Friday, 29 August 2008

Kamila back Home

Kamila arrived at her new home and after a good nights sleep she requested that she now doesn't want to continue this daily diary as this is not what she is here for.

She had decided for quite some time now to live her new life with her Bulgarian friends out of the spotlight. She is quite shy and finds that pictures and diary accounts of what she does everyday somewhat get int he way of her life here.

She said we can occasionally catch up with the news of her life her, but not everyday.

We had to agree as Kamila is a free camel and has camel rights just like everyone else, even in Bulgaria.

So, Kamila will be seen on occasions but not everyday.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Back to Yambol

It was a long and lonely path today as Kamila made her way to the car. She was on her way back to Yambol after some three weeks holiday on the Skalitsa Farmhouse. She had a wonderful time and fond out how different it is in the villages compared to the towns in Bulgaria.

She will be reflecting on the experience over the next week no doubt, but right now she is looking forward to seeing Eli again, who is waiting in Yambol for here.

Although Kamila loved it here in Skalitsa, she saw for herself that it is hard work for many people who live here. they have no money and have to grow their own food to survive. Basics such as water is always available although you sometime have to walk to get it but to Kamila and most people living here, that's not a problem.

So, Kamila, full of thought, says goodbye for now to Skalitsa, she will have lots to talk about when she gets back to Yambol.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Storks in Skalitsa

Kamila was feeling quite sad today. The reason was quite simply that tomorrow was the last day here holidaying on the Skalitsa farmhouse. She will be very sorry to go, but at the same time be happy to get back to here friends she left behind in Yambol.

She wondered into the street and saw at the end of the road a stork's nest with three baby stork there. We told her that they will be flying away very soon and will return to nest again next year in the same spot.

Kamila was quite taken with these birds as they were very large and graceful as she saw them glide over her head on occasions.

"Do you get Storks in Yambol?" was the question on Kamila's lips.

"No, just int he villages where they have peace and quiet and lots fields of hay and straw to search for food." we replied. "You can come back next year and see them again Kamila," we added.

To this Kamila turned towards the storks and shouted out, "See you next year storks!"

They didn't hear or understand Kamila, but we didn't tell her that.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Why a Fence?

"Why have you put a wire fence all around you house?" Kamila asked as she surveyed the front garden once again. "If there was no stealing here and no crime wouldn't it be better to take it down, it spoils the view."

"Kamila," we said. The fencing isn't there to keep people out, it is there to keep all the animal out, people aren't a problem but animals are. They would eat all out crops and flowers in a day if they got in!" we added.

We went on to say,"The turkey are the worst, they can fly quite high gettgin over low barriers quite easily and are a nuisance."

Kamila replied by saying. "I didn't realise that and forgot that not all animal are the same as me, they don't know what stealing means, but I do."

"Kamila, you are a very special camel to think like that." we said. Kamila agreed that the fence in the end was a good idea

Monday, 25 August 2008

Three Tools for Self-Sufficiency

It was a monster knife Kamila caught site of in the summer house and getting close it dwarfed here as she to sat on the Bulgarian spade.

We told here that the big knife is a Bulgarian Scythe which cuts the long grass for hay. The Bulgarian spade she sat on was fore braking up the soil and the blue rake is for smoothing out the soil for planting.

With these three tools you have everything you need to successfully grow and maintain the land. Every Bulgarian in the village has these tools and some are up to 50 years old and still work perfectly.

Kamila was quite amazed that this was all that was needed to be self sufficient on the land.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Barbecue to Come

Inside the summer house we keep out little barbecue set. Kamila was used to barbecues but she had never seen one using a kit, it was always with a couple of stones and dead wood in Egypt.

"Can we use this one day so I can see it work?" Was the request Kamila put in.

"We are due to have one this weekend before you go back to Yambol, you can see it working them Kamila." we replied

Kamila wanted to know what we were going to cook on it, but we didn't know yet. We normally don't decide until the day before we told her as sometimes food just turns up here from neighbours without warning, so we can't really plan ahead that well.

Kamila did notice that we did get a lot of visits with people carrying food and dead animals, now she know why, they are gifts.

"People here must really like us," Kamila said with a smile on her face. "They are so poor but give us so much and I don't understand why." she went on to say.

"That's just how the people in Skalitsa and other villages are are," we said, "Kind and generous to the bone,"

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Water on Tap In Skalitsa (sometimes)

Another spot on the farm and another interest as Kamila looks now at the watering system in the garden. She know about this from Yambol where water is on tap in the garden.

We told here that there are many times when the water is cut off and we have to use water from the well.

"I'm okay," Kamila says with a smile, "I can go without water for up to 10 days, I'm a camel."

"You will do very well living in Skalitsa then." we agreed, "A regular water supply for the taps are a major problem for many people here."

"But there is always the water from the wells" Kamila argued.

"Yes, but there is but not all people in Skalitsa are happy with the water from the well it is a little inconvenient!" we said.

"That's shouldn't be a problem at all," Kamila confessed, "After all, we are living in an outback Bulgarian village, this is normal here isn't it? If they went to outback parts of Egypt, everyone would count themsleves as very lucky for water here" Kamila understood exactly what this was all about.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Sausage Shaped Tomatoes

"Sausage shaped tomatoes!" Kamila called out as she took a different turn on the farm to find another field of crops that we had grown there.

"They're not tomatoes Kamila, they're red peppers" we called back.

It was an easy mistake to make as both the tomatoes and the peppers start of green turn to orange and then finally end up red. With this we couldn't blame Kamila for the easy mistake she made. It was quite funny, as now we will look at the peppers and we will always think of what Kamila called them. 'Sausage Shaped Tomatoes!'

Thursday, 21 August 2008

First it was the tomatoes now another food growing on the farm had the attention of Kamila. She just can't believed how much food is just lying around the farm. Everywhere she looks there is something growing that we will use to eat or store for winter.

We had grown the herb parsley in one area of the farm and Kamila went to have a closer look. She too a little bite and decided that it had a good taste but a little bitter. We explained that we add this to all sorts of dishes and salads especially but we only put a little on at a time.

In fact we were planning to have a potato salad this evening with parsley added and we asked Kamila if she could pick the parsley for us ten minutes before the potatoes were being served.

"Of course, I love to!" was the immediate answer from Kamila. She is such a helpful camel and is becoming quite a 'country bumpkin' right now with her interest in everything here.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Hanging Tomatoes

As Kamila brushed past the garden there was something that stood out like a sore thumb. It wasn't only the sight of a bright red tomato that caught here eye but the strong smell of the tomato plants as they were touched.

Kamila had of course seen tomatoes before, we bring them back to Yambol every week from the farm, but she had never seen one hanging from the plant before being picked.

"So that's where you get them from!" was her comments as she took a closer look. Kamila was quite taken by the tomato and the fresh smell that came with it.

She also saw lots of green and orange tomatoes that wheren't quite ready to pick just yet.

"Can I take one back for Eli?" Kamila asked.

"Yes Kamila, we'll let you pick one to take back don't worry we won't forget." we replied.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Night Light for Moths

Another point of interest as Kamila walked through the grounds of the Skalitsa Farmhouse yard. "I know it's a lantern, we have them in Egypt and they use oil." she said referring the the dangling lantern. "Where do you put the oil?" she enquired.

It uses candles not oil and we put it there to attract away the moths from us at night, the light isn't very strong."

"That a good idea, I know moths do like lights, very clever!" she added.

We agreed that she could see the light work this evening as the darkness of the evenings now are drawing in and it wouldn't be too late by the time darkness arrived.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Too Much Farm Work

Every day in Skalitsa, Kamila learns something new. She now knows that it is totally different from the town life. Things here are much slower, but at the same time there are far more jobs to be done.

"I don't know whether I could move here and live here." Kamila suddenly said.

"Why's that Kamila?" we asked.

There is far too much work to be done on the land, then there is the yard and all the animals you have to see to at least twice a day. You have to clean them out and take all the rubbish to the tip. The work is never ending and then there is the crops to look after!"

"You're right Kamila, the work never ends on the farm, it's not a holiday at all for most. You're very lucky to get time here and not have to work" we said.

Kamila is a very lucky camel as she sat on the table thinking about all the people who live here and have to work all hours to make a living.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sour Grapes

It was a later night last night as Kamila saw the mushroom lights working lighting up the garden. It was like fairyland to Kamila.

Above Kamia's head now in the terrace, there were something special, a natural Bulgarian treasure. She was about to discover the vines which give so much pleasure here.

"Can I try one?" was the cal when Kamila took a closer look.

"They won't taste nice just yet, they need another month before they become sweet and ready to pick and eat." we told here.

That didn't stop Kamila who had already put one in here mouth. Here face screwed up as the grape was bitten into.

"You're right!" she mumbled, "It tastes sour."

"You can try again in September when we pick them to make the wine and rakia you'll love them then."

Kamila was getting used to waiting which goes on a lot in Bulgaria and contently accepted that yo have to wait for the best things in life.

(You can see all about rakia on The Rakia Site)

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Mushroom Light

"Wow a mushroom!" Kamila said, as she confronted the object in front of her in the garden.

"It's may look like a mushroom but it's not, wait until tonight Kamila, it will light up like magic," we told her.

Kamila's eyes widen as she asked if she could stay up to watch the mushroom light work.

We told Kamila that if she had an afternoon nap, if would be fine to go to bed a bit later than usual to see the light.

Somehow I think the name mushroom light will now stick after Kamila christened it today.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Plastic Bottles

On the way out to the garden this morning Kamila spotted a plastic bottle hanging from the grapevine. What's that?" was the inevitable question.

We told here that is hangs there to scare flies away. We went further to explain that as the flies get close to the bottle, they see themselves reflected but magnified. they think there is another fly there bigger than them and then they fly away.

"That's a good idea," Kamila said. "I thought they were just hanging out to dry," she added.

"Well they've been there for two years, they should be dry by now." we said.

We all laughed as Kamila merrily went on here way to talk to a goat that had just poked its head around the corner.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Window Watching Kamila

It was late afternoon, Kamila had had a lay in as she was a bit tired with all this tree climbing yesterday, she decided to spend a most of the day indoors.

Looking out of the window was a sight that she had never really had a chance to see ever before. Plants growing everywhere. In Egypt, nothing grew, it was all desert, in London it was all cars and people, but here, everywhere she looked she saw growth.

"I love it here," she said. "There's always some thing going on outside, either a bird flying overhead or a goat or a sheep walking past, it's so interesting."

Kamila faced was fixed to the window most of the day watching the wildlife and nature before her.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Kamila helps make Skalitsa Banitsas

It was with great fascination that Kamila watched me make the Skalitsa Banitsas early this morning. Kamila didn't realise how all the ingredients put together in different ways made the end result taste so good. Kamila even helped with the mixing of the yoghurt, flour, egg and baking powder but didn't want to get involved with the messy business of breaking up the sirene (Bulgarian white goat cheese.)

Afterwards, when the Skalitsa Banitsas had cooled down Kamila helped put then all into a plastic container. She knew these could now be stored in the fridge and eaten for up to a week later. "These are going in the freezer Kamila," I said. We will taken them back to Yambol after our holiday and eat them there."

Kamlia was quite pleased with herself, she now considers herself a good cook and now looks forwards to more cooking in Skalitsa. "There's so much food around here," she said looking out into the garden later.

"Yes Kamila, that's one of the reasons we love it here!" we added.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Linden Tree

It was in the garden by the side of the Skalitsa Farmhouse that Kamila caught sight of a big tree. "What tree is this?" Kamila asked.
"It's a linden tree Kamila, the type of tree that we can pick the flowers in spring and make tea with them, you saw the tea in Yambol." we explained.
Kamila climbed up the tree and nestled herself between the junction of the two main trunks.
"I like it up here." she said as she gazed over the garden wall into the street. You can see all that goes on from up here."
"Yes, Kamila, you can keep guard in your lookout post while I go and make a cup of linden tea."
Kamila kept post and the tea was made, perhaps she'll like to taste the tea now after knowing where it came from.

Monday, 11 August 2008

The Flyscreen

It was a mystery to Kamila as to why we had two doors. We explained one was for security and to keep the weather our. The other we told here was to keep insects and bugs out of the house as some of them bite and sting.

"I don't have a problem with being bitten or stung, I have a thick coat to protect me." said Kamila with a grin on her face.

You very lucky to have in built protection Kamila but us humans are very juicy food to many insects, we have to try and put them off with sprays and netted doors."

Kamila thought for a while, then said, "I'll stand guard on the balcony and have a quiet word with these insects and bugs, they seem quite friendly in Skalitsa."

We didn't want to upset Kamila so we left here thinking she was doing us a favour. We don't think she knows what insects are in Skalitsa, they are different from the town insects of Yambol. We'll see how she gets on.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Wood Burning Stove

It was with much curiosity that Kamila took with the chunky black wood burner that sat in the living room.

"What is this?" was the expected question as Kamila walked up to observe.

"It's a wood burning stove and we use it to warm the house up, heat water up and sometimes cook on it. We also use it to burn rubbish."

"But it's warm here why do you need the house heated?" Kamila questioned further.

"It gets really cold here in the winter, we just wouldn't survive here without it." we added.

Kamila hadn't been through a Bulgarian winter and in England she was in Hamleys toy shop all the time, she didn't know what it was like to feel cold. And before in Egypt it was hot all year round.

"You'll just have to wait for winter and see for yourself Kamila" we said.

This was all new to Kamila but in the meantime she would make the most oft he long summer here.

"The summers are just right for camels, but I don't think I'd like winter here if it is cold," Kamila said smiling with the thought of the many months of warm weather still to come here.

"Don't worry Kamila" we said, "The wood burner will make sure that you never get cold."

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tired Teddies

Kamila was up rather later this morning, the fresh air just knocked her out, there is no pollution here in the village and you can see for miles and miles if you look out onto the garden. You =can even see the mountainous Turkish border to the south and the ski slopes of the Balkans to the north.

As Kamila looked across the room she saw two more teddies, they looked exhausted. Kamila introduced herself and ask why they were so tired.

"We have been up since 4:30 doing farm chores, we've been on the go for four hours now and we are just taking a nap before we start up again." they said with a yawn to finish. "I hope you don't mind but we'd like to rest a while now."

Kamila was quite surprised and wanted to play with them but they were too tired for that. Looks like I'll have to find someone else to play with she thought, every one's to busy at the moment.

With that Kamila just relaxed herself actually feeling a little bit guilty about not helping with the chores and in fact having a holiday. It was a deep thinking Kamila right now.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Up Early

Kamila woke up very early this morning, 5:00 but that what they do in the villages. Kamila said that the silence in the night brought back memories of Egypt, there wasn't a sound to be heard at night there either.

First off, Kamila had new friends to meet, the village folk in the house were a rabbit and two teddies one large and one small. Kamila was a bit shy with them but soon got to know them as they talked about where they had come from and what life was like on a farm. It was very different from the life in Yambol town.

They said that there were more village teddies around but they were out helping milking the goats with our neighbour at the moment. It is a very busy time in the villages right now and the days are very long, we don't get to go on holidays as the animals all need to be tended to every day of the year.

Kamila was confused. If I'm here on holiday then they must be here on holiday all the time were her thoughts. How lucky they are to have a holiday every day of the the year she thought.

Is she right in thinking this?

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Kamila in Skalitsa

It had been a whole since Kamila had a holiday, in fact when we asked her she didn't know what a holiday was. We had to explain that sometimes it was called a break or a vacation and was something you do when you have time off work.

It seemed that Kamila hadn't ever had a holiday before so we decided to take her to the Skalitsa Farmhouse for a two week break.

When Kamila found out she was all excited and couldn't keep still thinking about what she would find there. She had heard so much about our time there and now she could see for herself.

So, we went and Kamila was fidgety throughout the 35 kilometres car journey. She watched with amazement the fields and animals as we whizzed into the country side.

"I can't wait to get there!" Kamila kept saying every five minutes.

We finally arrived and Kamila saw for herself how beautiful the farmhouse was and countryside around it.

She sat by the living room window just taking all these new things in.

"Tomorrow will be another adventure for you Kamila" we said. "You will be a village camel for two weeks."

Kamila didn't say anything but was just in deep thought, she didn't know what to expect tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Hi-Tech Kamila

Kamila was watching television this evening and suddenly the channel changed and from watching 'Deal or No Deal' the Bulgarian News appeared. She just couldn't understand why this happened.

Baba wanted to see the news and she have used the remote controls to change the channel but Kamila didn't know about this.

"How did that happen?" Kamila asked.

We showed her the little remote control set that cane with the television and explained that we can change channels without touching the television.

"Can I have a go?" Kamla eagerly asked.

"Of course Kamila, but only after Baba has seen the latest news." we said.

Half an hour later, after the news, the television was changing channels every few seconds, Kamila was in charge, she thought it was magic the way this worked. We didnt' try to explain how it worked as we didnht' really know ourselves. It was a Hi-Tech Kamila the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" Kamila

It isn't often we listen to the radio in the home, the television is on most of the time, not watched but just as a background to conversation, that normal in Bulgarian.

Kamila therefore doesn't often get to hear much music, so when we tuned into the radio today we had some rock 'n' roll to listen to. this was a first for Kamila who didn't really know what to make of it.

We told here that it is good to dance to, but Kamila can skip and hop but can't dance, she has four left feet. She was quite content to put her ears next to the speaker and just tap one foot in time with the beat.

"I love Rock 'n' Roll!" she said after listening for a while. Strangely enough just after she said that the song 'I Love Rock 'n' Rock' was played. Kamila thought that was very funny, as her foot continued to tap in time.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Fresh Breath Kamila

Just before we went to bed Kamila asked what we do before we actually get into bed. She said that strange noises can be heard in the bathroom every night before we go into the bedroom.

We had to think hard and ask Kamila to explain what sort of sound she could hear as we were mystified as to what this could be.

Kamila said that is was a scratching sound and afterwards a bubbling sound. We thought again and suddenly realised that is was just cleaning our teeth and then gargling with mouthwash.

We took Kamila into the bathroom and showed here what we did. We also explained that is was very important that we brush our teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste in the morning and before we go to bed. This stops germs attacking out teeth over night and during the day.

Kamila said that she'd like to brush her teeth with us every night, so that's what she'll do from now on, clean her teeth and gargle mouthwash.

Kamila is now not like other camel as other camels don't brush their teeth every night. She'll be the camel with the best teeth and the biggest story a camel with fresh breath, now there's a first.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Bad Tasting Coffee

Kamila is such a curious camel that she wants to know about everything, today was no exception.

It was a cup of black coffee that took her interest as it lay there steaming away on the table.

"What's that?" was the inevitable question that comes to us time and time again. We don't mind in fact we are happy to explain things to Kamila, we'd do exactly the same in Egypt if we were there.

"It's hot coffee," we replied and went on to explain that many people drink this as it is refreshing. Kamila tasted it, "It's awful!" she said screwing up her face.

"It takes a bit of time to get used to the taste and it is only adult that like it" we tried to explain.

"Well, I don't think I would like being and adult if I had to drink that everyday." Kamila firmly said.

"We'll see we'll see," we replied,

It could be that even adult camels don't like coffee was the conclusion.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Roses All Round

Kamila really felt sorry for Bandit who only has one arm. She didn't sleep too well last night thinking about the problems he would have with this disability.

So this morning Kamila, a tired Kamila, got a rose and went give it to Bandit, but bandit wasn't there.

"Where is he?" Kamila demanded to know. "I have a gift of him and he's not here!"

Of all the strange things that happen, there was another one on the list this morning. Bandit had gone into the garden early to pick a rose for Kamila!

Moments later they both met and swapped roses. What a funny thing to happen we all agreed. "Great minds think alike" we told them.

"Let's go and give Eli a flower each," they agreed. Eli was still asleep and what I nice thing that would be to wake up to!

Friday, 1 August 2008

One Armed Bandit

"Hello, who are you?" was the immediate question Kamila asked to a stranger who suddenly appeared this morning.

"Hi I'm Bandit, who are you?" the little figure replied.

After the initial introduction Kamila found out all about Bandit. He was from the Yambol centre supermarket, someone had taped him to a packet of crisps, he was a free gift.

Galia felt sorry for him after seeing that he only had one arm, hence the name Bandit.

Kamila felt sorry for Bandit, and agreed to take him on as part of the family. they met up with Eli later and all had fun together.

Later Kamila said, she loves it here and feels much more at home with all the friends and family living together and always smiling.