At 7:30 a.m. I heard people talking below our window. It was the first family come to visit on this “Day of the Open Door,” when local villagers are invited to come by and learn about the ranch and its programs. Darja and Andre have been here four years but this is the first open house they have had. Invitations were issued throughout the village and people came in small informal groups every two hours for an introduction by Andre.
At 5:00 p.m. the stands under the big tent filled again and Andre and Darja entertained the villagers with a local show. A men’s choral group of more than a dozen singers filled the tent with their voices and Andre presented several equestrian numbers. A local Animal Assistant Therapy group brought six dogs and were greatly appreciated when each dog did their special tricks and the Lippizaner stallion Maj was a big hit on the circular stand.
Over 100 guests enjoyed Darja’s Mother special “segedin” – a delicious sauerkraut and beef dish that was washed down with locally-grown wine and chased with her cakes and cookies. I danced a lively polka with Dajia’s uncle to the lusty tune of an accordion and clarinet, and had a fascinating conversation with a local bee keeper. Rok Kranjnik translated for me and later brought me a CD on rotating beehives that apparently solve the problem of mites on bees, a problem that is in many parts of the world, and a serious issue that many people are totally unaware of. I have been fascinated by bees as long as I can remember and plan to send the info on the rotating hives to Anne Harmon, who attended my Virginia TTEAM training this year and is an authority on bees. She is the mother of veterinarian Dr. Joyce Harmon. In case you are interested in bees, or know of anyone who is having trouble with mites, check out the Hungarian site, http://www.ANIVET.hu. They have a CD in English.
I am beginning to suspect that there is a whole population of elves who are invisible helpers here at the ranch. By eight o’clock the last guest had taken leave and six of us took down the folding tables, cleared up the plastic plates and cups, piled up the tablecloths and by 8:45 p.m., just before dusk, we sat down for a glass of beer and the work was finished.
After four days with more than seven hundred guests there was not a scrap of trash lying around and we were ready for the next day. It does not seem possible that the organization and work was done by just Darja and Andre with Darja’s Mom and Aunt in the kitchen, a neighbor friend dishing up the stew on Sunday evening, and Manca and Aljez and eight of their teenage students helping out during the workshops.
About 8:30 p.m. the lightning began to flash and thunder rumbled and by 9:00 p.m.. we had to go inside because of the rain. This was a minor miracle because the weather forecast for the entire weekend had been for rain and wind, and we had experienced perfect warm weather and sunny skies. Andre was very pleased and we were all in a state of thanksgiving!
© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008