New Year’s in Belgrade

Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m on a bus somewhere in Bulgaria. I’ve been on it for 24 hours and still have a couple of hours to go. It was supposed to be a 22-hour ride, but border crossing are a real pain and very time consuming because of the immense inefficiency in this part of the world. I’m on my way to Serbia, but since I’ve missed my connection, I’ll have to spend the night in Sophia, Bulgaria before continuing my trip tomorrow. This is not the best way to travel, but it is so difficult getting anywhere from Syria. The few flights out of Aleppo are weekly and don’t always fit my schedule, and to fly out of Damascus I have to take a 4-hour bus ride and I still wouldn’t have a direct flight to Belgrade. So I thought I would save some money and take the bus. It really hasn’t been too bad and I meet interesting people this way.


I spent Christmas with friends in Damascus and I’m on my way to spend the New Year’s with different friends in Belgrade. That may sound exciting but I liked the way I used to spend Christmas and New Year’s. If I had stayed in Florida, in some apartment, it would never have been the same and I didn’t want that. The few Christmases I have been home have been very hard on me. Family has always been important to me even back in my Dad’s home in Blytheville. I loved the holidays there and the tradition was beginning to get established at our home. So, I’m just settling for holidays in foreign countries.


You asked about my back in your last letters. I really didn’t do anything to cause it. All that I can think of is that on a Saturday, I laid out some rugs and moved a little furniture. But I was very careful because I know that I can throw out my back that way. Well there was no problem Saturday or Sunday. Monday my back was feeling a little tight. I should have taken a muscle relaxer then but it wasn’t hurting too bad. The next morning, I couldn’t even get out of bed. By Friday, I was able to hobble to a doctor to get a CT Scan. My neighbor helped. It showed a minor problem with the 5th vertebrate, but nothing too serious. After about two weeks at home, I returned to school using a walking cane. All this time I was negotiating for this job in Jamaica and was really hoping it wouldn’t come out about me missing school. I really don’t miss very often.


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