Blue Earth, Minnesota
Friday, July 16, 2010

We woke up very tired this morning. It could have een the glass of wine or the hard day's work we put in the day before, who knows...

We met Mike Gnoc and Andy at the office, loaded up the van with tools and headed out to the field we were at the previous day.

The three Mexican women were already out in the field hard at work snipping and sheering and had been since 7 am. All our good mornings were exchanged in three different languages and everyone got cutting. We thought yesteray was warm! Today the sun was even hotter than yesterday! After only an hours work we sought shelter from the burning rays in the shade of the side of the van. Our enemies (the mosquitoes) were back with a carnivorous vengence. With every step we took through the field a thousand mosquitoes awoke, hungry and swarming. A quick rehydration break and we were back out again. Diane was extremely exhausted and I was well and truely burned up. I don't know how some of the other workers manage in this heat with all the layers of clothing they wear.

The heat started to affect Andy and he kept telling us to hav a break and get a drink before heading back for lunch. Mike made a comment about having a break, before having a break and it kept us all smiling as we did just that! Andy made us laugh as we watched him go out to the Mexicans to tell them to keep working through dinner and have their dinner when we get back. He kept telling Diane not to come back out after dinner as she woukd only make herself worse.

Back at the office Bill told us to stay at home for the afternoon as the sun was getting way too hot for anyone to be out in it. Bill reminded us about the County Fair this weekend. Bill and Jason genuinely support peoples contributions to the company and show appreciation for hard work.

Before we let the office Mike and Gnoc invited us to visit them on Sunday  and have a Vietnamese meal . Mike offered to pick us up even though we lived less than a mile apart- so typical of the locals in this town. People rarely walk anywhere ut why should they if they only pay $2.60 per gallon!

We had a quick sleep when we got home to recharge and cool down before taking a bike ride downtown to the library to use the internet access. On the way, we got caught in what we descried a tropical downpour! The rain beat hard and heavy on the footpath (ok, sidewalk) while we waited under a shop canopy shelter for it to pass. A harley Davidson passed us- I bet he got soaked! As quickly as it started, the rain stopped and the heat and condensation that rose from the footpath took our breaths away. You could see the steam rise!

We got to the library and found it was closed. There was a man coming out just as we were walking away. He commented on how dry it was after watching the rain from inside and I said something about it being quit heavy. "Hey are you from England?" he asked in an over enthusiastic way. Diane told him we were. " Did you bike it all the way?" Now, I have said the people in this town are very friendly but sometimes spider senses tingle and this guy was making them ring! Ok, time to say goodbye politely, get on the bikes and pedal away ( towards Walmart, where else?). We pedaled form 7th Street then up 2nd Street enjoying the evening air when we heard, " DIANE, TONY! JUST COME ON IN, I'M TURNING PASTA!" It was Robyn. We turned the bikes and headed towards the house. We all had a beer while Robyn cooked a pasta dinner. Such an out of the blue invitation to dine with someone is great. I like this town and the meal was great!

9.30pm- A suprise knock at the door! It was Bills brother Perry, inviting us to join him for a drink so we could meet the neighbours he said, shaking my hand and holding a lite beer in the other.

"Great, give us two minutes and we'll be round!"

We walked around the back of the house (about 150 metres) and joined the neighbours on the veranda,  sat under the Stars and Stripes fluttering above on a pole. Judging by the amount of empty cans on the bar, the party had been going on for some time. Perry introduced us to the group. There were two women that introduced themselves as interior decorators (can't remember their names!), 'Big Daddy' the local law enforcement radio controller and for the life in me, can not remember the names of the other three or four people sat round the bar. We all told stories and chattered occaionally picking out the differences from our two countries. As it grew darker another man named Shannon turned up with his wife. Shannon was a live character, raising his voice and getting exited while telling everyone how good and bad his day had been. I asked if it was him that passed us on the Harley in the downpour. It was and that he thought we looked familiar. He then told an animated story of how wet he got riding ho/me.

Diane was sat chatting with the decorators - the conversation went something like this..

" You're from England, that's near France right?" Either Diane or me commented that by American distances that it was reasonably close.

*Pause*

"You sure speak real good English!"  said the woman.

"I hope so, seeing as how I am English and I teach English" Diane replied with a smile. I nearly fell of my stool! People's perceptions about Europe and England in America are as out of touch as our perceptions are about Americans back in England. 

The people in this town welcome outsiders and enjoy the contact with other nationalities. They are inquisitive, friendly, and helpful. They have definitely altered my perceptions of how America is portrayed in the British media. We are enjoying sharing the lives of so many colourful characters in this town. Everyone here seems to enjoy their lives and community spirit. Keeping yourself to yourself is definitely not an option here and I am so pleased about this or we wouldn't have met our neighbourly neighbours. This is why we are doing The Great Adventure!

 

 

 

 DSCF1689.jpg picture by Bibblerspics

 Hiding from the burning sun

 DSCF1688.jpg picture by Bibblerspics

 Picking seeds

 DSCF1663.jpg picture by Bibblerspics

 The ride back home

 DSCF1627.jpg picture by Bibblerspics

 

 DSCF1786.jpg picture by Bibblerspics