In April, the people in one of the villages we visited were beginning to plant the rice crop. Due to the subtropical climate in this part of the country, farmers can get two harvests between April and October.
Our visit was a good introduction to the changing family structure in these rural villages. Looking through the photos, we see the older generation of grandparents farming and taking care of the grandchildren. The middle generation of parents is off to the city to work for higher wages. They hope to find permanent jobs and residency in the city so that they can move their families off the farm. They leave their children in their home villages to be cared for by grandparents, sometimes only seeing their parents and children once or twice per year.
I suppose some might criticize the parents for leaving their children, ethnocentrism and privilege forcing judgement upon others. But when I see the children running around in the sunshine, laughing and playing, and, as they get older, working in the fields rather than inside with a phone or video game, I am pretty sure that this early childhood is worth the trade off.