Keith helped me get Ducky-Mo-Mo ready for our flight.
Ready to go!
Eating a sandwich before boarding our flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
We are ready to go! This flight was full of all kinds of international people. I met a gal from Italy and a man from Romania (who I was initially afraid of, as he was big and burly and looked like he could inflict some serious pain on anyone, but when I asked him about his homeland, he was super kind and told me all sorts of things.)
Ducky-Mo-Mo wishes he could sleep better on the plane. #8hourslong
I was incredibly impressed with a flight attendant who tracked down this gluten-free meal for me. I didn't even know it was an option to order a gluten-free meal and she was so kind and helpful. I intend to contact United Airlines to dote on her good service.
On the airport tram in Frankfurt.
They had this area in the airport where you could take pictures with huge paintings. I thought this one was lovely. I don't know what it depicts, though.
Our flight to Sofia was only a couple of hours. After getting about 2 less-than-great hours of sleep on the first flight, I got another hour of sleep on the second flight. Once we arrived in Bulgaria, I wanted to soak up everything about the country, so I didn't get any more sleep. Running on adrenaline!
We picked up our luggage and our facilitator, Maggie, was waiting for us by the car rental place. We were issued a purple SUV (doesn't a purple vehicle scream tourist?) and away we drove to Pazardzhik.
Maggie is absolutely fantastic. She loves working in a job that makes a difference and she truly cares about the children. She spoke a lot about our triplets and their files and potential situations and their strengths, etc. We are so thankful that she will be with us on our trip!
Bulgaria is beautiful! I didn't know there were so many mountains here. And there's tons of snow - which I love! We checked in to our lodging (see photos below) and then we went to a restaurant for dinner. I was able to practice some of my Bulgarian, saying благодаря and добре, at appropriate moments. :-)
Ducky-Mo-Mo is exhausted!
The whole bathroom is a shower!
My first Bulgarian meal: meatballs and mashed potatoes. Tyler ordered the beef stroganoff - both meals were tasty! I am always a bit nervous when eating in foreign countries, because the food doesn't always agree with me, but this meal started it off on the right foot.
The music playing at the restaurant sounded like a mix between middle eastern music and Indian music, with a mix of Latin flare and some accordion, also. Very interesting!
In Bulgaria, the people shake their head yes and nod their head to say no - the opposite of us! I am trying hard to not shake or nod my head at all, so I won't confuse anyone. Something else I noticed, is that they don't just shake or nod their head, they also swing it a little bit, similar to people in India. It is fun to watch!
The people here have much darker complexions than we have seen in Ukraine and Russia. Maggie says that the Ottoman Empire's control for 500 years brought about many inter-marrying. I am still trying to understand the cultural castes here, as I know the Roma people are generally looked down upon in Bulgaria. It seems like the people are either very white and Caucasian with light eyes or they have darker skin with black eyes and hair.
Tomorrow we are meeting with Temenujka for the first time! I am having trouble sleeping - what with jet lag and also anticipation - but I hope that our first meeting will go very well!