Bulgaria. 2004.

Mountains. I was dropped off in a Roma village with this family, the first family we came to in the village. I wanted to collect mushrooms, and this village had a mushroom collecting connection. I entered the Roma community with Bulgarian friends and the mushroom book by my friend, David Arora, All the Rain Promises and More. It is a colorful little book — and importantly there are two pictures of me in the book! It is a sure fire way to find the people who are into mushrooms. So, we found this family, and then I was left for a week to fend for myself. The family was planning on going into the mountains the next day and agreed to take me with them. As it turned out, my Bulgarian-English dictionary was of no use because it seemed everyone was illiterate! So, somehow we muddled by in Roma and in the universal language of empathy. The girl here is stringing tobacco leaves.

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