„Know your country first, then go abroad”

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For a long time, I could not bear the cliché entitled „Know your country first, then go abroad”, while at the first day of the programme, I felt that if one wants to know the world, there is really no need at all costs to desire going to exotic places. A lot more can be provided if he or she is getting to know a non-urban way of life better that is exotic to him, here in Hungary. The first dose of this was for me.

For this, of course, authentic farmers and such programmes were needed that far surpass the overblown stimulus-threshold of urban youth, able to get them out of the rut. The first day of getting to know each other was spent according like this, thanks to the well-organised programme.
Pile of bales and the anatomy of a tractor, and then animal psychology while getting close to a breeder bull as a matador. Of course, this is to be called ridiculously far away from a rural point of view.
I can say that from the start, everyone soaked valuable information in like a dry sponge thanks to our sympathetic tour guides.
But I enjoyed mostly the many short anecdotes and verbal snapshots of everyday life. Because walls between the city and the countryside are brought down thanks these entertaining stories almost undetectably and immediately, and common human values are revealed that are in all of us regardless of our way of life or views. And these can mean the basis fur understanding that can be built upon.
The group returned to the city already as a bus full of certified tractor drivers, waiting for the near future's cultural shocks and beauties promised many times, and the wee that everyone can spend at his or her chosen farm. As everyone from the group, I am also awaiting for this week.
To know more about why we embarked on this journey. To self-fulfillment utilising our human possibilities and not to look at life as a the calf born yesterday in the storm at the new gate. By the way, it is very cute, picture attached...

I drove in through the farm's gate late afternoon. My first route led me to the reception, because a pension is operating here too. I did not have to searh for a long time, I found our future “owner” here, whose energy – as we felt it later – has a key role in the farm's life.
I quickly dissolved the worries of the girl sitting at the reception desk, who was responsible for us being well-nourished, that a crescent roll with cheese cream will be more than enough for me, and anything for lunch that is not meat. Because I am one of the participants of the programme who is not a bit compatible with a farm regarding food, since I am vegetarian.
Rain started to fall, so I lay down at our nice little accommodation in the house behind the pension, not even thinking about what will happen to us in the following days if the weather will be like this.
I was waken by a voice: “Young man, come quickly!” Our farmer's mother, who was providing us with accommodation, called. I was already envisioning that right now, the bad part will come and I will have to dig a couple of hectares, but she only wanted to share with me the miracle after the rain, a full rainbow, that – I must confess – I had never ever seen before in my life.
Just a little rain fell, so she was watering at the garden and I – while I was staring at the distant, cloudy horizon – was listening to her stories about the feeling of freedom that can be found in agriculture and of course about the hardships derived from weather's unpredictability.
By nighttime, my programme-partner Kornél had arrived, with whom we went to sleep after a nice chat. I set my alarm clock to 5:03 and I fell asleep.
At the next day, it was a bit easier to wake up as I thought, I was driven by excitement. The group gathers every day at 5:45 in front of the farm building, and there, it turns out who does what at that day. Because the farm is big, there is apple, plum, grapes, a ploughland and apricot. The latter was just under being harvested and as sissy urban guys, we had been placed at the tarkot that is bringing in the apricot for jam or for raw material to make 'pálinka' (typical Hungarian spirit) from the orchard in big piles of crates that are put on one another.
The old man driving the tractor was not very amused that he got two “guys from the capital” in straw hats instead of his regular and effective crate-packing friends.
We did everything we could not to make him disappointed, and I think we managed to do so. We packed the crates that were 10 kilograms each on the trailer of the slowly moving tractor, nicely on one another until the carriage was full, meditational 20-minute-long bumpy way back to the farm, unloading there and back to the orchard. Repeating this I don't know how many times. Of course, we had a break time to time, we relaxed our fatigued muscles, we straightened our backs and all the while, we were having fun, because the company was full of great personalities and we had heard unbelievable speeches.


Dániel Rózsa