Thursday, March 24, 2011

Triglav, Spelling Bees

The hiking group I often go with went to Triglav (3 heads – 3 summits) last weekend. I went with all my favorite hikers; including Bai-Stan (his real name is Stanimir, but in BG they add the Bai – pronounced By – as a sign of respect, kind of like Big Brother). Bai-Stan and I often reminisce about our childhoods..and they are always so different..after all, he grew up in communism and is 15-20 years older than me.

My favorite story from him this time was when the village he grew up in got their first television – around 1963. Two of the first shows he remembers are Fury (about a white horse), and Lassie (I remember Lassie). There was only the one television in the entire village, with one channel..and as soon as Fury came on, he would run outside yelling ‘Fury, Fury..Fury is on”, and all the village kids would come running. The TV was set on a windowsill facing outside so everyone could watch it.

While travelling to the hike we saw a field of storks..and everyone cheered. They cheered because storks are a sign of Spring..and good luck. When they see a stork fly, they can finally remove the martenitsa..and hang it on a fruit tree..and make 3 wishes..if they saw the stork while it was in flight, it is even better luck. Martenitsas are worn from the first of March, Baba Marta Den (a BG holiday), until you see a stork. Martenitsa’s are bracelets made of red and white thread intertwined..sometimes with beads. The red thread symbolizes Health, and the white symbolizes a long life ahead..but, when talking to different Bulgarians, you will hear many different meanings of the red and white threads, very different from this.

Also, from this weekend is a favorite line I heard often ‘бяло вино, бяло вино, защо ти не си червено вино’..that is ‘White wine, white wine, why are you not red wine’. They explained that every song about wine is about red wine..and one day, someone decided to write a song about white wine..but in the end, it always comes back to the red wine.

The hike itself was nice..a little foggy, but we got a couple of great views. Once we were waiting, and waiting for the fog to lift..and finally the cold got to us..and as soon as we started walking away..up it lifted to reveal high cliffs and the top of the waterfall. I added some new pictures of the hike..the Spelling Bees’, and my kindergarten English can find the link to the pictures at the bottom of the page labeled ‘Tricia’s new pictures’.

This week there are local Spelling Bees being held all over Bulgaria. In my town and villages, we are holding 4 of has been pleasantly surprising how well many of the students spelled..I still have 2 more this week, and then they will have the regional competition mid-April. I think that spelling English words are particularly difficult, since in Bulgarian all their letters are always pronounced the same, weather spelling them, or saying them in a word. They don’t have a different sound when read..for example for them to spell ‘cat’ , instead of spelling it like C-A-T, they would spell it Kuh-aa-tuh..using the sounds of the letters.