An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Plowing and Planting

The rains have finally arrived, and Mother Nature has been making up for them being late in coming. We’ve had more than a few downpours lately, including a 24-hour steady, soaking rain. The Mekong has risen swiftly, but is in no danger of flooding in our area, yet, but warnings have been issued for low-lying areas in other provinces. Of course, the rice farmers are happy that they can plant their crops now with the drought of June and early July broken.

Here at the New Place, the neighbors put in their rice this past Saturday, plowing the fields and doing the back-breaking labor of planting the new rice stalks in the ground. Here are a few photos I took of the process.

Plowing a rice field

Our neighbor is using a motorized, hand-pushed plow, common in Laos, to prepare the rice field. They inundated the field before plowing, and then went over it at least a dozen times with the plow. The field takes on the consistency of a thick soup before the planting begins. Quite muddy, hard labor, obviously.

Plowing a rice field

Under threatening skies, our farmer neighbor continues to plow. Later, there was a heavy rainfall while the others were planting the rice.

Planting rice

After the plowing, these women plant the first of the fields, a back-breaking task, it appears. This is real stoop labor. They were able to get this field in before the rain began.

Planting rice

Later, the ladies had more help from the entire extended family. With this many people, the work gets finished much more quickly.


  1. Beautiful pictures, Ron. I always love dramatic shots and that one of the farmer with the threatening clouds above is just awesome! Btw, I was sorry to read about your troubles with living arrangement. I hope everything is alright. Whenever your name comes up here at Chonnam, it’s always with an interest in your current life and thinking back fondly to those few conversations we got to have. My wife and I are leaving soon btw.

    Anyway, I’m happy to keep up with your life and blog here and hope you’ll keep pumping out wonderful photos like in this post. Take care and I hope we can meet up again sometime.

  2. montanaron

    August 12, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Carl. The housing situations worked out great! I was p*ssed off at first, but I’m happy here at the new place–much quieter and a more beautiful setting (even though the internet is so slooooooow-hence, the delay in responding to your comment). Where are you and your wife heading for? If you ever travel in Laos, let me know. I’d love to see you again.

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