I have now concluded that I must be allergic – or at least very sensitive – to air cons. With a runny nose and a sore throat, I woke up not all that ready for a day of manual labour. I was hoping I could sweat off the damned cold before it got any worse. I’m not so sure that my tactic has worked, but I don’t feel any worse… I guess we will see tomorrow morning. The morning was a slow one; with a nice and homely breakfast to let us know, once and for all, that we are no longer in a cheap hostel. We then began working. Louise got to pluck mangoes off the tree with the community mango expert, while I was set to hack away at the rock hard and clay-ey ground in preparation for yet another flower bed. It was tough, but so rewarding to see the not-so-perfect little dent that I managed to create.. The sweat was literally running down my back and seeping through my clothes in this awfully humid 34 degree weather. I must have drank my body weight in water today, also insisting that Louise, who seems to lack a certain vital need for water, drinks a bit here and there.
After a well deserved rest, our host, Rao, and his friend took us out for lunch. We cycled just down the road to a quaint Thai restaurant, where we ate three delicious Thai dishes. The two we were accompanied by asked if we wanted to join them in going to the market, but we had to decline – our pale skin can’t handle that midday sun. Instead we managed to find our way back to the farm where we read and received lots of puppy kisses, bites and hugs.
Once the host got back we set out to repot two lime plants. First we had to prepare the soil. This entailed picking out clay lumps and mixing the remaining soil with rice husks and compost. We had such a difficult time mixing the soil mixture that two of the cousins came rushing out to help, carrying masks and various tools. Eventually the repotting was complete, and we could enjoy a cold shower and the Thai desserts, which were generously laid out for us.
Once dinner was all tidied up we hopped in the car and drove to a nearby board-game cafe. We played two games, one of which neither of us had heard of and which I really sucked at… My pokerface is virtually nonexistent. It was a great icebreaker and soon had us laughing alongside our host and his friend. Overall, an awesome first day, and perfect first impression.