Day 67 of 182 (day 3 of 7 阿蘇山 WWOOF)

SAM DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we went to a mountainside controlled fire. The flames leapt 3 metres into the air. In 1 hour the landscape went from ちや色 (brown) to まっくろ(black). It was incredible and so quick. We met the same boy from yesterday in the ONSEN and he kind of gave us permission to swim (ed. signs clearly show no swimming, but how do you stop a 7 & 9 year old from swimming in a 25m long heated whirpool).

Brad wakes at 6, fires up now-working kerosene heater and puts on pan with water. Sleeting outside. In dark, tries to find i-pad and updates diary while the others sleep. After an hours uninterrupted quiet, 3 sleeping bags begin to move…hot tea for Heidi…make our way to the house for Japanese breakfast of rice, miso, Dakon radish, tea (all made on wood fired stoves…useful pressure cooker)…
Taro scrubbing and then to watch men set fire to grasslands. (Memories for Brad are particularly powerful…he too, used to set fire to grasslands as a boy growing up on the Highveld of Johannesburg, South Africa…in Scotland its heather burning & Halloween bonfires)…while the fields burned, Sam & Joe played with the other children, while Heidi & Brad chatted to some very interesting people doing cool things.

It seems that, following the Fukoshima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster many folk had a massive re-think about their lives and moved to Kyushu. Many are now living here in the 阿蘇山 National Park. After the burning, back to Taro Scrubbing for parents, while the boys went to play at someone else’s house (again)…

Jirosan &Masamisan have a deadline of 400kg worth of packaged Taro (they are up until midnight each night packaging) and we are all working hard to help them meet it. So tomorrow, we are likely to be TARO SLAVES again…but feeling satisfied in our usefulness…it’s raining hard outside now, but we are indoors 😀

JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we saw the grass burning. We arrived at the fields to men climbing out with flame throwers! Next thing we know the grass has become 20m high flames. The flames would come speeding along!


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