Friday, July 27, 2007

The past three days 24/25/26 July 2007

After a very tiring day's sales in Colombo, and harrasment by the police on Green Path, just round the corner from my grandmother's house that I have known from birth, I got back to Kumbuk Thuduwa, Raja Ela, Hingurakgoda with Amila my man not just Friday but Monday to Friday!!! at 2am. We woke Sudath as we had to make our beds as I brought clean sheets and pillow cases.

I will relate the harrasment story another time as it needs a whole blog to comment on, but after years of delivering in this area, I was told I need Security clearance to enter this area as it now is a High Security Zone, and my cab is considered a truck and requires this clearance. They threatened to impound my truck, and that would have meant disaster for me and my enterprize. A bribe of Rs 300 in the end let us through. I am so mad at the way I was treated as it was the first time we were stopped and even informed we needed this document to pass this area.

I had three bags of paddy milled to Rosa Kekulu Samba and three bags milled to Rathu Kekulu Samba from my last season paddy stock to take to my Kade. 150KG paddy yields 100 KG rice. I sell both types of rice in the Kade(shop) at 40/- a kg and to my customers in Colombo, I deliver at Rs45/- a KG

I surveryed the progress of the paddy fields and was concerned that at this moment when I needed most water I was not getting enough. I am in a fight for water as I am at the end of the line and have to fight for my share. We have to go at night and close the openings for fileds further above to get enough for us. I decided to spend the money and pump the water from the river as I did not want to compromise my harvest for lack of water especially as the fields were looking really good, see photos below.

I inspected the orange orchard and decided to plant the three new orange plants and two lime plants in the same area and then flood water by circling the area. I will then have a chance of some oranges next season hoping the existing 10 trees can flower.

I helped Gamini in the eve to water the papaya plants and fill the tanks for watering the corn and pumpking patches. I had fresh yum manioc for lunch.

The boys wanted to have a sing song in the evening and subtely intimated that I buy them a bottle of arrack. So there they were all set for a night of merriment. The pack of cigs and bites was also bought, along the sprite they like to drink the arrack with. Kottu Roti was bought for dinner too. So with us four and four boys from the neighborhood who joined us there were 8 of us and water containers were used for the drums. Sudath one of the boys writes his own songs and so he sang while Gamini added the rhythem.

The following day Wednesday was one where I got the necessary stuff to build the small kitchen which we so desperately need. We have been cooking out in the open for the last year and dont even have a place to keep dry firewood. So it is hightime we have some semblence of basic cooking. We are going to use drain pipes with concrete as pillars and use coconut wood cross beams to put up a cadjan kitchen.

I left for Ratmale where my forest lodge is see at 6.30 in the morning and did what I had to at the village, while Amila and Gamini climbed the mango tree to add a further 300 mangos to the 500 they had already plucked before we came. Not even a quarterof the mangos of the tree have been plucked and we were lucky to save them from the Monkeys, Rock Squirrels and Bats. The tree is just by my cabin and by the river and is one of th largest mango trees I have seen.

Gamini plucked the coconuts from the trees the previous day, but I determined their size too small to sell so we will dry them and make coconut oil which is for the size the most profitable alternative. I sell coconut oil at 130/- a bottle and works at 15 a nut and I wont be able to sell for more than 10/-

Sudath bought onions, lunu kola, nivithi, corn, bandakka, pumpkin, kekiri, cucumber, and lime to take, while I also had siyambala or tamarind from my trees to take for sale.

By one pm the cab was packed with 5 crates of papaya from my orchard as well as all of the above. I sat with Sudath and did the accounts, settling the payroll till month end and all other liabilities before leaving at 3.30pm. Amila and I got back to the farm in Godagama by 8pm the earliest we have returned in a while. Fortunately the trip was rain free though we had taken the prcaution of covering the cab. We were not stopped at any of the security check points on the way.

Too contented valet Amila Saman Kumara

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