Strange Ladies Here we come

Chris and Susan visit Kathleen and Henry

July 9-13, 2000



Chris came with a generous heart and showered our host family with gifts that they had never seen or imagined. Valentin, a visiting doctor from Bucharest, looks on wondering.






The grandmother of the house Maria couldn't figure out what was attached to this stuffed dog -- we had to tell her it was the dog's tongue.





The night they arrived, after gift disbursement, the visiting students from Bucharest gave a going away party for themselves and we were invited! This man from Sārbi gladly welcomes his American strange lady friends.





Chris said she really needed a vacation. The first morning in Sārbi she took to the fields and worked. Got the scythe going real good.





She also got right in to helping Ileana a nearby neighbor wash her heavy blanket in the viltoare. You go strange lady.




She also helped this Ileana milk her cow.







We started out walking to the nearby village of Breb. As soon as Susan saw this wild flower field she had to sit in it. As they say here, "the air is good."





Walking over a bridge to get to Breb.





We got lucky and were offered a lift.






Headed home at 8:00pm.







We got back and took our table outdoors, with the men of the house watching how we all ate together. The old woman sitting down (Ileana) has come by to give Kathleen the sheep cheese that sits in the brown bowl. She owed it to Kathleen for having driven her and her husband 12 km to the forest with some goods for the shepherds watching their sheep.




  As custom calls, a shot of tuica (100 proof homemade liquor) in one fast flip of the wrist. TOT!






  Ileana, our host mother, takes us to visit her garden.






We picked all kinds of berries on the way :-)






We helped Ileana pick fresh carrots, cucumbers, beans, onions, potatoes and dill.





And the best part after a days work: sitting and watching others go by.






When we got back to the house, our family was making a deal on some rugs that these Roma (gypsy) men were selling. Half hour later they bought 3 rugs at the price originally asked for one.





Outside Ocna Sugatag we took a path to visit our village neighbor Damian; a shepherd. Six months out of the year he lives in a wooden lean-to with 3 other men, surrounded by their dogs. We watched him milk his sheep in the setting sun.






He offered us sheep cheese and tuica. As they say, "tuica is good for your stomach."






Chris had the opportunity to participate in a funeral procession through Sārbi. Unfortunately Susan was back at home recovering from gasterine intestinal struggles.





Chris was taken on each side by an Ileana and followed the wails of the mourning women ahead.





After the funeral, Chris helped Ileana (the 5th Ileana she's met so far) to make American chocolate chip cookies. They wish they could bake them here, but can't get brown sugar.




As Chris was busy laying out the dough, Susan directed Ileana the girl in dancing the Jack Hammer.

Ileana Doca (three in one room) looks on with 75 years of never having seen such a dance.






Ileana got the hang of making these cookies real fast, essentially kicking Chris out of the way and taking over.






Before they left the village we had one last time all together in the home drinking ciai (tea) and buying costumes for gifts to take home.




The family that sews together, reaps together.


Strange ladies of the corn.


Ileana carries Chris' water bottle.

"Say 'brunza'"

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