Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7th - My Birthday trip and Easter is my Birthday! I’ve had many pleasant surprises. But first, let me tell you a little about my trip. I went with a few of the local high school teachers and the Director on a visit to the capital cities of Serbia (Belgrade), Hungary (Budapest), and Austria (Vienna). I want to go back and visit all of these was a great debate – which city is more beautiful, Budapest or Vienna..with the beautiful architecture of the buildings, the Parliament, the Opera House, the churches, the statues, museums, and the running and biking paths!

In Hungary we went for a traditional Hungarian dinner with dancing and singing. If you look through the pics, you’ll see one where a server with a long thermometer-like bottle is spurting red wine across the table into a man’s mouth. I was one of the first people to try this. They put a bib on you..and let’s just say, it’s a good thing. I showed everyone what ‘not’ to do, by basically spilling most of it. It was a fun evening with two other groups there, one from Greece and one from Turkey.

So..I was in Vienna for Easter..and missed a few of the Easter traditions here in Bulgaria..but my new Bulgarian and Lithuanian friends made sure we wished each other the traditional Easter greetings of Христос Воскресе (Christ has risen) and Войстина Воскресе (It is true, he has risen?). And Mirena provided beautifully decorated eggs (and of course, rakia  which we cracked against other eggs. Their were six of us..the person with the least cracked or last unbroken egg is known as the most successful, happy, and lucky person for the rest of the year. It wasn’t me. I was out from almost the beginning. day started with many greetings and shout-outs from my good friends in USA. It’s good to know y’all still remember and think of me  I bought my chocolates to ‘чирпя’ everyone. You’re supposed to offer everyone chocolates for your Birthday. The night before, my Bulgarian teacher and good friend, Petia surprised me with beautiful picture books of Bulgaria. Every time I see her, she’s got a Bulgarian proverb for me to learn about..I told her I’m going to have to start recording them in a notebook..they’re very different, but interesting. I got some nice gifts from my co-workers to remember my time here, and got a shout out on the radio, and they played a Xora (traditional Buglarian song) for me..everyone wishes you many greetings for your birthday here in Bulgaria..such as I wish you Joy, Luck, Love, Success, and many others that I can’t understand.

Everyone’s been asking..what will I be doing for my Birthday? My gift to myself was my trip! I also plan to have yummy delicious brownies..thanks to a mix sent by my favorite bikers! And of course, one of my favorite things to do in Bulgaria..Dance Xora’s!