Aging Treasure

The rain has not come to Utan Kayu, Cengkareng, for almost a month. Udin (65) and his wife Siti Masamah (60) from Cirebon, West Java, keep a sharp lookout for it in the 250 square meter plot where they grow kangkung--a kind of edible morning glory. They live in a 3 x 4 m2 hut with no electricity and running water. Every day they have to lug two containers of water from a lake to water their garden. The distance to the water source is hard on the old couple who have been growing kangkung for twenty years.
A bunch of kangkung sells for Rp 300 to a tengkulak—a collector/reseller. They earn Rp.700,000 each harvest time to support themselves in Jakarta. They have no children, no relatives.
Normally the kangkung can be harvested in a month. The seeds sown twenty days ago have grown, but the rain still does not fall. Pak Udin and Bu Siti can only guess that the rain-tamers (note: Indonesians believe in pawang hujan--rain tamers, who are believed to have the ability to move rain elsewhere, or keep the day from raining.) are at work. Scavenging for plastic waste to earn extra income, the two old farmers keep praying for rain to fall on their green treasures, the kangkung.