Sunday, August 21, 2005

stravete ot bulgaria!!!!!!

Strave, strave strave!!

hello, hello, hello!!!!

my address changed, so i put that at the bottom-SORRY!

i hope everyone is well, and i'm alive enough to tell you that i am mnogo dobre (that means, very good)!! i have many, many funny stories after only cedam (7) days in bulgaria- but in time, in time...

first off, let me tell you about my host family! I'm living in a two story house with about 8 rooms, and i have a room all to myself with two beds and a two windows for nice breezes. my host mom is "lela vanya" and her daughter is 'alex' but called 'sasha.' i think this must be because her uncle is named alex- but i don't know for sure...i can say so little in bulgarian! sasha is 23, so that is very nice, and she also speaks malko engelski (a little english)- so that is helpful!! lela vanya speaks NO english, but she is kind and warm. she is an EXCELLENT cook and feeds me waaaaaay too much! I am so full each day, that when the next meal comes, I am still very full. now let me tell you about the food!!!! it is also mnogo dobre- lots of veggies, esp. cucumbers and tomatoes...TONS of tomatoes...and not just any tomates, tomates from a dream!!!! they are larger than a softball, and since they are mainly organic, they are also very red and quite tasty. dad, you would be extremely jealous! there is a salad called "shopska" which is cucumberx, tomatoes, and 'sea-ree-nay" which is basically feta cheese. YUM! also, lots of chicken and pork. today, for breakfast was coffee, tea, assorted meats (cold, sort of deli-like), bread (whobava), cheese (the feta kind) and some kind of cookie. so as you can see, though I don't get to eat frosted mini-wheats, the food is still good!!!

I am in the town of Septemvri, which in english, you can see is named after the month of september. there are about 7000 people who live here, so its quite small and very safe...with one exception! there is no such thing as speed limits in bulgaria (as far as we can tell!) and people don't wear seatbelts because its considered an insult to the driver's abilities...all i can say is YIKES!!! my first day in septemvri, Sasha (host sister) was driving a million km/hr while dodge herds of sheep and people. let's just say i wide awake after that!

Lots of things are "backwards" in bulgaria, for example, 'up' on a lightswitch turns lights off, and down turns them on. heres the kicker though...nodding your head means NO (ne) and shaking it means yes (da)! what's a girl to do!! with our limited language skills, we defniately have a hard time not sending a mixed message! oh well- it has been fun to try!

over the next 10 weeks, i will be training in Septemvri with 4 other trainees (not volunteers yet...we have to go through training first!). here are their names, so that you can keep up to date :)
courtney
erika
Alex (boy)
anna
Vessi- language trainer

other good names to know- Vassi was my roommate in DC and in Borovtz (intial city we were in-bulgarian ski resort) and she is quite fun! she's from montana, but grew up in sophia (capital city of bulgaria)...so her bulgarian is good, but not perfect. she will actaully be learning turkish and working with a turkish minority population. Sarah Beth- from maryland ( I think) and is also fun, Lisa is from the deserts of washington, ben is from all over the place, ah, i think of more names later- right now i am drawing a blank! anyway, there were 50 of us to start with, but now we are in groups of 4-6 all around a center city called Pazardjik (Pah-zh-are-gee-k). every two weeks, we make trips to pazardjik to catch up and learn more technical skils, etc.

Official training starts tomorrow, and its from 9:30 until 5. i'm very excietd because our language teacher is GREAT and because I'll be able to communicate better each day!!!!!


one final note...my addres changed again!!!! argh!
TONI SCHNEIDER (caps, underlined)
PO box 178
Central Post Office
Pazardjik, 4400
Bulgaria

let me warn you that its EXPENSIVE to send stuff...like, a letter many cost you several dollars...so i guess...send me the bill!!! lol. however, if someone is feel VERY nice, i would LOVE some cloves..you know, the bali hai ones with fish on them...this would be excellent, and seriously, i have a checkbook and will mail you the expenses.

OH and i'm probably getting a phone the 1st of september, and incoming calls are free for me (but sadly, not for you. i'm an expensive friend!)- so stay tuned for the number.

please leave comments--- i love them (oh-beach-um comments!)

dovezhdane! (doe-vee-zh-da-nay (good-bye))

4 Comments:

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee just when I made address cards for the family. Oh, well this will probably happen again. Sounds like your host family is great!
Mom

 
At 5:26 AM, Anonymous Alfie said...

I will do my best to send you Bali Hai during pay days [which will be this Thursday] ... we'll have you singing bass and hacking up a lung in NO time.

;-)

Stay alive,

Alfie.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Toni, I don't oh-beach-um you enought to send cancer sticks, but I do love you enough for a shout out!

SOUTH DAKOTA REPRESENT!

Keithy-poo.

 
At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Aunt Edith said...

HI, Toni, Sounds like you're having an awsome time. Your host family sounds great. Love the way you put the Bulgarian word with the English. Take Care. Love. Edith.

 

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