Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I managed to snap these pictures in the village of Makachevo, in an elderly couple's home. I couldn't believe it until I had seen it, that people still live like this, like they have for so many generations. In the center of the house stood a giant stove, like the ones I had read about in folktales. The old lady seemed ancient. She was dressed in red, and I felt like I was in the presence of all things authentic and truly Russian. I feel deeply sad that these villages are in terminal decline. There was a little girl following us while we were in Makachevo, and I wondered if she, too would live out her life here, and become an old babushka herself. How much has life changed here? Had the old lady's childhood been much different from that of the little girl? I looked carefully at this old woman's eyes, and wondered what they had seen, and felt so privileged to have seen them.

But there were so many signs of life of Makachevo. It seemed so genuine there, and the people were welcoming, sincere and enthusiastic. I will never forget having a snowball fight with the village boys.
Here is a video of one of the boys reciting some poetry, with a distinctive "backwoods" accent.

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