Friday, February 29, 2008
Arroz en Fangueo (Rice Tanks)
This is some of the work that we did with the rice tank. The last picture shows most of the people in our group(we are proud to have men, women, and children participating), which became official yesterday when we had a visit from one of the government agencies. Sometimes it is hard to work with the agencies and people have to make multiple visits to their offices and write multiple letters to get things done, but we were lucky enough to have them come to us after just one letter and one visit. We had 2 representatives from the regional office and the national coordinator for the agency and Peace Corps. Our regional coordinator from Peace Corps came too. We heard that some people from the agency were coming out to talk about our upcoming project with Iguanas and Conejos Pintados (painted rabbits). They talked about that and a lot of other projects, got the names of everyone in the group, and they gave them some tools and some materials to start a tree nursery. They were so proud to have the agency come out and tell them that they are doing a good job and that they are going to help them get other projects started too.
With the rice tank, we made the hole, leveled the dirt by adding water and mixing the mud as we went and by dragging a board across it, and then we transplanted the rice from the semillero. It was more complicated than that but that is the concise version. We will control the water level, periodically raising and lowering it over the growing cycle to maximize growth and minimize weeds. We are in the dry season now so no one else is planting rice. Most of the farmers are cutting down trees and everything else and burning it in preparation to plant rice when the rainy season starts again. Hopefully this will show them that they do not have to do that next year.