Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Off to Grandmother's Хата We Go (continued)
Babusya Luda, Maxime's Grandmother
Dominic decided to put into words what some of his photos from the village captured. I thought it would be nice to post his version of their trip to the village along with a few more of the pictures that he took.
Trip to the Village
by Dominic Silva
It was a hot summer day as we got on the bus to go to Maxime's grandmother's village to visit her. I paid the bus driver for the ride, and took my seat next to an old man. As we stopped it seemed that more people were getting on than getting off. Because of this, the bus seemed to smell worse and worse. It didn't help when an old lady decided to close the emergency exit hatch on the top of the bus, (which was the only source of fresh air) because she was afraid that the draft would make her sick. As we came near our stop, Maxime motioned for us to stand up. Once we got off the bus I took a look around and noticed that there was a long gravel road leading to the village. Joshua then told me that that gravel road took us to Maxime's grandmother's house. As we walked we got to see all of the different animals in the village. We saw chickens, ducks, geese, cows, and the occasional horse. As we neared Maxime's house, (which was the last house at the end of the gravel road) I saw his grandmother, Luda, talking to her neighbor by her rusty metal fence.
Once his grandmother was done talking to her neighbor she came and greeted us and asked if we would like some tea and potato soup that she had made for us. We all agreed, and she motioned for us to sit at an old green table. Shorty after we sat down his grandmother came out with a bowl of honey, and a jar with something inside that had the color of peanut butter. I took the jar and read it, and it said that it was milk caramel. His grandmother came out with two spoons for both of us, and a slice of brown bread. Maxime immediately took a big scoop of the milk caramel. His grandmother then came out with tea and potato soup for all of us.
As we all ate his grandmother explained that she wanted us to pick off most of the potato bugs on her potato plants. We all said yes and thought that it would be fun. She said something to Maxime and he went inside and came out with three plastic bottles for us to put the potato bugs in. As we gathered up potato bugs we couldn't help but sometimes squish the bugs with our fingers, leaving greenish goo behind. Once we were done we went inside and washed our hands with a wet cloth. I asked Maxime while we were washing our hands what we were going to do with the potato bugs. He told me that we would probably throw them in the lake. We then took all the potato bugs and put them in one bottle. Maxime then directed us to the lake, and we threw them in.
After finishing our work for the day I asked Maxime what they do for fun in the village. He answered that he mostly fishes in the lake. I asked Maxime if we could go fishing. He told me that we first had to ask his grandmother if we could. When we got back to the house we all asked if it was OK to go fishing since we had finished collecting potato bugs. She nodded yes. Maxime then happily ran outside and got his fishing pole, which was made from a long thin piece of bamboo with fishing line attached to the top. Maxime then remembered that he didn't have any bait. He told us to follow him to his grandpa's tool shed where he came out with a shovel. Maxime told us that I could dig for the worms, he would look where I was digging to see if there was any worms, and Joshua could put them in a glass jar. We did this for about half an hour before Maxime said that we had enough.
We headed to a dock that someone had built out of an old door. Maxime then attached the worm to a hook on the end of the fishing pole, put a blueish basket into the water and attached it to the dock with a piece of rope and casted into the murky lake. I told Maxim that I didn't think that any fish actually lived in the lake. He argued with me that yes, there are fish in the lake and that he'll prove it to me by catching one. 10 minutes later we had a nibble. Maxime then waited until the timing was right and then yanked the fish out of the water! I was amazed. The fish was small with a yellowish belly. Maxime then plopped the fish into the basket. By the end of the day we had caught 3 fish!
The only reason we went home was because we were constantly being bitten by mosquitoes. We headed home and showed his grandmother all the fish we had caught (I was hoping that she wouldn't serve them to us for dinner!). She took the fish and fed them to the kittens. We then washed our feet and went to sleep. It was very hard to sleep because we were constantly itching our mosquito bites.
When we woke up in the morning his grandmother had already set out tea for us. She told us that we would be leaving at 11:00 to get on the bus to go back home. Once we finished our tea and talked for a while his grandmother told us it was time to go. Before we left his grandmother made sure that all the baby geese, and chickens were fed. We then headed up the gravel trail for the second time. Once we reached the place where we had gotten of the bus we sat in the shade of a nearby tree. We didn't have to wait more than 15 minutes before the same old bus arrived. We all got on and I paid the driver again and took my seat (this time it wasn't as crowded). It only took us about 30 minutes until we reached Bila Tserkva. When we got off, his grandmother told us that she had to go to the market to buy things. So we headed home. When we reached the playground where we lived we saw the same kids playing outside with the same clothes on. It was almost as if we had never left.
Last Catch of the Day