05-25-09 - 9:47 p.m.
End of Week 1. “Welcome to
Wow. Stick with me on this entry, there is a lot to say.
A week ago today, I boarded a plane to
I checked into my hotel room, freshened-up and proceeded to registration. There, I met the faces of the 62 people I will be spending the next two years with. It was quite an experience. We spent the day together sitting at tables getting introduced to different aspects of Peace Corps.
6 p.m. rolled around and we were dismissed with our $220.00 stipend for the next dinner/breakfast/lunch and incidentals. My roommate Jesse and I had a chance to have our last meal with a group of other Peace Corps trainees. It was fantastic! A group of nine of us went to a sushi-bar down the road from the hotel. It was some of the best sushi and edomame (sp?) I have ever had! It was the type of restaurant that was in an old house and had dinning areas on the upper level and lower level. We ate on the upper level where a bunch of hopped up (on excitement) twenty-somethings have a little extra leeway for their antics.
Following dinner, I returned to the hotel to access the internet so my Dad could send me a few immunization records that I forgot. Thanks Dad! I had a pretty nasty headache from lack of sleep and adrenalin rushing all day, so I hit the hay.
The next morning, Jesse and I woke up, packed up and had some time to run a few last-minute errands. Than all the Peace Corps volunteers boarded a bus that brought us to Dulles international airport.
There were a couple issues with getting through check-in and security (they said my pack was too big to carry-on, and I had shampoo in my pack). Once we were in the tarmac a group of us went out for lunch. After lunch, I made a couple last phone calls and boarded the Luftahansa flight to
We arrived at the
The B25-ers (we are the 25th Peace Corps Group to
At the ski-resort we spent our days in training and our evenings exploring the Rilla mountains, studying and socializing with other B25=ers. I have connected with people from all over the
Not only are the other volunteers surprising me, but I am surprising myself! I have been catching on quicker than I thought to Bulgarian, I learned how to do a couple traditional Bulgarian folk dances, and did I mention climbed a mountain!
A group of B-25ers (Greg, Anna, Jesse, Ryan, Kari and I) climbed up a ski hill that was about 400 feet! I will be able to get a few pictures from them soon. It was breath taking not only in the physical-excursion aspect, but also in the astounding aspect as well!
A couple of days ago the B-25ers and I left our classy ski resort to come and live with Bulgarians! There was not a single soul who was disappointed about this. Everyone was so excited to meet our families for the several weeks! We met in medium sized city north of Sophia called
There I met Ivanka and her son. I forgot her son’s name, but he is a pilot who lives with his family in
The house has buildings surrounding three sides of the center court yard. There is a elaborate fence surrounding the property. It is made of metal and mosaics. Every square inch of regular ground on the property has been made into a garden. The Minnesota Landscape arboretum has NOTHING on these people. I hardly can believe how lucky I have been so far. I have my own section of the house (2-rooms and a bathroom) and am living in one of the most beautiful homes ever! (I will post pictures as soon as I can). The garden is as far as I can tell mostly food. There is; Peppers, Apples, Dill, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Beans, Grapes, Chives, Potatoes, and much more that I haven’t identified yet. I have been helping out as much I can in the garden. I am willing to bet my mom would welcome my new found appreciation for gardening.
Ivan and Ivanka make most everything they eat on there property. They have goats, chickens, rabbits, and a pig. It is great!
Today we purchased our cell phones, which is virtually useless for anything but text-messages because of the astronomical rate of phone calls in eastern Europe. I don’t have internet in my training village but am able to access it on the occasions we go into town. Hopefully I will get some solid skype time soon but I don’t know when that will be yet…perhaps it is now as I am posting this blog-post. I am doing well, probably getting the best health care I have ever received (I had a minor viral infection and my own doctor, doctor Toni, gave me two examinations and a follow up. It has cleared up now.)
I miss you all, so, so, so much. I also think I am here for reason, to get to know and share what I learn about the people of Bulgaria. Okay, fading fast now…. Lecha Nosht! (good night!)
with my love,
***feel free to write***
P.O. Box 425
Central Post Office
Vratsa 3000 , BULGARIA