If you are thinking about volunteering with Tevel B’Tzedek in Nepal, I would strongly recommend the spring over the winter.
Spring in Sundrawoti is a happening time: Our hosts literally dug up their field and planted makaai during our three-day visit to Sundrawoti in late February. We arrived for the long haul in late March, just as it came time to harvest wheat and radish seeds. And the session wrapped up with possibly the most interesting process of them all, rice planting (dan ropne).
I’ll describe it briefly before going to the slideshow.
Step 1: Rice seeds are planted densely in scattered terraces which serve as nurseries. For a few weeks, these patches of brilliant emerald stand out amongst the other-wise drab terraces.
Step 2: Villagers prepare fields for rice planting by lining them with small mud walls, flooding them, and plowing/surfing them (as featured on the Nepali two-rupee coin):
Step 3: Women slowly make their way through prepared fields, singing songs and planting rice stalks harvested from the nurseries as they go:
The whole affair has a festive atmosphere – I could hear something was going on down by the river from the road, a 20-minute walk uphill:
The amazing thing about rice planting season is that it occurs in an intense burst of activity over a short period. The whole village works together in one another’s fields to help get the job done. The following pictures are taken from three separate rice-planting events: