Once upon a time…
A boy from Wisconsin…
…came to study in Bulgaria.
The tuition was low, the university was new and progressive, and it was located in one of the most interesting, ethnically-diverse regions of the world. This type of thing appealed to this former Wisconsin Geography Bee champion.
Now Bulgaria was a beautiful country. A little on the dry side by Wisconsin standards, but still way, way greener than where I came from.
It had plenty of European charm…
And not a whole lot of snow. But heck of a lot more than I’d seen in my entire life.
Except in the mountains, which even in warmer seasons were topped with graceful snow caps…
…and were a home to picturesque Christian Orthodox monasteries/tourist traps.
Pretty much immediately upon arrival, he met a girl from Azerbaijan. He had a bit of a thing for people from obscure, exotic places. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I had a vision of life centered around rural America. After all, he had the same vision himself.
And then I met his mother (note the grandma on the background). Cultural exchange took place.
Dawn: Let’s buy flowers!
Sofya: Let’s buy irises! They are beautiful!!
Dawn: But they are not in season here, which means that these are not local. Whenever we travel, I always teach my kids to buy local!
Historical photographs were taken… Appropriate mutual assessments were conducted… “I hope we’ll see you again,” said his mom before leaving Bulgaria.
And sure enough.
And then they all lived happily ever after. And shot plenty of deers.
Thank you, Vince, for taking these photos nine years ago, and for sharing them with me today.