Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hello again!

We finally found an internet cafe that is closer to our training center...hooray! many of us typed up some emails on our flashdrives, but we can't get these bulgarian computers to reckognize them. hopefully soon...

looks like I gave you a false alarm on the GSM (cell phone). we just got word that a new provider will start serving bulgaria in september/october, so those of us who've taken econ classes know that the marginal benefit of buying a phone now will be less than that of one purchased in a month's time. you know, assuming that both cell phones and money give you happiness- but hey, this is the peace corps, I guess I shouldn't care about those things anymore????

i have been eating many new and wonderful things! last night, I had some tasty bread with cooked/broiled eggs (e-yite-zay) and feta cheese (cerini, say it with me now "sea-rah-nay") and you guessed it...more fresh tomatoes! after dinner, I had a visit with "malko tony" (little tony), the neighbor boy who lives across the street. he's about 2 years old, and its mildly discouraging that his bulgarian is leaps and bounds ahead of mine. of course, one of the trainees pointed out, he's had 2 years to learn the language and i've not had but 2 weeks...but still!

i had many wonderful stories to tell you, but they are locked up in my flashdrive!

Ceptembvri is a BEAUTIFUL city in a valley. the horizen is filled with mountain-goodness, and I will send pictures as soon as we resolve the flashdrive compatibility thing. my family owns four rows of a vineyard, and the view from there is spectacular. I live very near to the training center- I literally walk out of my front door and cross the street. its very nice, especailly considering that two of the trainees have to walk 30 minutes each way! I also get to go home for lunch (which is 90 minutes long! I LOVE bulgaria!) and lela vanya always has something warm and fresh for me to eat. Sasha works each weekday from 3pm-midnight, so I only see her at breakfast and at lunch. during the evening hours, lela vanya and I try hard to understand each other. sometimes, its quite frustrating since no one speaks english in my home. peacecorps' language program is designed for trainees that have atleast one english speaker in the house, so there are times when I feel completely helpless.

today we've taken many fieldtrips and class was very informal. we went to a supermarket to see all the traditional bulgarian foods (and also the non-tradition ones like macaroni!) and learn how to ask for them, and how to ask for the bill. we also visited the train station and later this afternoon, we are going to meet the police chief! Ceptemvri is so small (about 5000) that crime is not really a problem, but still, he seems like a good guy to know! everyday, there is an interesting mix of people and vechicles driving by- people with horses and cart, people with BMWs, audis...all kinds of cars.

since lela vanya is retired, she watches a lot of TV. last night, i saw a direct rip-off of america's "friends!" The characters seemed to be mirror images of the ones we are familiar with, and even the music accompanying the opening credits had a similar theme. ha! The only american tv channel that we get is the animal planet, but it doesn't matter since i've had much more fun trying to decipher the news or gameshows in bulgarian!!

yesterday our techinical and community trainers made a trip from Pazardjik (our HUB location for the 10 satallite cities) to Ceptembvri and reviewed our training schedule. its slightly overwhealming to see how the next nine weeks will play out! we are going to be very busy, and there's a lot to accomplish. each trainee in Ceptemvri has a project to manage, and mine is the community meeting next week. we have to assemble a group of youth and find out what their needs are, etc. i'm very excited to be heading up this project!

okay, this is probably enough for now. hopefully, this hasn't bored you to tears!



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