Wow! It's been a crazy few days full of mirth and joy and singing and bustling around and eating and digesting and drinking and farming and it'll take a while to explain it all!
Saturday: Had lunch at New Botton Farm after a morning of chores chores chores. I forgot to tell Valeska about the gluten thing and we had pasta. I ate a bunch and didn't puke but...I've noticed recently that my reaction to gluten has changed--now when I eat it I get really bad gas and some stomach pain. Great. I think I'd rather barf! But it was fine really. I entertained the kiddies for a bit; it's so different being in a house with children and villagers, so it was nice to get a taste of it. Andreas gave me a tour of the farm, which was really great. Their milking system is completely different than ours, and much faster and easier. We met up with Michaela and Katarina, two co-workers from the summer who left before I came. They are SO nice, and of course, also German. I freaking love Germans, and am definitely learning German in college! Anyway, we went to the coffee bar and the shop and then got a car and went to the co-op in Guisborough to get some, um, beverages for the party. Ben had arranged for us to have a party in the games room in Honey Bee Hall, and I was SO happy! For once the party was right next door to my house and I wouldn't have to stagger home at 3 AM! Well, I'd have not so far to stagger :).
So back at home I took a nap and then we had bible evening and two of Paule and Nick's friends were here and we had a lively discussion for a change. Then at 10 I went over to the hall and partied my heart out until, well, 3 AM. A bunch of staff kids were there, back on holiday from school, so I met some more people and learned new things and played a mini-concert for some people upstairs in the hall with Phil's guitar.
Sunday: Woke up at 8 to make breakfast, then after breakfast went to the hall to clean up the games room. I swept and mopped and tidied and Magda cleaned the toilets and took the very full recycling bin away. In the afternoon was the Advent Cafe, which I helped out with a bit. After supper I went to Ben's and hung out with what is now a very clearly defined clique of Lisa, Lisa, Ben, Andreas, and myself. Oh! And Madi (Paule's younger daughter) and Phillip (her boyfriend and a former co-worker) came in the afternoon. They're really cool, and Madi really does talk more than I do!
Monday: Food centre in the morning, cleaning the floor with Magda and her mother who is here visiting her and doesn't speak a word of english. Lunch at home, farm in the afternoon until 4:00 when I had rehearsal for the Christmas Eve Celebration, singing in the choir. Went to Tourmalin (where Lisa lives....you know I ought to label them Lisa 1 and Lisa 2) for supper cuz I had to be back in the hall by 7:30 to decorate the Christmas tree as part of the Foundation Course. So then we did the tree and Lisa from Rowan and I ran around singing Moulin Rouge and dancing and laughing and I think everyone thought we were totally nuts, but I'm used to that.
Tuesday: Food centre in the morning and Magda wasn't there (she was giving her mom a tour of the village) and almost all the villagers had left on holiday so it was just Katie and Magnus and I and we cleaned the drains and washed bottles and went to the coffee bar for tea break. Home for lunch, and fun filled farming in the afternoon. I rode around in the tractor with Justin the whole afternoon, first gathering greenery for decorating the byres, then we went and got apple mush from the food centre for the cows. Justin left me in the centre so I could go straight to choir rehearsal, so I went to choir smelling of farm.
Wednesday: Some workshops were still going, but we had finished in the food centre, so I spent the morning at home. Lazed around all afternoon, sometimes doing helpful little things. At 5:30 I went to the hall, and at 6:00 the Christmas Eve Celebration began! It was so beautiful. The priest read the tory of the birth of Christ while some villagers and co-workers acted it out, and we in the choir would sing the most beautiful songs at times in the story, and the four Archangels, Rafael, Gabriel, Uriel aaaand crap I forget the other one, but anyway, the four people with the best voices in the village acted as these angels and this song they sang was literally the best piece of music I have ever heard in my entire life. I got all teary and everything! There was eurethmy and the eurythmists had candles and little children in white robes and gold crowns got their candels lit and then went to the audience where a representative from each house had a lantern which was then lit by the child's candle, and then the huge tree was lit (yeah, real candles on the tree!) and then we sang together and then we came home and went to the byres and sang to the cows and then we had a lovely supper of salmon and mashed potatoes and chicory salad and green salad and fruit with cream for dessert. Then we sat around and talked and sang carols and lit our tree (with the light from the lantern) and at 10 I went back to the hall and helped put away the chairs and tidy up. Then I wandered around looking for Ben and Andreas and found Andreas sleeping at home but his mom, who is visiting for a few days, said they were going to the midnight service soon, so I hung out with her (she's so nice!) and then he woke up and we all went to the midnight service together in the church. I've only ever been to a church service one other time, when I went to mass with Liz, and the only thing i remember is when everyone got up for communion and I thought, "wait a sec, am I supposed to do that too? It's not my religion!!" I'm not gonna lie, I fell asleep big time. Church is boring! Afterwards everyone was hugging and there were "happy christmas"'s all around. I got a lift home from Marc Antoine, thank god cuz I would have fallen asleep on the path otherwise.
I'll write more later...time for a walk. Also I already wrote a huge blog entry going up until today but I stupidly deleted it. So now I have to do it all again and its daunting...so I'm walking.