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One Response to “The Duties”

  1. Stanley Says:

    You convinced me, my friend. I will definitely do this sometime.

    Nice hat, by the way.