I spend a lot of time studying Slovene by myself (though I have designs on starting a study group up here). The other day I looked up the word "befriend" in my handy-dandy electronic dictionary (ASP Slovar) and did not find a direct translation, rather I found the words pomogati, pomoči, podpreti - words that mean "to help", "to aid", "to lend support". In light of Slonček's recent post about his difficulty in making friends with Americans, I must say that the Americans he's meeting are at an unfair advantage since Slovenian people (at least the ones I've met so far) appear to be pretty incredible friends. The relationships I've witnessed and the kindness I've received shows that Slovenians take friendship very seriously. Friends are not merely people to meet for an occasional drink, rather they are absolutely true blue extensions of family, and so very available to assist each other.
The other day, the Captain's neighbor and very good friend called for help since she'd thrown up her hands after days of water blasting out of the broken pipes of her hot water heater. The Captain went over,inspected the situation, and delivered (his patented phrase): no problem. I accompanied him to the hardware store numerous times and back and forth to the friends house as he ran around looking for the right pieces. I was amazed that he never really complained, rather he seemed to take the problem on as his own. Today I know, he wasn't just helping, he was being a friend.
I want to thank everyone who has been a friend to me--thus far--both here and back home. You are all the most remarkable people. To all my new Slovenian friends: I know I am new here (and thus) in need in so many ways , but I hope one day to be able to return all the incredible assistance and care.