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Saturday, July 08, 2006

To Grandmother's House We Go

While gathering berries, Marina, one of our friends told us that we had been invited to her grandmother’s home in a nearby village for tea. We would be walking there after we completed our berry gathering. Soon, with our baskets full and our legs wobbly from all the walking, bending, crawling and picking we had already done, we set off through the woods toward the village. We walked for about 25 minutes through the forest along a barely visible path and then came out on a dirt “road” which led off into the unknown. We walked down the road a bit, crested a small rise and before us, we could see the village.

The village consists of about 15 small 2-3 room log homes, most in disrepair. There is neither running water nor gas for heat in the village. Everyone carries water from a local well, and in the winter people heat their small homes with wood or the more well off might have bottled natural gas.

We arrived at Marina’s grandmother home and were greeted by her Mom and Dad, who were also visiting. Much to our surprise we were told that it was the birthday of Marina’s mom and that we were guests! We were shown around the garden plot, and then invited into the home. Grandma’s house has two rooms, a kitchen and a living/sleeping room. We where seated at the table, and the family began to bring out piles of food. We had salad, fish, potatoes and other foods. Soon we where all chattering, as our new Russian friends wanted to know all about us.

Marina’s grandmother is a bright and funny 73 year old who lives in the village by herself. Her family helps her with the garden and with other chores when they can. She really enjoyed our visit. After an hour or so of eating and chatting and drinking tea we made our way out to the dirt street and surprisingly a local taxi had been called to take us back to Vacha, about a 15 minute ride from the little village.
Village House

Dinner at Marina's Grandmother's Home

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