Archive for August, 2007

An end to the heat!

28 August, 2007

The past week has been very hot; low 100’s! But the weather has turned and it’s wonderful! It reminds me of the Santa Ana winds in Southern California. There is some mist that covers the mountain tops early in the morning. It’s a wonderful backdrop to run against. Walking home from the stadium, I pass sheperds herding their flock up the street to the mountain pastures and carts full of hay being pulled into town by donkeys. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it. [Note: I would share pictures but the computers here in the only internet cafe don’t read flash drives]

One thing that I’ve been wondering about is how long the winter’s going to be. It’s the end of August and everyday people are cutting fire wood. Walking down random streets, the stacks of wood grow bigger everyday and about half a story high! People are harvesting their personal gardens (everyone grows their own vegetables) and pickles them. This is also cause for concern because the markets don’t sell vegtables and my service starts mid-Fall. I don’t think I can survive on meat alone! I’m sure there must be a store somewhere that sells vegtables and it must be expensive.

My language training is coming along well. I can communicate with my family with less gestures every day. That feels wonderful! The most Enligsh I speak is during techinical training which is about an hour or two every day. So it’s mostly Bulgarian for me! (Even then, the only English speakers I know are fellow volunteers…).

I haven’t be posting much because there’s too much to post, I don’t have much time to post and all the directions for Blogspot here are in Bulgarian (that makes it difficult).

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I’m back!

21 August, 2007

Hello all!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to update you, but I’ve been very busy between getting used to Bulgarian culture, learning Bulgarian, etc. I’ll be back posting entries soon. I’m currently in the beautiful town of Rila. It’s at the doorstep of the Rila Monastery, which is breath-taking. Rila has about 4,000 people which is small enough for people to hear, within an hour or so, of what I’m doing and with who (like running in the morning with another volunteer). I love it here. It’s a great town with wonderful people.

Here’s a typical day for me (so far):
Wake up early to go running
Breakfast
Language training for about 3 hours
Lunch
Technical training
Free study time
Go home and study some more
Dinner
Shoot the breeze with my host family (if only it were that easy, my vocabulary is limited)
Study some more
Bed

Repeat.

Communication

5 August, 2007

I’ve been told I won’t be able to communicate much over the next 10 days or so. I have no idea what type of internet connection I’ll have or if I have it at all. They also say I won’t have much time to call, email, etc over the next three months since I’ll be so busy. I’ll try to keep you updated when I can.

I’m off to breakfast and then to JFK for Bulgaria!

Peace!

Almost time

2 August, 2007

Time has really flown by! It seems like yesterday I received my invitation during the chaos that is finals week. I can’t believe I’m here! I feel like I’m on the brink, on the edge of a cliff about to jump in and start swimming. My excitement has been tempered by the anxiousness of the unknown. I’m looking forward to it!

I’m already packed AND 20 Lbs under the maximum alloted weight. I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything…

Last night I took my parents out to sushi. I felt it was the least I could do for their support in this next big step in my life. Afterwards, Thom and I fulfilled our brotherly tradition. Ever since my senior year of high school, we sneak out of the house (as time has marched forward, it’s more like we walk out) and get pancakes. Interesting tradition, I know. We do it every time we’re home together.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again. But when I can, I will.