Saturday, November 05, 2005

The return of toni!

no, not to the states- to the Internet!!! Oddly enough, I now live in a city 10 times the size of my last one, yet have a harder time getting internet time. ah, bulgaria...

first off, THANKS to everyone who sent me birthday greetings either via email, SMS(text messages) the facebook, or other- it made me feel wonderful!

secondly, i have an address! but believe it or not, not every computer supports the bulgarian alphabet (how odd!!!!) so I have to wait until monday to get on my boss' computer. SORRY!

Well, this week marked the first work week for the new PCVs, which in most cases, means for the next 3 months the PCVs just sit around and try to learn Bulgarian. Well, either through a pure stroke of luck or blind-fate, that's not my story!!! On tuesday I went to work, and by Wednesday afternoon we were writting a grant to the US Embassy! It was a little frustrating at first, and since some of you have mentioned that I seem to be peachy-keen here 95% of the time, I'll let you in on a little secret here- I thought I was gonna cry about 5 times on Wed!! My organization "O Romano Drom" is so excited to have me here, but they sometimes get carried away in their expectations of me AND of my language skills. I got pretty overwhealmed quite a few times, but now I have a pretty darn good idea of what they want, and since the grant has to be in English- its a good thing I feel this way!!!!! :) anyway, the grant is for up to $24000 (a literal fortune in BG) and we're going for it- I'm pretty pumped. On the 8th and 15th of November,the Embassy (its actaully the Democratic Commission) is holding help sessions for the grant in Sofia, so I'm gonna make a little trip there and figure out how to improve our odds!

last night I went to a Bulgarian party (in a restaurant) with my colleuges and had a blast! In Bulgaria, your colleuges aren't thought of the same way as we think of them in the states. You become close friends with your coworkers, and if you don't, its basically considered an insult. The good thing is that I like them all, and they do a great job taking care of me. Dancing is a really big part of the culture, especially the Roma culture, and so the whole evening was spent dancing to the band. Now, when i say "dancing,"what I really mean is "shaking our asses" except that its totally culturally apporpriate! The dance is called the kuchek, and is essentailly the bulgarian roma equivilant of belly-dancing. So there you go-

Did I mention that I have a sitemate??? i DO and his name is Lincoln and he's fabulous. Through odd twists of fate, we weren't able to meet up on my first trip to Pernik, but monday night we met up for drinks and introductions and hit it off pretty well. Since they aren't privy to the "peacecorps way, "my colleuges thought that I was insane for meeting some guy that I'd never known before- now they are really excited taht I have someone to speak english to, and they can't wait to meet him. Lincoln has been in BG since mid-April, and he's a TEFL (or, english as a foreign language) volunteer. Right now he's teaching students that want to go to the US or England for school, so he speaks English in the workplace. Personally, I think that would be hard, but hey, he's still alive! Other than that, we both enjoy movies with litte-to-no plot, american football (although damnit, he went to U. of Co at boulder- he's a buff!!! eeeewww!), and drinking beer. Also, he likes peanut m&ms, so next time you send me a package, make sure you throw in a little bag for me :)

okay, well its getting cold in BG and all I have is the fleece columbia coat that I bought the night before I left the I'mgonna go hit up the second hand store and scope out the goods!!!


At 2:03 AM, Blogger dartagnian said...

So of all good causes in the world you chose the gypsies? Why?
Do you have any idea of their ways and traditions and generally how they see life and living it?
:( let me tell you again pick your battles, and stop pouring money down a bottomless barrel.


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