Meteora: Day 1 - St. Stephen's Convent


On our hike...

We met Germans, Ukrainians, Romanians, fellow Americans, Croatians, Serbians, Russians, Austrians, Polish, Slovakians, Spanish, Hungarians, Dutch, Czech, Greeks, and Macedonians (in the picture).  Crazy!


819 days later

Feels like today's the day to write a "closure" post.  We are waiting at the bus station for our bus to Greece and are officially no longer Peace Corps Volunteers.  It feels surreal, like we're in a vacuum, and that it can't possibly be over.

Reflection has definitely permeated our thoughts and conversations as of late.  And, that'll keep happening.

But, what keeps rising to the surface is that it's all about people.  Not projects.  Not fame.  Not numbers. Not doing stuff.  It's about people.

We've been so blessed.  By people.

By all of you who've walked with us (from afar & from down the street).

By all of you patient Bulgarian-speakers.

By all of you generous hosts, who always have room for another guest at the dinner table.

By all of you kids in the Sheker Primary School, who always made me smile no matter what.

By all of you colleagues, who put up with my confused looks and head nods.

By all of you Banitsa makers.

By all of you who bore the brunt of bureacracy for us.

By all of you PCV's - we couldn't have done this without your empathy and love.


Sunday of all Sundays

We just spent one of our best Sundays in Bulgaria in the Rodopi mountains with some new friends from an English class I helped teach for adults.  And, not only do they know how to speak English well, but they seriously know how to throw down a picnic...

We're talking fresh shopska salad, delicious local wine, a spread of coal-fire-bbq meats, and lots of frisbee throwing.

And, though I can't speak for Randall, I wanted to be Julie Andrews so bad today because it was that gorgeous being surrounded by musical hills... Sigh...


Joy: Pre-Practice

Hanging out today with the girls before dance practice for next week's competition...

Sorry, not gonna give any sneek peeks of the dances I'm watching!  Not 'til they're on the stage on the Black Sea...



Though we're planning on seeing our buddies again, it's been tough to say so many goodbyes to our fellow PC volunteers these days... Difficult for Liza, too.

We saw Joan off today at her bus stop.  We waved goodbye (with paws and hands), and, once the bus was out of sight, we headed back home.

But, this little girl kept turning around and looking back, missing one of her "pack" already...


On our way to the bus stop...

We ran into these guys on our way to the bus stop today.

They're doing their part to take care of the ever-growing grass around the city :)

And, at 70 degrees, we can't think of a better day for a walk...