Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Flooding basements and other good times...

We had the worst storm thus far (referencing Apryl's history in Bulgaria) here in Trud last night. Again, please see my earlier caveat about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Nothing can compare....
So we had this huge storm - beautiful lightning and probably the loudest claps of thunder I have ever heard. My oochitelka (teacher) was in her house when it was struck by lightning. Crazy, huh? I've learned a new word: Gradoozhka = hail. We had some of that last night, too. Apparently many farm animals in the village drowned, but from what I can gather in my limited Bulgarian, none of ours had an unfortunate demise. I think my "father" was up all night trying to make sure everything was taken care of. He was pumping water out of the basement when I came home for lunch. It was waist-deep and half full of water. Tim and I were talking about the madness of it all. I mean, don't Bulgarians prepare for this? Why do they build houses (many here are not that old) that can flood so easily? Many people were pumping water out of their homes. Madness. I feel badly for them. Now, it's beautiful and sunny. I think the place has pretty much recovered.
I went to a place called Hissar this weekend. It's another satellite site for PC trainees, and it has beautiful, ancient walls, tombs, and mineral springs. There are also mountains not far away. It was absolutely breathtaking. Greg, a trainee who lives in Hissar, and I walked all over the place. He showed me the town and took me up into the mountains to see the gorgeous hills and valleys down below. We had a great time, and I got to see some more of beautiful Bulgaria. I will show you all pictures... someday when I get my act together.
I was also able to speak Spanish this weekend!! I've spoken Spanish a few times here in Bulgaria, and it's always a pleasure. I feel like I'm losing my ability to speak Spanish. I can't remember random words off the top of my head, and that frustrates me. When I try to speak it, the Bulgarian words I know come out. Sometimes, when I try to speak Bulgarian, Spanish words I know come out. Ugh! Anyway, back to bragging about how I got to speak Spanish this weekend.... Ben, another Hissar trainee, had his girlfriend Ivana visit for a few days. Ivana is from Bosnia and speaks about 5.5 languages. I aspire to be like her. Anyway, one of the languages is Spanish, so we were able to talk to each other while Greg and Ben just shook their heads. We all had a lot of fun together - well, at least I can speak for myself. It was good to get away and see some place new in Bulgaria. I've been spending a lot of time away from "home" recently though, so it's also good to get back and get into the language lessons again here in Trud. My "family" takes my traveling in stride, so I'm very appreciative of that. They're still great. Nothing new there.
Yesterday, we had a debrief session in Krichim. Two other satellite groups were there, so 11 of us trainees got together and talked about our permanent sites. We also talked about project planning. Back in Plovdiv, Tim, Holly, Jennifer, and I went to this amazing Mediterranean-type restaurant. It's definitely worth a return visit. Plovdiv will be much further away when I move to Rakitovo.


Anonymous said...

Hi Apryl,

Just catching up on your blog. Went to Jennifer's site and saw the pictures - cool stuff, and great to see fun pictures of you. I'll email you soon. Back to work for now. I'll send you blog link to Penn and Renata, I think they'll find it fun to follow from time to time.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Hey Apes! I'm back in Walla Walla and was worried that I would miss a new entry to your blog! Glad to hear that you are doing well and having a great time. Don't fall too much in love with it and stay forever!