We spent five wonderful days in Belarus , most of them in Minsk , but one day we drove out to the village of Kolozuby to visit Raisa’s father , who still lives in the house that he and his son built about sixty years ago . Raisa grew up there and attended the school  just across the road but which is now closed and abandoned .BELARUS TRIP 2017 586

The old man lives out there alone now , tending the garden and living a bachelor life . His wife died some time ago . He had been trained as a shoemaker and he had been a soldier in the Great Patriotic War , a sniper in the Soviet Army . His house and plot of land is surrounded by vast fields that were collectively farmed in the soviet system . At one time he had kept a bull , chickens , and a dog . The dog house is still there but no dog . The last chicken had been eaten by a fox . As he and I looked out behind his house he spotted , with his old farmer’s/sniper’s eyes , a fox in the grassland . I didn’t see it .


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