This photo was taken in the fall of 2009, soon after I arrived in my first site a small village in northeastern Bulgaria. Here I am pictured with my friend Hatijay, an older member of a tiny Bulgarian Muslim community. She and my other colleagues and friends taught me to make lutenitsa ~ a tomato and pepper paste that we canned for the students to eat throughout the school year. We picked the vegetables from the school garden, peeled all of them by hand, and then ground them into a paste with a tiny and very slow machine. This experience became much more than learning about how to make lutenitsa ~ it was about making friends, learning patience, and sharing love through everything homemade.