The rice is finally de-husked. At least ten or eleven sacks. We are now in the proud possession of ten big sacks of shinmai brown rice. Anyone up for a 20kg pack?
It was quite an ordeal, as the threshing machine I borrowed from a neighbor didn’t work all so well, and even when I had help we ended up standing around waiting for the machine to catch up to our speed, so I sent the help home and did most of it alone. Along with taking the machine apart and fidling with it (I did get it working faster) and at the end accidentally getting a nail into it which broke it, causing me to have to fix it and then appologize profusly to the owner, it took an entire week. Even using his machine it was too filled with rice straw and junk so I got complaints from the rice center where the de-husking is done. Had I just used the old-fashioned foot machine I would have finished up in two days.
Next year. Next year.
This past weekend was the harvest festival at our village office. Tomoe was asked to put out a booth selling some of her goods. She sold some bread, and to our dismay it pretty much sold out in the first ten minutes. If she had known she would have made double or more. It seems that people in ou village like bread, and they like fresh bread. We had been discounting them because they are not the high-end market that cares about quality of ingredients, which is one of the main points of Tomoe’s baked goods, but realistically Tomoe could make a business just selling to the people in the village. No need to go through the trouble of trying to sell in trendy Tokyo markets.
Last week (or was it two weeks ago?) Mona and I joined group of hiking enthusiasts here in Japan. The two organisers were friends of mine who have been out to visit us several times, so I could not refuse. We went to Kamikochi and made it just in time to set up camp. Mona had a blast, as did I. She wasn’t so happy in the morning when I changed her diaper in the almost freezing cold, but I think she will look back on it fondly.
The highlight for me, however, was when I gave a ride back to the station to two of the campers. One was cattching a flight to India and had offered to carry some of my baggage (I had Mona on my back and all tent and gear in a backpack on my chest) I gave him the garbage I was packing out, which included Mona’s poop diaper, and also the old sock I used to wipe her. He put it in his bag without knowing what was in it, and I can’t help smiling when I think about him at airport customs trying to explain, in broken Japanese, why he has socks with poo on them in his bag.