I was satisfied that I got to spend so much time with the Csángós and come away with a story that gives an in-depth look at their lives. And one of the people I have to thank for that is my guide, Reka Pavai. She speaks fantastic Hungarian and has one of those personalities that could melt anyone's soul. Everyone loved to be around her.
I've shot a lot of stories about societies that are not open to outsiders, but I have to confess that this one was particularly difficult. The Csángós are very afraid of the outside world, so I was treated with suspicion for a long time. Once I was at a family's home and their neighbors showed up every 15 minutes. I guess they wanted to make sure I wasn't hurting anyone. It took about three or four trips back to the same village before people started to get used to me.
It's very difficult to get invited into a Csángó's home, but I pushed and pushed until I finally got an invitation to dinner. You could even say I invited myself because I wanted to photograph every step of the food preparation. The family told me to stop by at 7 p.m. and assured me they wouldn't start working on anything until I arrived. Well, I showed up at 4 just to be safe, but it didn't matter because they had just finished eating.