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13 may 2001

Yesterday was the first real day of the workcamp.  Friday evening we tried to attend a local cultural event, but missed it by a few minutes.  We did make it over to a rock concert featuring some local talent, it was pretty good.  Some of us had a few beers and we basically had a good time.  Later on it was getting cold for some of the girls so we left and made our way to a bar and had a few beers there as well.  After the bar, we came back to the center of town where our accommodations were located and pretty much fell asleep, it was only about midnight.  I did some light reading before I fell asleep, I'm still trying to plow through Ivanhoe.  It may take some more time than I had originally thought.

In the morning I got up at about 8:00am and showered and shaved before we headed out to the brewery and began to work.  Our initial task is to clear a room of hay and other random stuff like wood, metal, garbage, etc.  Initially we could not clear much except the bulky items because we were waiting for some tools.  Eventually, after lunch, we got three brooms, a pick, five shovels and two metal containers we used to carry the hay.  The work initially seemed like it would take quite a long time but as the day wore on we made quite a bit of headway and the growing pile of hay outside was becoming enormous.  We would work for an hour or so and then take a break for a few minutes.  By the end of the day we had most of the room cleared of the hay.  We estimate about 2 hours will put a significant dent in completing the work.  Sometime after 5:00pm we decided to call it a day and came back to where we were staying for some dinner and showers.

I was the last one to take a shower and the last few people had to take a very cold shower, it was brutal, I pretty much did a sponge bath.  Dinner was ready by the time I got out of the shower.  Sanna and Lien had been making pasta but where having problems boiling water since they were using a hot plate.  I thought the pasta was good, we all ate from the large pot they used to make the pasta, in a communal type fashion.

After dinner we tried to go to a beauty pageant being held by the local Roma but we were too late.  Fortunately they were having a party so we decided to stay for that.  When we arrived at the dance hall one of the Roma introduced us to the winners of the pageant and told us some information about the event.  The party included a local band singing some traditional songs but utilizing modern musical instruments.  They had a sax, bass, guitar, drum machine, keyboard and some support percussion like the tambourine.  We had a great time with the Roma.  While I was sitting there some of the Roma women made me dance with them and the rest of my workcamp buddies watched while I tried to do their dance.  The Roma have a very energetic dance and I was really tired and sweaty after about 15 or 20 minutes.  Dancing with the Roma really wore me out and showed how out of shape my fat ass really is.  Later on we drank some more and mingled with the Roma.  They were very enthusiastic about our workcamp showing up at their party.

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