(Some of you may remember Barbora from last year.. When I wrote the piece in the last newsletter about the “international aspect” of MFC, I asked Barbora to comment. This came to me late but it’s a GREAT story!!!…. – bill )
I grew up under the mountains in Slovakia, a tiny country in Central Europe, where I attend our only liberal arts college – BISLA. Two years ago, I got the opportunity to study at Marlboro College, VT for one semester. I fell in love with that place immediately. I felt like people in New England knew how to enjoy every single moment in life and music was its proof. When I was back home, I knew that not coming back was not an option and so I found myself buying flight tickets to Boston half a year later. Even though distance is not a problem these days, it can make things pretty complicated. I set out four days before Maine Fiddle Camp, with a nine-hour ride to Prague, Czech Republic. The next day I took a plane to Zurich, Switzerland, where I spent a night at the airport (not comfortable, and a little scary), to take another plane to Boston the following morning. Because I arrived late, I had to spend a night in Boston, and then, finally, headed out for Maine. Overall, 73 hours, two cars, two buses, two planes, and one train. And I can honestly say I would do this again. And probably will.
Maine Fiddle Camp is so different from anything I have experienced so far. It is a place, where everybody’s only objective is to do what they love the most and I was definitely not used to that. Seeing that it is possible to get away from all the responsibilities and to let the music fill your whole body and mind for two weeks was a life changing experience. When I came back to Slovakia I realized how hard it is to describe the beauty of that place: the omnipresent music, the sound of pine needles under bare feet, sitting at the fireplace covered in coal (hee hee.. Maybe she means “campfire covered with smoke”? – bill), singing weird melodies with friends, repeatedly burning my tongue with hot popcorn, finding pieces of dirt and moss in my hair, not having enough hands for all the instruments sitting around me, and doing random midnight contra dances… Our cultures are, indeed, a little different. But that is the beauty of the world and we have to keep exploring to find places like this. Places that keep our spirits alive and happy.