Perhaps you have been following the news and seeing that our U.S. President spent a day over here in Sofia. He is only the second sitting president to ever visit Bulgaria (the other one was Clinton). You can read these (relatively short) articles to see how the media covered the event here:

U.S. vs Russia

First Lady

Organized Crime

University Speech (This one has a HILARIOUS picture.)

Flags (Also kind of funny…and not too surprising.)

Oddly enough, none of the newspapers here discussed how there was a mad rush to clean the city. Women out on every corner with brooms and dustpans. Men hosing down sidewalks and mowing lawns. The place has never been shinier, I tell you. Except, of course, the graffiti. It’s still here, on all the walls. But even with the graffiti, the city is so nice and clean, Mark and I enjoyed walks all around yesterday and today. It feels almost like a normal European city. So pleasant, I tell ya. Plus, most of the streets have been blocked off and closed down to traffic, so we can walk around much more easily. I guess it’s the same when you are having guests over to your house and you finally sort that big pile of mail/magazines so it isn’t in the middle of the room.

What was Georgi doing here? Well, he met with the other Georgi. Georgi Parvanov, the Bulgarian president. They discussed the usual type things, like: Should the U.S. position a nuclear weapon in Eastern Europe to deter terrorists? Even though Russia has vowed to then turn their nuclear weapons to face towards Eastern Europe, just in case the U.S. should accidentally fire one their way. All of this makes the people around here a little uneasy. They understandably don’t want to be pawns in a power struggle between the U.S. and Russia. The presidents, however, seem to think this is a brilliant idea. (I will keep my own thoughts to myself…though those of you who know me can figure it out…) The Georgis also talked about placing U.S. troops here so they would be closer to the Middle East and they met with students at the American University here in Sofia, and then Georgi Hrast headed home.

We find it funny that the only time presidents visit this place is when they are finishing up their last term in office. Why don’t they come here at the beginning of their term??Or even in the middle??? Anyways, we got a kick out of the whole hoopla.