The Village, two


Milena talks about her weekends and summers.


handy cottage countryside
hardly meadow foreigner
fresh stream permanent
flock residents consequence
empty team (2) migration
rural consume abandoned
shrub apricot draw to a close
plum stress encounter
feast surround occasional
jar especially produce (2)
pickle eggplant cucumber
triple orchard time to time


The Countryside

When we aren’t busy, my family and I often visit my grandpa and grandma. They live in a large cottage in a village about a hundred kilometres from the city where I live.

It’s great to be in the countryside: no traffic. No noise. No pollution. No stress.

Here, we are surrounded by hills, forests, and meadows. A steam flows through the village centre. We can hear birds singing. And the air is nice and fresh.

We were hardly alone.

Weekend Getaway

Though the village has only about 300 permanent residents, on weekends, holidays and summers, the population triples as young and middle-aged people from the city flock here to visit their parents and grandparents.

To serve everyone, the village has three small stores, a bakery, a library, post office and clinic. And of course, the INTERNET!

The stores also double as cafes; people stop by to both shop, and have drinks and socialize.

Out Migration

A school building stands between the mayor’s office and the church. In the old days, it served as an elementary and high school.

Since then, most families and young people have migrated to larger cities, leaving only retired people behind.

Nowadays, the few remaining children take a minibus to a central school in a larger town about five kilometers away.

Another consequence of rural migration is abandoned homes; perhaps 20% of all houses here are empty.


Besides walking around the area, and meeting other teenagers, I sometimes help my grandparents tend their gardens. In the front yard they grow flowers and shrubs.

In the back is a vegetable garden, along with cherry, apple, pear, mulberry, apricot and plum trees.

The summer time in the village is especially busy. Everyone is harvesting their crops.

English and Math

During this time, my sister and I also study math and English from our course books. This has come in handy whenever we encounter the occasionally foreigner. This summer we’ve met an Italian, a French couple, and a German.


In the evening we feast on fresh garden produce: cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cantaloupes, watermelons, along with eggs and village cheese. Grandma is a great cook!

What we don’t consumer now, we pickle and preserve in jars for winter.

As summer draws to a close, my family and I head back to the city — and school.

Though I love visiting the country, I wouldn’t want to live here, permanently. I still prefer city life. But I need to get away from time to time.

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1. Milena lives in a village. True or false?

2. What does she like about the countryside?

3. Describe the demographics of this village.

4. Is her village completely cut off from “civilization” or the outside world?

5. People only shop in the stores. Yes or no?

6. Has the village always remained the same; or has it changed over the years?

7. Do people only rest and relax in the village?

8. Why does she return to the city?


A. Do you live in the city or the country?

B. If you live in a city, do you visit relatives or friends in a village?

C. Do you prefer living in the city or in the countryside?

D. Do you think you will change as you get “older”?

E. In my country many villagers are moving into the city. Yes or no? Why or why not?

F. Do city people ever move to the countryside?

G. Do Westerners or other foreigners move into the villages of your country?


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