Wednesday, January 31, 2007

nutrition in bulgaria

"What do you mean Americans like to eat sandwiches?" commented my host mom while cooking chicken in a vat of oil, "That's not very healthy!"

Somewhere along the way, many Bulgarians have not been properly introduced to the ideas of fitness and nutrition. Sick? its because the door was cracked open at lunch. Coughing? its NOT because of your pack-a-day habit. Fat? Only tea and fruit for the next 14 days.

As I fondly recall my early morning runs in late summer, I can clearly picture the other people in the park. First, they would stare at me as though my head was on fire. Next, they'd form a fan club to cheer me on with each lap. But in the end, my head freshly afire, they would yell at me to cease running and take a breather. Okay, yes this was marathon training and sometimes the running seemed a bit excessive to the average onlooker...but morning runs in the park rarely accounted for more than 15 minutes of my run! What person in their right mind would exercise for 15 minutes, and then go home?

I was speaking with another PCV about his idea to create a "fitness" room at his orphanage. While he's advocating the purchase of free weights and other such things, his coworkers would really prefer a bike. When the PCV mentions that 20 minutes would be needed for each child to get a workout, his coworkers explain that 3 minutes on the highest setting replace the other 17 minutes...

i just keep coming back to the sandwich. In a country where people eat 2-3 pieces of bread with each meal, put mayonnaise on their pizza, and douse garden fresh vegetables with on earth could a sandwich be bad???

okay, enough on that subject. I recently joined another choir in pernik, and this one promises to be more fun. The director works in sofia at the Musical Theater of his favorite songs is "Memory" from Cats, and he loves to make reference to Cabaret whenever possible. Clearly this is my kinda guy! My sitemate Jim also joined the choir, which makes it more fun. Now I have 5 scheduled rehearsals a week!!! I am also going to start working with a private english school in Pernik. They've offered to compensate for this (PCVs can't make money, so the pay would go directly to my organization) which I hope to use to create more youth projects.

I'm still suffering from plantar fascities, but I'm hoping it will pass in the next couple of months. I've got a half marathon to run in vienna, afterall!!

the only other news is that it still isn't too cold in bulgaria. today was high 30s and it might finally snow this weekend. okay all...stay warm and I'll try to find a cool topic to write about next time!


At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love sandwiches. :)

** Kari

At 9:23 PM, Blogger flar said...

i`ll tell you how, it is dry food, and you`ve got a pretty messed up idea of what an average bulgarian eats and what is the amount of energy spent trough the day


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