MONIKA VS HUNGARY - Part OneApril
I went straight from the Hungarian airport to the first farm I was staying on. I cannot express how grateful I was to actually have a firm grasp of the language, even so, I just about lost my sanity trying to figure out how to get around. From my first few hours in the country I would have been forgiven for thinking that it was not only illegal to smile, but punishable by death to help a sorry looking traveler out.
I watched the landscape out the window and reveled in how different it was to anything I had seen before. The houses especially. When I got to my stop I found it very interesting to see that most of the passengers hopped on to their bicycles and rode off - including a tiny little ancient granny. In the country side here many people ride bikes. I don't know why I found that so strange and foreign, but I did.
The reason I was heading to a random organic farm in a random small town in Hungary was I had signed up as a WWOOFer (willing worker on organic farms). The farm is very interesting, they have many traditional breeds of Hungarian animals, including Racka sheep, Mangalica Pigs and Bead hens.
The table is spread simply, but with plenty. Everything that we eat is grown here. The milk and cheese and yoghurt is made from the Racka milk, the bread is made from the flour that they make themselves here, the greenery is picked from the garden, its all completely organic, no pesticides. The only thing we consume that is not grown here on the farm is the water - as the well water cannot be drunk.
The work is intense, and the first few days were very hard for me. I have grown up in the city, and am a sensitive artist-type. What persuaded me to do this is beyond me, but partially I feel I need to "experience" a bit of the world beyond my drawing desk if I am to try and create stories and illustrations one day. Your imagination can only reach so far into the unknown - experiencing something first hand is very important to properly understand it.