My Trip to Malta June 2011
by Debra Maxfield
(Spring Hill, Florida USA)
Maltese bakers in Hamrun Malta
My name is Debra and this month I was able to take a trip to Malta after 36 years.
My parents are both Maltese, my mother was born in Hamrun and my father in Floriana.
My first trip was when I was 10 years old in 1965, and then I was back again when I was 13 and then 15. I then came alone for 6 weeks in 1975 when I was 20.
As the years passed I wanted so much to return to Malta. I was able even when I was younger to visit so many places and was so impressed with the beauty of this Island.
I remember when I was 10 years old on my first trip to Malta which took 2 weeks from America to get us to Malta by boat, and then we spent 1 month with my family in Hamrun and then 2 weeks by boat to get us back to America.
When I first arrived as a child I didn't like it in Malta.
I could not get used to the things that I had in America versus the things that Malta had. I would cry because I did not like the Maltese food and I wanted my soda to be cold. And most of all I wanted a hamburger so bad.
My uncles felt so bad that they went out of their way to find any place in Malta that had an American hamburger. After a week or so, I remember a place by Mellieha Bay that I was able to finally eat something that I could relate to.
As the days passed I was getting used to it, except for the time that my family bought a rabbit and me and my cousins were having a good time with the rabbit in my aunt's courtyard. But, one morning I got up from bed and went out into the courtyard and did not find the rabbit.
Of course I did not speak Maltese so I could not understand what my mother was telling my family. But, I was able to catch on and did realize that the rabbit was now in the pot so we could have a Maltese dish, rabbit with spaghetti. I was not a happy little girl at that point.
I finally was really getting used to the way my cousins and family lived their daily life. I also was loving the Maltese bread and was so intrigued with the local bakers. I loved that before we went to church, my mom and my aunt would prepare the food and put a towel over the top of the pan and I would walk it over to the baker on the same street and they would bake it while we were at church.
I also just loved how everything was baked and crisp, especially the potatoes.
My favorite with the bread was olive oil, tomatoes, or tomato paste (Kunserva) and what ever you wanted to add to it.
This has always stayed in my mind after so many years. Even as I grew up in America, I always told people about Malta and how the bakers on each street baked the bread and would bake your food for a few cents.
Malta has so many beautiful places and the history of the island is magnificent.
I enjoyed my 14 days this past June and I got to see so many things that I see now as an adult. Got to understand more of the history of Malta and did get to ride the buses for the last time and took pictures and went to Valletta, Mdina, Mellieha Bay and Gozo.
I got to enjoy the folklore that was on June 28th, just loved to see how Malta and the people lived years and years ago.
I was also able to attend a Maltese wedding of my cousin's daughter.
And finally at the folklore was able to see traditional Maltese dancing.
But all in all, my biggest memory or you can say a big tradition that sticks in my mind, are the Maltese bakers and their ovens and the bread.
That is something that I hope will never change. So my favorite photo that I was able to get was the Maltese baker still on the same street where my family lives in Hamrun Malta!
I am hoping to be able to one day buy a home in Malta, so I can enjoy the Maltese life and live there.
Be close to those bakers, so my memory of a child in Malta will always be in my heart. Along with the memory of my parents, how they met and married in Malta and the history of my heritage .....