The moment we reached the small village of Oshtubin I had the distinct feeling it was "known territory", because it had a striking resemblance with many small villages in Northern rural areas in my home country. Embedded in the ravines the colour of the two storey high houses which lean against each other as if fearing to to be on their own blended with the colour of the rocks.
We strolled up and down the the excrement covered narrow and steep alleyways followed by groups of children. Animals play an important role in the life of these villagers and their importance is not reduced to providing the heat by living in the lower storey part of the house.
Children, whom we were allowed to photograph, and women seemed to be the sole inhabitants of such a village, as we didn't come across a single man throughout the entire visit, which took longer once we tried to locate a very old house whose decorated inner columns were worth being looked at. It was sad to see it completely left at its mercy particularly bearing in mind the number of years it has been holding to life and the relevance of the simbology of its columns.
I found out most young men knew the names of most Portuguese football players (and I presume from other countries as well) despite the fact that there didn't seem to be any TV antenna in sight and the village seemed rather isolated.
For some unknown reason a rather beautiful young girl carrying a child on her back kept on smiling at me, so I felt compelled to try to "talk" to her and take some photographs. I felt sad for not having carried with me some of the gifts I had brought for children, which I inadvertently left inside the bus, because it would have been a good occasion to hand out some of those.
When we drove off I felt slightly sad we hadn't stayed a bit longer, though I could understand we had time constraints due to the tight schedule for the number of programmed visits.