Monday, October 17, 2005

bulgarian politics and reasons to hold the mail

Don't mail me anything!!!!!

this is an advance warning that someone, somewhere in BG knows what my permenant address will be, but that that person is not yours truely. I'm trying to work on that right now, but for the mean time, just log on to the MTEL webpage and send me SMSes. If you don't know what MTEL is or what an SMS is, check the schneider family group on yahoo, email one of my parents, my sister, david sims, jraz (jess rass.), meredith, cindy or keith. probably others, but i'm lazy and don't want to list them! i'll keep you posted on the addy.

today in class, we took a little break from formal learning and tried to write down the lyrics to an old bulgarian song. as we tried to translate the unfamiliar words, we came across a few from communist times. I think i've already mentioned that bulgaria was one of the most loyal countries towards russia during communisim and those sentiments remain visible in bulgaria today. Anyway, this particular word drewgareo is the word for "commrade," and our teacher told us that even students were required to address their teachers with drewgareo istead of Mr. or Miss. I am completely blown away by this! I always had this impression that communisim was exactly like the book Animal Farm, where words like "commrade" were used in secret meetings or with people who were part of the movement. I didn't even think about how the usage would differ in full-fledged communist states, so I was both bemused and startled that students used the word this way. Each day I continue to be amazed by what communism is and was.

In other news for Bulgaria, I have heard that the accession into the EU on the 1st of January 2007 is looking a little bleak. I've heard talk amongst the USAID circles that Bulgaria and Romania (who are set to join the EU together) are ne gotove (not ready) to make the transition into the EU. I think later next week, the official state of the accession will be announed, and most Bulgarian officials and Bulgarians who watch the news closely, belive that the accession into the EU will be delayed by atleast a year, if not more. So definately look out for that announcement- Oct. 25th comes to my mind as the date the report is set to come out, but I could be wrong.

In other BG news, the Bulgarian President, Gerorgi Povolnof (not sure how its spelled in english- that was my best attempt at phonetics!), is in the US today meeting with George Bush! Is exciting only because I now live here (and oddly almost think of myself as bulgarian...) and so pay attention to these things. I'm sure the meeting with be all fun and joy, as the US and BG almost as tight as Bush and Cheney. The BG gov't loves George Bush, but its unclear if the citizens feel the same way.

I'll be honest when I tell you that the last post was made after very little sleep and directly after I got off of the bus from the hike. I'm going to go ahead and expand on the hike right now. Our tour guide was actaully crazy. he got us lost several times (scary!) and often enjoyed breaking out into song. okay, okay, i actaully liked the spontanious song-age part, but all in all, this guys was a bit loopy. I would have to say that one of the things that made me happiest was my drinking water. as we hiked for hour upon hour, we stoped for a pochefka, or break, to have water, rest, etc. well, it was SO COLD that our water stayed ice cold the entire time! so when we were hot and exhausted, we had a prefect beverage to sip on! simple things make me happy. I had a ton of fun because I got to hang out with a group of volunteers that I don't normally spend time with, but with whom I thought had a lot of similar interests. turns out that 9 hours of hiking provides ample opportunities to meet up with people and not only exchange quips about our varying degree of exhaustion, but also getting a feel for what we did back in the states, why we chose to do Peace Corps, what we'll be doing in our town, and how we think we'll survive the winter! On the second day, we went hiking to see the "7 lakes," and even though most of the hike was covered in thick fog, we finally managed to see one of the lakes. Since I rarely saw mountains in the States, I am still spellbound by not only mountains themselves, but also the fact that thousands of feet up the moutains, there are lakes. even though so many people see these lakes each year, in the early morning fog I couldn't help but think that there are still somethings in nature "untouched" by the exploitation of capitalism.


At 3:43 AM, Blogger Keith said...

Loser! You're not getting anything for your birthday from me (even though I already wrote half the card - biotch!)

Let us know when you have an address.

At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Angeline said...

ditto to that! get a friggin address so we can send you birthday love!!!!!


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