24 March 2011


winter is long and hard, but oh the joys of spring in the village!

20 February 2011


how do i phrase this? he wasn't my boyfriend. he isn't my boyfriend. we used to fight a lot, then we used to make up. i tried to teach him words like "cold" and "hot" in english, but i never held it against him that he couldn't remember them. i always tried to get him to help me light my woodstove. once there was a lamp that needed fixing, and his solution was to put a new light bulb in it and call it a day. sometimes he didn't answer my phone calls, sometimes we made each other more jealous than we knew was possible.

but once, he picked the tulips out of my garden and brought them to me. once he bought me beers on a saturday night. once we sat at his parents' house from mid-afternoon til after dinner, and his mom talked to me about whitney houston and lady gaga. once we woke up and it was 2011, and we realized the party from the night before had never finished.

once, he called me from a foreign country and the next day i had to check my phone to make sure it wasn't just a dream. right now, i miss him so much.

27 January 2011

a summary

i like steph's idea of giving a quick picture of what we find most striking in our homes, both domestic and abroad:

what i miss about america: ocean pines. the schwinds (neighbors). standing at bars. pop radio. big grocery stores. the car. california. laura. the sofa and watching tv. closets. democracy and feeling like my opinion is valuable. open discussions. creativity/ingenuity. mountain dew/7.11. parties with mia. stoplights. mobility.

what i like about bulgaria: fresh produce. clean air. simple fun. picnics. everything is cheap. varna. kay's house. train tickets/train cards. baby student smiles. ayshe. the forest. truly happy to see you na gostis (visits). feeling like i've worked hard. chalga and kuchek. the accordian playing. walks. sunflower fields. the trams in sofia. all the memories i've made inside bloc apartment buildings.

24 January 2011

baben den

january 21st is "grandmother's day" here, a holiday meant to celebrate midwifery and childbirth/children's health. we weren't able to celebrate with all the babas this year, but we did have a lot of fun roaming the center asking for handouts--men give large and small amounts of money to help feed the baby, who is crying, because he is hungry. i had a lot of company from my fifth graders, who we decided were all my adopted nieces/nephew sons/daughter wards and our little baby whom we named Alex. the kids were great sports, rubbing their bellies telling our passerby's, "WE'RE SO HUNGRY!" what a good baben den.

17 December 2010

koleda nablizhava

i am nine time zones away from my sister, three from my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, and only 933 miles from my mom. my christmas tree is fake and only 12 inches tall; i've got two stockings hung without assignment or fillings.
BUT, i do have lights up in my window, and every night i've got a fire going in the fireplace.
christmas is where your heart is, so i guess folks, we are having an international christmas this year.