Sunday, July 13, 2008
A Return to Civilization
I'm home, and I've got a bonified farmer's tan!
I made it back from the farm yesterday and am now back in Graz. I just wanted to check in and say thank you for all of your notes and encouragement (but as I had no internet access, I just now got them), and I did survive my near-month on the farm.
I've learned to work outside in the fields in the heat of the day. I've [more or less] milked a cow. I've seen spiders in every shape, size, and color, both inside and outside. And thankfully, oh so thankfully, I am not allergic to hay.
It was hard work--just as I suspected it to be. But I also learned valuable life skills like how to harvest hay on a steep mountainside or how to drive cows to the alpine pasture with a few choice words and a cattle prod or how to churn butter from the cream you've separated from the fresh cow's milk. I battled what I would consider "real" homesickness for the first time in my life, and I met some really interesting people who made the whole trip worthwhile. I learned such a great deal during my 24 days on the farm, and I am so grateful that I had this opportunity.
There is SO much to tell. But lucky you--this isn't the old days of my mass emails (some of you may still remember my [infamously] long report after my trip to Romania in 2006!)...this go around I've got a blog. I kept a journal while I was there about my experiences, impressions, and what I learned, and my plan is to give you choice exerpts every few days or so. This way you can learn about the trip and keep up at a managable pace.
And please keep your comments coming--I love to hear your reactions and feedback!