My Time in Latvia (Part 7)

I​ ​walked​ ​into​ ​the​ ​kitchen​ ​and​ ​spread​ ​across​ ​the​ ​floor​ ​was​ ​the​ ​skin​ ​of​ ​a​ ​wild​ ​boar.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​glad​ ​i​ ​did not​ ​know​ ​what​ ​I​ ​was​ ​eating​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​​ ​The​ ​grandfather​ ​had​ ​hunted​ ​the​ ​boar​ ​which​ ​was common​ ​in​ ​certain​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​country.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​said​ ​they​ ​were​ ​extremely​ ​dangerous​ ​and​ ​could kill​ ​a​ ​person.​ ​​ ​I​ ​learned​ ​not​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​what​ ​we​ ​were​ ​eating​ ​and​ ​just​ ​try​ ​everything. 
My​ ​new​ ​host​ ​family​ ​lived​ ​in​ ​a​ ​house​ ​that​ ​had​ ​been​ ​in​ ​their​ ​family​ ​before​ ​the​ ​communists​ ​took over.​ ​​ ​Along​ ​with​ ​the​ ​house​ ​was​ ​a​ ​small​ ​farm​ ​with​ ​a​ ​stone​ ​building​ ​where​ ​mushrooms​ ​were grown​ ​and​ ​a​ ​sauna.​ ​​ ​Now​ ​that​ ​they​ ​had​ ​it​ ​back​ ​the​ ​grandmother​ ​and​ ​grandfather​ ​had​ ​their​ ​own apartment​ ​within​ ​the​ ​house.​ ​​ ​The​ ​family​ ​lived​ ​in​ ​the​ ​rest.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​given​ ​my​ ​own​ ​room​ ​on​ ​the​ ​upper floor​ ​where​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bedrooms​ ​were​ ​located​ ​and​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​small​ ​den. 
The school where I was to teach was within walking distance and one of the only non residential buildings in town besides a small store which my host family owned, the bank and the bus depot and train station.  The town bar was located in the school.  There was no drinking age so students were free to buy a drink, although I never saw any students buying alcohol.
The first day of school the principal called a teachers meeting at 10Am.  We sat at desks in a circle and my friend who taught English to the younger students translated for me.  Open faced sandwiches were passed around and the principal poured each of us a shot of vodka.

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I am a freelance writer and artist living in southern California.

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