Camera Info: Canon PowerShot ELPH 300HS • Automatic Point & Shoot
ISO 100 • f 5.6 • 1/800 sec
“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” – William Edwards Hickson
So here it is, another year gone by. And I’m trying again! The only comment I have about the past year is: depression sucks. Sorry!
Even if I haven’t kept up with the blog, I HAVE kept writing. Just this past November, my writers’ group published our first anthology, “Stories From the Heartland.” It’s available on Amazon for anyone who wants a copy! Recognize the cover image? 🙂 The book consists of 55 stories from 20 central Indiana authors. I have four entries in it myself, one of which was a story previously told on this blog. Can you guess which one?
But wait, I said something about FREE, didn’t I? 😉 We’ve also uploaded a 7-story excerpt of the book to Noisetrade for free downloads. So hop over there and grab your copy! And if you like the sampler, consider getting the entire book!
Meanwhile, I will try my best to get this blog back to a semi-regular posting schedule so you folks can enjoy more stories and pictures from around the world! Here’s to a better and more productive 2015!
Did you make any resolutions this year? What are they?
Camera info: Fuji Finepix A303 • Automatic Point & Shoot
ISO 100 • f 2.8 • 1/400
Is there still division of labor by gender in your country? Well, there sure is in tribal areas of India, and these workers are good at what they do!
The women in this week’s picture are weaving cotten blankets to sell in the market. The white, black, and red threads are embroidered to make intricate patterns, sometimes taking months to complete. They sell for what we tourists would consider a small amount (one even offered hers for $40 US), but it’s enough to sustain their families. Women in the area we visited always made the same cotton blankets in the black, white, and red pattern, but other tribes in the state specialize in other products. Silk sarees with gold edges and the famous “Madras Checks” pattern are also from Tamil Nadu tribes.
In the meantime, the men kept busy farming, raising sheep and other livestock, and carrying out religious roles such as priests or pastors. They were known mostly for their strength. In fact, one of the local men told our group that in order for a boy to be considered a man (and thus be allowed to marry), he had to lift a large rock and throw it over his head. The rock was selected by the girl’s father, of course, and its size would depend on how much he liked the guy. 😉 Many of the men in our group tried to throw a “medium” size rock the Indian man had pointed out, but few were able to even lift it! I guess they wouldn’t do so well living in Indian tribal country. 😀
Have you seen much division of labor where you live? What roles do men or women play exclusively?
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 400 • f 3.5 • 1/1600 sec
Cruising the streets in Thailand, I kept seeing these flooded fields everywhere. I thought it was just the after-effects of monsoon season, but soon I learned the flooding was intentional. These Thai people we saw were rice farmers.
Rice is an interesting and essential crop, second only to corn (maize) in production worldwide. It is so important to some Asian cultures, that they even have annual celebrations or gods devoted to rice. Growing rice is such a labor-intensive process, it is most common in countries where workers are cheap and easy to come by. Many Asian communities still harvest rice by hand, though machinery is become more commonplace.
What makes rice-growing unique is the need for lots of water. Rice plants thrive in wet and hot environments, so part of the growth process involves keeping the seedlings under water for most of their early life. This also minimizes the amount of weeds and pests that can attack the young plants. Most of the rice paddies I saw did not need a complicated irrigation system to pull this off. They just built dirt walls around sections of the field, and let them fill up with water during the heavy rains. I got the chance to walk out on one of these walls, and was amazed at how strong it was, even though it was only about a foot thick.
Ok, fess up! What’s your favorite flavor of rice?