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Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

And let it be known, that Bulgarians are NOTHING, if not the most loyal people on the face of this planet… I have this serious "in" with local village gossip between the baba's across the street and my host mom, and although I can't understand anything, I knew something was going on with the little shop a couple doors down from my house. This is where both of my host parents, a few babas, a diado, and a few other of my neighbors meet EVERY night to chat and drink beer after dinner to wait for the goats to come home. I love just sitting with them as the sun falls in the sky listening to them chat. I like to think that one night everything they say is just suddenly going to make sense, but I may be feeling myself there… I also like the idea of waiting for the goats to come home. Every night. Seriously, who gets to do that?

Anyway, back to the point of this story… I went into the city today for all day sessions with all of the B-24s, and when I was walking back from the bus stop in my village for dinner and was about 20 feet away from the little shop, I noticed huge piles of rocks in front of Ivan's store/house. Then I realized the front was boarded up, and well… it had no roof. And with less than 3 weeks of Bulgarian under my belt I realize I may never really know what happened. (My host dad used a word I think I translated into "renovation," but my host mom got all hush-hush and spewed what I can only interpret as gossip when I asked in front of my baba across the street. So, when I come back and visit for Christmas, maybe I'll have the vocabulary to actually ask what happen to Ivan's store). After dinner, when it would normally be time to take up residence in front of Ivan's store and wait for the goats, I sat outside with Baba Zenka on her bench and my host parents, Baba Pasa, the diado across the street, and whoever else happened to pass by. Even though there is another little shop equidistance from where we were sitting to Ivan's place, no one would go. We'll see what happens when everyone needs a refill on bread or beer (both are essentially the essence of Bulgarian life)… I'll keep you posted. J

At least it explains why Ivan didn't have ice cream the other night when I was craving some chocolate…



BUT, on a completely different note… this evening was one of small victories… and it was BEAUTIFUL.

After dinner, my host mom asked me if I wanted to go with her to her friends garden to help pick apples. Of course I went! (FYI, Bulgarian produce will change your life… I dread the day I eat my last tomato of the season). I thought I was helping Kalina by picking the apples higher in the tree while they were picking apples off the ground (not really sure why), and then my host mom goes, "Katie, Stiga!" (basically means stop, or enough). So apparently I was picking apples for ME. Let's just say I now have a ridiculous amount of apples to eat… but again. Bulgarian apples. YUM.

So, bag full of freshly picked apples – small victory one!

Later, I joined Baba Zenka outside on her bench, and per usual, she took my hand and we exhausted the only 30 second conversation I am capable of having, and then she brought me another bag of apples out of her garden, and a WATERMELON!!! Yessssss, my first gift from a Baba!!

And I'm not sure, but I think she apologized that my host mom doesn't make Banitsa (ridiculously delicious pastry very popular here in Bulgaria and is usually perfected by the local babas), and said she would make me some!!

Basically gifts of food from Babas are victories in and of themselves….

And now, a little more time in 1 Peter and off to bed…

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