In this next scribble, I would try to tell you more about Stary Śleszów.
It is a small village in the Lower Silesia region of Poland. We are located 18 km away from Wroclaw city.
Because of the many activities in which William and I participate at the moment, I love this location- it's convenient. We can enjoy gardening, but also if we need, we can be in the center of one of the prettiest Polish cities in less than 30 minutes drive.
We have two small food shops here, plus one big building with chemicals-fertilizers for agriculture, also a beekeeper who sells honey.
I am happy that at least honey is made locally because despite the fact that Stary Śleszów is a village, farmers here stopped producing their own eggs, cheese, butter, milk or wool. You don't see chickens, cows or sheep anymore in my village.
Folks queue in the supermarkets or smaller chain shops to buy their nourishments from foreign corporations.
One of the village shops is right opposite our house. Which used to drive me mad because of the local intoxication lovers.
Fortunately we have tall trees and there is a pond between us and the shop.
-"Drunkers' pond" my English friend used to say.
He was amazed with this 'custom' that we have in Poland- simply drinking alcohol outside of the shop.
In Great Britain they have pubs for that. Only I am not sure building a special place to get drunk there is a better 'custom'.
Anyway, In the past, before the managers changed, our shop used to remind me of the shops which I had seen in Cuba in 2012. Alike in Havana the shelves were empty or filled with just a few bottles of vinegar and a sleeping cat. The difference between Cuban shop and our shop was the cat. I haven't seen a sleeping cat in our shop. But an obviously drunk local, leaning against the radiator in winter times, yes!
It's a shame that now it looks more like an usual small food shop in Poland. It has lost it's special vibe.The place has a good supply of basic groceries. Nothing remarkable.
Just like everywhere else - a far cry from the ethical supermarkets in England where I was shopping during my time there.
These kinds of shops are usually more expensive than the regular ones, but there is something good about spending money there, they have goods from local suppliers and natural products.
As far as money is concerned, for quite some time now I have felt that we should not limit our future by thinking today, that we can't afford to live ethically NOW. During THIS shopping time, not in some better time to come.
Even more so now, that I have familiarized myself with a Toltec wisdom book:
'The Four Agreements'. I know it for sure: If you love Life now, Life will love you back now.
Ever since I learned that shopping is like voting everyday. I am trying to be conscious in the shops.
I can not afford to support anything that is not in balance with Life with my money. Everything is an energy. Including money.
You see, I got carried away! That's why I said I will TRY to write about Stary Śleszów...Some things are just more important to me!
Freedom for example. For me to be free means to be self-sufficient. While operating with coins and banknotes, I try to direct it in the best channels by shopping in places with the same philosophy as mine. This way I am directing the money flow into something that I believe in: Happy families, real food, alive water and Life!
For example I have found an amazing company. https://robinwood.eco/en/product/lemur-iii-bamboo-sunglassesThey make eyewear, watches and bikes.
Every purchase from them plants a tree and supports multiple eco-actions. Any pair of glasses or any watch is an equivalent of at least one planted tree. They use sustainable and animal- friendly bamboo, cork and hemp.
Why not buy from them? Do we really need any more plastic products imported from China? Why not support planting trees while shopping!?
Well ok, moving back to the village in Poland.
On the first morning back from Mexico, William and I put an ad in the 'ex Cuban' shop I was mentioning above.
Ad said: "Spanish and English lessons in exchange for fruit, vegetables and own products".
Guess what? People are interested! They want to send their children to practice English with us.
We received a couple of calls and we are having a meeting with some parents this Friday.
They laugh at us because we want their homemade jars with jams, compotes and salads.
For us it is clear that fruit and veg grown in your own garden are the best food you can eat.
We are not interested in modified, artificial food in plastic packages, even if we have money to buy it.
They find our proposed method of payment as innovative and unbelievable if not silly.
So far, exchanging our skills for food is the best option for William. Being vegan, he only eats plants and nothing's growing in our garden yet.
We got many jars with amazing jams, compotes and mushrooms from my friends and family. Everybody is very positive, joking around and sometimes even learning a few Spanish words from William in exchange. Including my father...well, let's say he tried- once.
Otherwise my father feels that he needs to talk to William using a forein language and because my father thinks that he knows Russian, he is all the time saying:
-'Da da da'. Russian for 'yes'.
Amazing how they communicate! William says that my father is like a character from a cartoon..."Family guy"!
And now let me tell you a little about our landscape.
-"Everything here looks different than Costa Rica. It is so flat here. Even the grass is different". William's comment. He has also mistaken our Ślęża mountain for a volcano.
For him it is natural to see volcanoes everywhere, for Poles volcanoes are not common.
If my mother hears that there is a volcano in a particular country, she doesn't even want me to be on the same continent as such.
Not so long ago, during communism in Poland there were some state- owned cooperative farms in Stary Śleszów, common barns were functioning.
Today they are no longer in use and only ruins are left of what used to be barns, stables and pigsties, huge ruins as you can see in the attached picture.
I am writing about it because William really made me laugh. It was during one of his first walks in the village. He saw the massive destruction and with a real fright in his voice asked me:
-"What happened here? Polish winter?!?"
William arrived in Poland in spring, but it was so cold for him that just the thought of winter scares him!
We had to light the stove a few times this week to keep the house warm and William wore fluffy pajamas to bed.
Just so you don't feel cheated or confused, as this letter supposed to be about Stary Śleszów,
I have to mention it again...Wikipedia says there are 338 residents living here.
(Well plus William now...perhaps I should add him?)
IMAGINE if all these people stopped drinking dead water from plastic bottles and put aside toothpaste with fluoride!
-"Imagine[...], It's easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people
Living for today..."
Well, at the moment there is nothing else to say about Stary Śleszów, but once I'll finally write a book, then maybe somebody will add a third sentence about it in Wikipedia.
What do you think about my letters? My youngest sister told me that this is boring stuff I am writing about also that it will sound better in Polish. Maybe I will write in Polish too.
William said he can translate it into Spanish and my sister knows Serbian. So if I get my website running and put this on there and if my sister is right it can be the most boring blog written in 4 different languages!
To be continued
Malwina M. Gawron
Poland, April 2017