A word about Dora - I have definitely realized how great she is. We had a really great time together. We've definitely found things to talk about. We only speak in Bulgarian - I think i'm failing so far in one respect, which is to improve her English, but she just seems really uncomfortable whenever I try to start off a conversation in English
. Theoretically she knows English - she can explain to me (in bulgarian) when you use certain tenses in English as opposed to in Bulgarian, and how certain phrases are translated literally from English, but she has trouble stringing a sentence together. Maybe when I know her better we can establish some 'English time' or something. fortunately i do have 2 years to help her with this. So anyway we're getting along really well. on the other hand i'm also really lucky that i've made friends my age, so i don't have to spend every second with her, and i'm not totally reliant on her. Belitsa is a really great town in this way, when i talk to other pcvs from my group their reaction often is, wow, you have people your age in your town? All over Bulgaria unemployment is a big problem, and the towns are shrinking fast as everyone especially kids my age move to the cities to find jobs. In fact most of my friends work in neighboring towns like the large town of Razlog or the ski resort Bansko. I guess it just shows how great Belitsa is that they want to live in Belitsa and are willing to commute every day.
Anyway here are some pictures from Semkovo
I had off from teaching this week, originally because my director planned for us to have a little retreat in Semkovo, a ski resort 17 kilometers away from Belitsa. I use the word 'resort' in the Bulgarian sense - ramshackle hotels, a few worn out shops, some nice hiking trails, and 2 ski lifts for the winter. Good cheap food. But some business came up at the school, so our director's husband drove us up to Semkovo (there aren't any buses) and left us there, and I spent 2 days with Dora, my counterpart. It was nice and relaxing.