For 26 years, milkmaid Tamara Grek wakes up earlier than the sun, jumps on her bicycle and rides to the other side of the village. The route to work she knows like the back of her hand.
At five in the morning, it is still dark outside, villagers and rural lanterns are sleeping peacefully. There’s only Tamara Vladimirovna pedaling her old bicycle to be at a farm that is in three kilometres away from her house in time.
The woman is always in a hurry and never late, as 440 mooing cows are waiting for her and two other milkmaids there. Minutes after crossing the threshold, the work begins – washing, pumping and putting the animals to the milk-making machines. This is her daily routine for 26 years.
I have some tea in the morning, get on a bike and go straight to work. I’m used to getting up early, darkness is the only thing that scares me.
Come on in, wake up,” the milkmaids meet the first batch of cows.
Actually, I’ve seen all sorts of cows – either bad or calm. But most of them are normal – just like people.
I got used to the collective farm. It draws me like magic. My son-in-law usually says it’s time for me to leave it and stay at home.
I always disagree, you need to be active. You don’t move – you are dead. Indeed, I love cows.
Her love of cows Tamara got from her mother, since childhood she helped her on a farm. After graduating from a sewing college, the woman worked at a creamery, got married and came back to her native village Starye Yurkavichy in Luban district, Minsk region.
Build your own life, you have plenty of time for the collective farm,” Tamara recalls her mother’s words. “But she did not resent me for my choice.
If we aren’t here, there will be no milk and kefir. People will have to drink tea and water.
I will keep working on as much as I can. I can’t help it, this is my nature.
Milkmaids have lives on the farm and outside of it. Love to work and people’s respect is what really matters.
An original story was first published on TUT.BY