Monday, October 17, 2005

The wonders of "chalga"

I wish I could share "chalga" with all of you. There are young girls hanging out in the internet cafe with me and they're destroying their eardrums by blasting "chalga" into their earphones. "Chalga" is a... we interrupt this message to inform you that a bunch of boys have rollerbladed into the cafe - Bulgaria is random, just like this blog... form of music. It's like Bulgarian pop-folk with Turkish influence. It's sung by enhanced, half-naked women who strut around in impossible circumstances. I can't believe how graphic TV is here. But "chalga" is an art-form all it's own. I've actually bought a CD by an artist called Anelia. Wish I could provide a link and share her biggest hit with you. They play it all over the place. So there's some random Bulgarian culture for you.
HUB in Pazardjik was fun. I got to eat Chinese food - which is always a plus. Oh, and I had some pizza with corn and pickles on it. How crazy is that? Try it sometime. Those are just a couple highlights. I also received a letter (oh boy!) from Bolivia!!!! Can you imagine??? Someone all the way over in Bolivia wrote me a letter!!! Man, was that ever the coolest thing... (hint hint).
Anyway, we only have one HUB left, and that's when I swear-in as a certified volunteer and move to my permanent site. My "family" was sad when I reminded them that the time was getting short. I told them that they could have another volunteer very shortly here, but my sister said that she didn't want another volunteer - she wanted me to stay. Awww.... I love my "family." I'm going to be visiting them lots over the next couple of years.
I went up into the Rila area this weekend. About 30 of us volunteers/trainees/language trainers took a hike up into the mountains to see the "Seven Lakes." It was gorgeous - even though it was so foggy we barely even saw the lakes. Actually, I would say that we didn't see the lakes at all... just the edge of some water, but it was an amazing trip. The snow falling on the trees was beautiful, the waterfall we saw was picturesque, it wasn't that cold, and the group I was with was a lot of fun. I can't describe the beauty to you. And my camera was wigging out, so I can't show you. Plus, these computers here in Trud aren't set up to share photos... maybe I'll be able to share once I get to Rakitovo. We stayed the night at a fairly nice lodge, played games like Yahtzee, shared some food, and got to know a bit more about each other. I laughed a lot, and I like doing that.

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