At 8 a.m. every morning, we have a visitor. Our milkman. Isn’t that dreamy? I am sure my dad’s side of the family are rolling their eyes at me as they read this, because they run a dairy farm - and don’t get me started on one of my favorite things as a child when I was visiting my grandma and grandpa and we would have really creamy milk that would come in the tin can from the barn and I would have Rice Krispies with loads of sugar on it. So yummy. Okay, so our milk doesn’t come in a tin can, but in a used 1 liter pop bottle. Sweet. Still warm from, well, the cow. We then boil it for 20 minutes, let it cool, scrape the cream off the top to save for butter and presto, milk for the day. I have also been making yogurt with it. It strikes me that I am a bit bizarre to get so excited about the whole milkman thing, but really there’s not much entertainment over here... no shopping malls for us, just the milkman. The fun thing about the old pop bottle is that when we were in Romania, oh I don’t know, 5 years ago, we got our milk from the family next door and they brought it over in an old pop bottle. Who knew the pop bottle is an international phenomenon for milk lovers everywhere? We obviously have become comfortable with the whole milk-in-an-old-pop-bottle thing, when the other morning the milk came with 2 flies floating on top. Why waste all that milk for two measly flies? We just scooped them out, and continued on with our boiling. Gross? You tell me.
Cream... soon to be butter
One hour left until our yogurt is good and ready
On the two-flied milk day, we went to church and after the service a bunch of kids were playing in the outdoor baptismal and found a dead shrew. They brought it out to the parents, proud of their discovery. Later, under a big tree, they dug a hole, found a wee head stone, said a few nice words and gave it a bit of a funeral. Awesome.
I am still definitely mulling over the reality of us living here. I have been given some quiet mornings, now the A, J & S are in school and Jovie still takes a morning nap. I take great pleasure in the quiet, it has given me some space to think about our 7 1/2 months of being here, so far away from family and friends. I think I will just cut and paste an email that I sent a friend, “i feel grateful for the friends we have here. i feel like there is a camaraderie between all of us - like we kind of need each other to battle it out here in this very foreign place we call home. but they do not take the place of our friends/family back home. that is something that i am slowly realizing. i thought if we would find enough good friendships here, it would fill the ache of not being home (the states), but it does not. that's okay though. we are fighting for girls who need a different story and if it makes me feel sad/uncomfortable then i want to gather the strength to come to terms with the fact that i just may have a constant dull ache the entire time we live here.”
Well, it seems that at some time in most peoples’ lives, urine has been some sort of soothing agent or disinfectant. Interesting. The Goan lifeguard did not tell Ani to urinate on her wrist, but to go to the nearest restaurant and ask for some vinegar. So, our friend Kirk, who really does know everything, was our star quiz player. As your prize Kirk, when we are in MN next summer, we will buy you a bottle of vinegar for all of your jellyfish sting needs. Thanks to everyone who participated in the quiz, it brought great amusement to read all of your ideas. And if we ever get the software for our video camera (the other video that we put up a few months ago is from somebody else’s camera), we will surely put up the video of jayson doing his Jason Bourne thing.
James after the first day back at school doing his "prep" (i.e., homework)