My life here is a lot of studying, drinking coffee in breaks between class and then studying again. I usually then eat dinner, read, study, go to bed and restart. My host mother/g-ma accused me of “always studying” the other night when I tried to excuse my self from dinner to go study. I stayed at dinner longer which interfered with my studying. The theme is quite apparent. I also bring a BG/ENG dictionary and a pencil to dinner. I should (re)state that my host family doesn’t speak or understand a single word in English outside of a couple of brand names that they have here. That said, I’ve never had to explain to them how I “Sony’ed,” something or how I needed to “Philips,” something else. Although, I have spent about 1-2 hours reading for fun each night this week.

Keeps me sane.

Tuesday we had a Rashodka (term for having people over for dinner, meal, whatever ~ hanging out) with one of the other Trainee’s host family. The food was quite delicious. We had some spicy peppers, some fresh goat cheese, what is also known as queso fresca in Spanish. It was literally as fresh as can be. The goats were milked, they were turned into cheese and then we ate it. Quite basic and very rad. At the end of the meal we had some turkish-style coffee, which is basically good-to-really-good coffee, that is a little strong, with some fine coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup. I asked for cream, thinking they had some goat’s milk lying around.

They didn’t. So a lot of bad Bulgarian, some miming, some animal noises and 5 minutes later, me and the other volunteers were milking a goat. The milk goes into a pie-tin the coffee and it’s good. Also we get to enjoy the awkwardness of the act and the ability to unconditionally demand that each one of us partake because “it’s the Peace Corps!” “You can’t NOT milk a goat (if the opportunity arises).” It’s like peer-pressure with institutional backing.

Thursday (chetvurtuk) we are meeting with the City Council, the Mayor, her staff and teachers from the local school (the principle was unavailable) and presenting project proposals to them. Hopefully they will have some exciting ideas, be energetic about them and be similarly enthused about our project ideas. We are on a very tight deadline to do something, though the standard for cool/good enough proposal is 0, it’s strictly an exercise for while we are in our Pre-Service Training.

[The pictures!] The front-left two candles are some I lit, one for Joel and one for Bonnie’s Dad when we were at a monastery. The Small out-house-shot is my morning bathroom commute from my room. The last two are shots of my walk to language lessons/town center during mid-day and late afternoon. – it’s not so bad here, clearly lacking both fire and brimstone. I’ll make the best of it 🙂 C-Out


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