Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bulgaria Update

Good morning from beautiful sunny Bulgaria. I am in a small village three and ½ hours from Sophia. I arrived Thursday afternoon and was met with an exuberant welcome from my hosts. Their two little girls gave me huge hugs with squeals of delight. It was very exciting to know that they remembered me. I was very thankful that even though I was delayed because of filing a lost bag report…came to find out that they were delayed as well… They appeared at the same time I exited from Customs. God is very good to me, because I was thinking… ok Lord what do I do if they returned to the Hotel… I can’t remember where we are staying. I am so glad that God is in total control.

After we went to the hotel Jasmine and refreshed, it was on to dinner. Trout, Shopska salad, and some sort of chicken. The service was superb and the food was scrumptious. After dinner we went to visit an American couple who have lived in Sophia for over 12 years, He is a pastor with the American Baptist Church. They were very welcoming. We stayed for a couple hours then I began to have trouble keeping my eyes open. The flight over the big pond did not provide much rest. My total sleep time was less than four hours for a 36 hour space. We arrived back to the hotel, I hit the sack … it was 11p.m. I slept until 7a.m. no movement. Breakfast is included in the price of the hotel. At the Hotel Jasmine there is a wait staff to cater to your every need… wow. The omelet they made to my request was amazing. Can I say wow again?

We toured some of the cathedrals in Sophia, and strolled through the open air market where I purchased a couple of treasures for family at home. I took advantage of the photographic moments and captured several really good shots. The language barrier is not so bad. Do I understand what is being said? No … but it seems that they know I am “English” and many can rapidly spit out a few words in English. I have also found that just a few words in French/Italian that I know are very helpful. My junior hosts speak the language very well and are determined to teach me a few words like: thank-you, your welcome, where’s the bathroom, and how much is this? I keep being told… “Very good Miss Julie” so I guess I will pass the language exam by the end of my stay.

On our way out of Sophia we stopped at the airport and just as we arrived my bag did as well. Isn’t God good? Squeals of delight from the junior hosts as they knew my bag was filled with goodies they would get to share. The roads fro the most part are similar to those we have in the US rural communities… however the bumps in the roads are much worse.

We have a full agenda today. I don’t know where all we are planning to go. I told my hosts: “you all know where the best places are to capture photos…. Take me where you want.” So who knows what the day will hold.

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