The farmer wants a husband

I had the honoured of spending a few days with a group of friends at his families country house in the country to celebrate summer solstice. The main reason I decided on the gap year was just so I could celebrate summer solstice in the mother country.
Ahot day, and a backpack filled with clothes we congregated at the famous Laimas clock. The place where dates and normal people meet much like my flinders street station clock. In the sweltering heat and being with boys who are always hungry it was time for some lunch before we headed on a long 3 hour bus ride. We headed to vairakas saules a place where our friends friend cooks amazing pizzas and also the place of amazing strawberry mojitos that are so refreshing and use real strawberries and awesome drink on a hot day. Pizza eaten, mojitos drunken and it was time to go for our bus ride.
The bus ride was good, I was expecting it to be on a 70s style bus with no air conditioning but the bus was air conditioned and quite comfortable. We got to experience the green country side and see storks and even a moose crossing the road with a baby moose, something that I had never seen in Latvija.
We finally arrived. It was amazing where we were staying. There was no running water meaning no showers, the toilet was a drop toilet and im pretty sure there was no refridgerstion and we were sleeping above horses not in beds but in the hay. The experience was an experience I had never had before especially for a city girl. Who in Australia can say that they have slept in hay bales or used a drop toilet. The kitchen was near the horse stables, I was surprised at how many flies were gathered in the kitchen, around the food, but in politeness we ate it and drank copious amounts if alcohol to get through. When it was time to go to bed, the experience climbing up to the loft then being too hot because 10 other people are sleeping in your vicinity but then having to put on jumpers because the amount of Mosquitos buzzing around and biting you even though you drenched yourself in insect repellant meant that I had a restless night sleep. It just meant that at 4am I climbed down and went and played on the swings, thinking about the greenery, amazed that it was pretty much day light, hearing a cuckoo bird, seeing storks and seeing the men go off and check if there were any fish.
The next morning after a restless night sleep, we had a amazing breakfast, the meats were from animals that had been slaughtered at their farm so it was fresh, homemade bread and spread. A hearty breakfast eaten it was time to get to chores. The boys went to do manly stuff, like cutting down trees and prepare for the summer solstice fire, while the girls swept out the barn with brooms of sticks and then went to the fields to pick flowers and greenery for our vainags (flower crowns) and decoration. It was amazing being in a field of flowers hearing the insects buzz and picking wild flowers and even wild strawberries knowing that no pesticides had been used on them. The wild strawberries tasted so sweet like little lollies and also reminded me of PNAUs song Wild Strawberries. Chores were done, it was time to eat a huge lunch and have a nap to prepare for the nights festivities.
In the mean time the boys and my friend paddled out on a row boat to the middle of the lake, they attempted to fish, while we jumped off the boat and swam to cool ourselves down. It was blissful being on a lake, jumping in off a boat and seeing in the distance a beautiful Russian orthodox church.
Swimming completed it was time for the girls to make our vainags using the flowers we had picked earlier. Making the vainags was quite challenging, but luckily this family used string, many people in Latvija know how to make a vainags without string. I would suck at that. My vainags turned out alright,unlike many that I have made this one was even, there were no bits falling out and it fit my head alright.
It was then time for the festivities to start, food and drinks, dances were danced, songs were sung and the fire was lit. The bonfire that was right under the electricity lines. It emitted so much heat but was 10x better than the ones in Australia, and there was an aura about it something about being in Latvija spending summer solstice in my homeland with friends.
We had a bit of drama thinking that we were going to run out of alcohol seeming one of the boys was in charge of alcohol shopping and had only purchased 4x captain Morgan’s, a slab if beer and 4x bottles of fizz, but we were running off the energy of celebrating Jani.
It was becoming dawn so we decided to go for a bit of a swim, which turned into a skinny dip. One if the boys did not trust me and my friend on directions to the lake so pleaded for us to wait until more people came. For once we listened, but the experience of skinny dipping was amazing, though the. It got cold. Luckily they had started the Pirts (sauna), and we were about to experience a real Latvian sauna style session though not in the nude for the girls we had our bathers, the bots on the other hand went nude. So in Latvian tradition the girls went first, we roasted for a bit, went out got sprayed with water, then went back in where we were whacked with birch leaves all over our body. The feeling was refreshing and relaxing, if only I could have someone to do that to me everyday, my skin felt a lot better and I sweated the toxins out.
It was becoming morning, so we decided to go to sleep and turn in the hay literally. For the first night there was no Mosquitos but that could also be because it was day time and we had also survived the tradition of staying up all might because if you went to sleep on Jani you would have bad luck. The only thing I didn’t do was jump over the fire but that’s because firstly my flexibility is snit and secondly I didn’t want to get burnt.
So I survived the country and summer solstice but there is more country stories to come later on.


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