Thursday, June 23, 2011

Glimpses from Pusztaszer

Whilst I have been traveling and exploring the amazing countryside and incredible cities of Hungary, I have been keeping a regular "Travel Log" that I send out to my dear friends back home. I didn't really think to share them here, but it was recently suggested to me I should, as they have been influencing me greatly, and the encounters and crazy adventures I have had will definitely find their way into my art. So without further ado, I shall start slowly transcribing my Dairy here (copy-paste, how wonderful you are to me)

MONIKA  VS  HUNGARY - Part One
April
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.


4 comments:

  1. It's lovely to see you back "home" on your blog! Thank you for telling about your experiences so those of us who are less adventurous than you can live vicariously through them too! The paintings are very gentle and simple, very beautiful. I hope you will check in again here soon! ~Ruth

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  2. Farm life does make you stronger! My grandma at 85 was stronger than I will ever be...the amount of work that such a tiny lady managed to do in a single day was always astonishing to me. Arms of steel, heart of gold!
    Well, sounds like you had an interesting first month in Hungary. I am glad you decided to share your adventures on the blog. Looking forward to learning what happened in May!

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  3. Wow, sounds like a very interesting month. I look forward to hearing more.

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  4. Good to hear from you. We miss you!

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