In the morning, I got up, washed, and took a walk around the place because the work had not begun. That night I went to bed in the sweet night air beneath a dewy tent.
Three days and nights: no work, little food, warm beers, all freely given to me by others in the same shape as me. We huddled around a bond fire each night, where I would listen to their stories and the songs of a hard life.
Finally, we began working.
In a large tent near mine lived a family. They consisted of the grandfather, his wife, their son and daughter, their spouses, and half-a-dozen children.
Each filed every dawn across the highway to the field and went to work. And each morning, I followed behind them.
We bent down and began picking. Soon my hands began to cramp, fingertips to bleed; I needed gloves or more experience, and my back ached.
Each day I strived to catch up to the children as they moved along the cultivated rows. Each day, I fell behind and was never able to match their speed or skill.
But I never surrendered to the feeling of defeat that often overcame me.