long overdue

It’s a rainy day in Grzybow.  The cows and goats have been milked.  The cheese has been made.  Laundry’s in the machine. Only thing left to do now is catch up on writing.

Peter and Ewa just came back from a three day vacation to the Polish seaside (their first extended stay away from the farm in two years), and left myself, another American wwoofer, and their 20 year old daughter in charge.  This meant milking twice a day and generally caring for thirty goats and three cows, making cheese, planning and teaching two English lessons to the village children, preparing three meals a day, and keeping the dogs from running into the neighbors’ fields.  Needless to say I’ve had my hands full.

All went well until the last ten minutes, when the cheese curd decided not to set, the calves escaped from their enclosure, and the horses (oh, yeah, I always forget to mention the horses) went for a gallop through the farmyard just as Peter and Ewa drove up and illuminated the scene with their headlights.  Oh well.

In other news:

  •  Had a fascinating Polish history lesson while visiting Warsaw; I don’t understand why this stuff has been kept from me.  In the 15th century, Poland was the largest country in Europe.  The royal line died out in the 16th century and the ensuing democratically elected rulers weren’t quite so good to the Poles.  For 123 years, Poland ceased to exist.
  • Visited Plock (pronounced: “Pwotsk”) a lovely town on the banks of the Wisla (pronounced: “Veeswa”), once the capital of Poland, visited by Jan Pawel II, with a rather impressive art deco museum.
  • Remembered the fourth anniversary of Brother Roger’s shocking murder at a small Taize service in Slubice (pronounced: “Swoobeetsa”).  About a dozen of us gathered around the village priest’s candle-lit dining room table and sang short choruses in half a dozen languages.  French was the hardest to get in sync with, latin the easiest.
  • Learned how to make Polish spaghetti sauce;  1 tin tomato paste, 1 lb butter, season to taste.

My Russian Visa finally came through, so the next phase of the journey looks to be on.  I’ve got one more week on the farm.  Then, I plan to couch surf (www.couchsurfing.org) through the Baltics and into Russia.  Spend a little time harvesting potatoes at an Orthodox monastery outside Moscow before embarking on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Stay tuned.

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