A short note from Belgium

Hello! I'm in Belgium. No, not Bulgaria, not yet. It's confusing, as I'm a fan of both countries and have lived in both. I'll head to Bulgaria next Saturday to start my Fulbright adventure. In the meantime, I'm in Belgium staying with my good friend Marie, who lives here but who I got to know in Bulgaria more than 30 years ago. Oh, dear, that wasn't clarifying at all, was it? 

As the eastern part of the US prepares for a storm, the first snow of the season hit us here on Saturday:

You would think from this picture that Marie lives in the country, but in fact there are houses all around. It rained all day, so here's the view now:

It's a good day to stay inside and catch up on paperwork and naps. I've been busy, telling stories in schools and at a house concert. Most of my listeners have been English as a second languag speakers, ranging from age 3 to adult. I'm always learning how to do this better, even after more than 400 performances for non-native English speakers in my career. The listeners help me by asking questions, by telling me what isn't clear to them. They also help by telling me what they do like. 

Though it has been a fun trip so far, there have been a few hiccups. As I left my house in Kansas, ready for my new tenant, we smelled gas. Uh-oh, had to call the gas company. My excellent neighbors were on hand when they arrived, so now there's no gas leak. I made the mistake of booking a school on the day after I arrived, so I was jetlagged. I took the wrong train on Tuesday, not the express, so was late for school. I hate being late! Fortunately, the teacher in charge had added a 15 minute buffer to the schedule, so I did a full show. Everybody was very kind. My sandwich at a different school didn't arrive, so a student was sent out quickly for another.

I'm reminded that usually things like this work out.

More soon, probably from Bulgaria.