Thursday, April 14, 2011

Babi = Grandma (kind of)

This was one of those many times I understood the words, but misunderstood the meaning..I was thinking we were going to a folk festival in was actually a recording of the babi’s for a traditional Bulgarian show. Nonetheless, it was a fun day. Danche’s daughter Anelia was kind enough to show me around Sofia, and explain to me the different buildings, and pointed out many details of Icons when visiting a museum (until now they’ve been a bit of an anomaly)..It was nice being in Sofia without getting lost for a change.

We also saw ‘Buddy Bears’ that are currently visiting Bulgaria. These are large plastic molds of bears that each country has painted..representative of the country, promoting tolerance and peace; and all of these bears are currently in Sofia, Bulgaria. I didn’t completely understand Bulgaria’s bear; Ani and I had many guesses to the meaning behind it:

I’m sure you might guess the USA bear:

For more pics, click on ‘Tricia’s new pics’ link at the bottom of the page.
Later, we returned to the recording studio, full of dancers, singers, the host, and the crowd. Click on the picture below to see a clip of how nicely everything came together.

От BabiRcdg_Sofia

On the drive home, a song came on that in Bulgaria, I often hear. The singer Toni Dimitrova, and the song ‘Хората говорят за теб’ The people talk about you. I hear this song so banquets, in the evenings after hikes with the hiking group, on the ride home from Sofia..the song is at the top of the screen if you’d like to hear it.

Also, thank you all for making my Birthday last week so very special. I had a busy, yet fun-filled week. I saw Krushuna waterfalls, Devetashki caves, and had a successful environmental initiative with ‘Trapezitsa’ 1902, and received many wonderful gifts that will always remind me of my good friends here, and danced a little salsa..and the traditional BG dance group was awesome..they sang Happy Birthday to me, and we danced my current favorite two Horo’s; Syrtaki and Karakachanska horo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

20 Days of Service in Bulgaria – A Day in Nature

It’s great when you realize that your decision to work with an organization in the future is the right decision. I worked hard to prepare for this day, and it was equally obvious that they worked hard as well.

Today we had participants of all ages (from the veteran group at 8 am, then my tourist group, then the youngest group – munchkins, then middle schoolers, and finally the high schoolers) helping us clean eco-trails, planting trees, answering trivia questions about trees, and writing pledges for the environment..and once the day started, it was a whirlwind that finally ended in a pleasant roundtable with a group of 12th graders from Veliko Tarnovo.

I have put up my pictures from today (as usual, they can be found at the bottom of this page on the link 'Tricia's new pics', with further details about the day)..unfortunately in talking with everyone it was difficult to take many pictures..seriously, I don’t think I stopped talking for 8 hours straight. I am hoping to grab pictures from friends to add, so you can get the full impact of the day.

I am so proud and happy how smoothly everything went today..and I know it could not have been the success it was without the help of many, many, I will try to identify as many of you as possible –

Thank you to:
Georgi Dimitrov (Director of Trapezitsa), for helping organize and spread the word the entire event. None of this could have happened without his help.
Stancho Rousev (President of our hiking club), for inviting so many of our groups to attend
Paskal Paskalev (President of the Trapezitsa association), for joining us and helping with the days events
Petia Koedjikova, for helping translate during meetings, and helping with final preparations the evening before
Ilian Iliev – for translating the tree trivia questions
Desislava Koleva, for helping me flesh out my ideas with discussions
All my dear friends from the hiking club who came out today to help, and support this event..I was really surprised at they’re turnout. I know today was a working day for most people, and I really appreciate that they were able to come, even for a bit
Lilyana and Atanas from Peace Corps, for helping represent Peace Corps, helping set up, and helping me translate when I my Bulgarian faltered
Brian Corteville from the American embassy, for joining us, and speaking better Bulgarian than me, and making a speech about our environment
Didka, Galia, and their 12th grade students, for helping plant trees and participating in our events
The veterans hiking club, for beautifying the surroundings at Ksilifor and collecting many bags of trash
The students from Hristo Botev school, for helping plant trees and participating in our Tree Trivia
The students from the school Bacho Kiro, for helping plant trees, and participating in our Day in Nature
The staff at Trapezitsa, and Ksilifor, who did a wonderful job in helping prepare for our events
Tanya from Ksilifor, for helping paste together the ‘Tree of Pledges’

I know that I may be missing a few (there were more schools)..I apologize.

Thank you all for making such a great day to celebrate Peace Corps 20th Anniversary in Bulgaria/50th Anniversary in the world, and helping the environment.