Autumn Colours in the Tomato Field
For their first day of the Shack Experience our LiveDifferent Academy students worked alongside Mexican workers in a tomato field. About three-quarters of people living in this Baja area work in the fruit and vegetable fields that grow in this irrigated valley. Phrases I heard the students say today include: “I will never look at tomatoes the same way again….My back hurts….How do they do this all day, six days a week for years and years….I hate tomatoes….My job at home wasn’t as bad as I thought.” We got the same two questions over and over again from the other workers: “Why are you working in the fields?” and “Do you like the work?” It was hard for them to believe that a group of Canadians would want to see and experience what life is like for them. We told them their work was hard. And when we would ask them if they liked their work, they would respond something like “Not really but it’s a job and we are thankful to have one.”
Here are some thoughts on the day from one of the LiveDifferent Academy students, Hailee Rogers:
“The only way we will see fall colours this autumn season is on the tomatoes that we picked today. The work was hard but not unbearable, except we are all fairly sore now. We made our first dinner of beans and rice over the fire tonight. When wrapped up in the tortilla though, it tasted more like hot mush. And for lunch tomorrow we get the leftovers but cold. For some reason I’m thinking our leftovers won’t taste nearly as great as Julia’s always do. I was proud of the eight pesos we managed to save. With 135 pesos (what we made after paying for rent, water and childcare) we bought beans, rice, tortillas, drinking water, soap, toilet paper and eggs. So, eight pesos was pretty good. I am excited but nervous for our first night sleeping in the shack we made. Hopefully there isn’t too many bugs. I am hoping it will be warm and cozy. Tomorrow we are doing housework for the big house across the street and I am hoping its less physically demanding than tomato picking was today. Buenas noches before I lose daylight and consciousness.
p.s. Thanks Mom for teaching me good work ethics.