Monday, October 29, 2007

Hiking Vitosha and Monster Minithon

On Saturday, October 20th, 2007 Gordon and I, along with our wonderful housemate Jessica went for a hike up on Vitosha Mountain, elevation 7,513 feet.

It was crispy on top and began to snow in the latter part of the day. The weather then followed us home to the ACS campus at the base of the mountain and it continued to snow for the rest of the evening, until the next morning. The ground was white in most places in the morning but by noon it had all melted.

On Saturday, October 27th, 2007 I ran in a 10K race. I have been running the past seven weeks, three times per week a minimum of 20 minutes- usually between 30 to 45 minutes. My goal was to finish the 10Km (6.2 miles) in less than 60 minutes, and I achieved my goal; I finished in 58 minutes and 5 seconds.

The race was a fundraiser for a local orphanage where some of our students volunteer. It was called the monster minithon and there was a 1/2Km kids race, a 3Km walk, a 5Km run and a 10Km run. In total there were about 100 participants, a real success! I was dressed as the road runner from looney tunes cartoons! However, I did not wear my real feathers as it was raining. I will save them for the real halloween party that we will host for the ACS Faculty on the 31st.

Monday, October 15, 2007

an early winter

I went running this morning and thought my hands, nose, and ears were going to freeze! By the time I made it to my classroom at 8am I checked the temperature online and it said it was -2 degrees Celsius, about 28 degrees Fahrenheit! I have been waking up at 6am to run somewhere between 20 to 50 minutes. Gordon groans and rolls back over but is always supportive and encouraging once he is awake. I will run a 10 km race for an orphanage fund raiser on October 27th and I hope to finish in less than 60 minutes.
The other night i was going through some older pictures that I found on my cameras internal memory and they made me excited to experience winter again.
The school turned on our heat today in our houses and classrooms, which is celebratory in itself, considering we had a wood fire going all weekend to try to take the chill off of the house.Above, some old pictures- no it hasn't snowed yet! But isn't it beautiful? This is a view of our house from the end of our driveway, about 1/3 of the way between our house and the school.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Beli Iskar Horse Riding

After Sports Day on October 5th some colleagues and I went on a horse back riding village get away. Gordon stayed home and watched the Red Sox in their 2nd game with the Anaheim Angles- which was a very rewarding experience- watching Manny win the game with a 2 out, 3 run walk off home run in the 9th inning to break the tie! We rented a car and then Lara took her own car, we were 8 all together. A rental car for 24 hours in Bulgaria is 54 leva, approximately 39 USD. We drove about 1.5 hours south of Sofia to a small town of about 800 people called Beli Iskar. It is located in the Rila Mountain Range.
Gordon at his computer watching the Bosox, such a devoted fan!
Me mounted on 'Murrat'.
A shepard and his flock above in teh fields above Beli Iskar.
Steve and the rest of the crew on horseback.
A group photograph of us all mounted. (R to L) Dan, Shelly, Lara, Me, Steve, Slaveja, Jess, x, Stavo, Andy, and Erin.

Airplane anyone?

Me balancing Lara and Erin balancing Jess modeling an airplane- weeeee!

A beautiful shopska salad, the traditional salad of Bulgaria- I usually eat one of these every day for lunch, although the ACS cafeteria food is never delivered with such aesthetics in mind.

A wonderful plate of pork with grilled vegetables- eggplant, red and green peppers, tomatos, zuchini, onions, and japalenos- another typical plate of Bulgaria.

Back to School 2007

After visiting 15 countries in 60 days we are back at school. We just finished our 3rd week of classes and had a great time this last Friday, with "Sports Day". I am a section advisor for a group of eleven 11th grade students. I teach all them in Economics SL and seven of them in Mathematical Studies SL. Because most sections at ACS are at least 18 students, we joined forces with the 12th grade international students also, so there were 14 of us in total- 3 students were absent. We participated in basketball, soccer, hacky sack, basketball foul shots, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee and ping pong. Gordon is not a section advisor so he was an ultimate frisbee referee. I feel that we all had a great time- it was a team building and bonding experience.
A group shot of the 11th and 12th grade international students (minus 3 students).
A group 'jig-saw puzzle' activity- correcting a quiz.
Nick playing goalie and returning the ball to his team mates while playing soccer.
Hacky Sack!
Taking a break to drink juice and eat chocolates in my classroom.
Basketball Foul Shots!
Dodge Ball!
Half time during Ultimate Frisbee.
Ultimate Fresbee

Me watching the Ultimate Frisbee game

A group shot after the Ultimate Frisbee game

Watching some Ping Pong (a.k.a. Table Tennis)

Playing Ping Pong

Summer Favorites

During our summer vacation from June 29th, 2007 until September 3rd, 2007 we toured Europe. We visited 15 countries via train with Interrail passes.
Venice, Italy
Zolikoffen, Switzerland with Jane and Kristi
Kristi, Mark, Gordon, and I before we went canyon jumping near Gridelwald, Switzerland
Paragliding over Interlaken, Switzerland
Throughout our trip in Europe, Gordon took pictures of the metal engraved plates on the streets
I thought I could make it without a thermarest to economize on costs and luggage weight, but I finally broke down and bought one in Konstanz, Germany
We visited the town where Gordon attended university in 1999-2000 while studying German. We then visited several old classmates while in Zurich and Berlin.
Gordon jumping from beneath a bridge in Zurich
There were Yoga Cows all over Switzerland
Florence, Itlay- a view near our campsite of the bridges and more specifically, Ponte Vecchio.
A view of the moon and river while standing on Ponte Vecchio
The typical tourist picture that one must take when visiting Pisa
Gordon making a grab while jumping off a cliff into the Lagurian Sea.
A view at sunset from our favorite town in Cinque Terre- Manarola.
Our most expensive and by far wonderful meal in Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Italy.
A view of the parfume bottles at a parfumery in Grosse, France.
A view of the streets at night in Lisbon, Portugal.
The beautiful churches covered in blue and white porcelain tile in Porto, Portugal.
The unforgettable camping with crazy Spaniards in Las Cies, Vigo, Spain.
The old majestic castle of Fontainbleau, France.
The diamond musems of Antwerp, Belgium.
The thirsty and angry dog who attached the fountain in Antwerp.
The bicycles of Amsterdam.
The yogurt incident while waiting for our night train in Malmo, Sweden to go to Oslo, Norway.

Camping for free at Lake Sognsvann, Norway.
The fjord cruise in Bergen, Norway- and the crazy rain
Reasearching the Hanson/ Ringstad family geneology in eastern Norway.
Visiting our friend Adam in Goteburg, Sweden.
Crossing the borden from West to East, returning to the post-communist side of Europe.