Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Meeting Youth

Life in Trood continues. Did you know that "Trood" means labor? And "troodno" is the word for difficult? Life here is far from difficult, however. It's actually pretty quiet. My family is as great as ever. Their daughter, Villi, came home last night. She and Nellie are taking me out to dinner in Plovdiv tonight. I really enjoy spending time with my "family" even though I have no idea what they're saying 90% of the time.
The language lessons are going well. It's too early to get frustrated, but I really wish I could express myself better. I have noticed some improvement though, and that's always nice. We've been meeting some of the youth and youth workers in the community. Yesterday we went to the library and talked to four girls about their interests, expectations, and normal activities. They invited us to come back today to the "chitalishte," which is the cultural center (every town has one). We watched as the cheer team and orchestra rehearsed. It was a lot of fun. We had a great time interacting with the kids, and they seem amused by us for the most part. They have a performance on Friday, and we have been invited to go with them. They're going to another trainee satellite site, so we might get to see other Peace Corps trainees from our larger group (B18) while we're there.
Bulgarian behavior is quite interesting when it comes to the acceptance of food offerings and the like. I shall explain: Today we were given some grapes. Tim, one of the PC trainees here, offered the grapes to some of the children asking if they wanted any. "Iskash li?" The kids responded in various ways - always indicating the negative. "I'm not hungry." "I just ate." "No, thank you." Tim insisted over and over again, knowing that Bulgarians are raised to say no at first. Our teacher, Ani, took the grapes from him and said, "You're not doing it right. Watch this." She said, "Ze pooviya dey tey" which is something like, "Help yourself. Here you go." I haven't figured out the exact translation, but I've heard it often. Immediately the kids eagerly reached in the bag for a grape. Tim tried again saying, "Ze pooviya dey tey" and they reached for more responding, "Blagodaria (Thank you)." I'm anxious to learn more about these kinds of customs.
Other than that, my life could be considered pretty dull. I don't consider it dull though, and that's what's important. We have language training from 9-12 or a bit after. I go home for lunch for about an hour and a half, then I go back to "Station" (the cafe that is my second home) for technical training and project coordination with the three other trainees. We have various projects we have to coordinate and implement. Right now it's just a map of the important sites in our town along with the daily schedule of youth. At this very moment, in fact, I'm surrounded by boys playing "Diablo II." I'll probably include that in my daily activity analysis. After spending some hours planning and working, I go back home and have dinner. If I have time before dinner, I go for a run. The past four nights or so, after dinner, I have gone to "Station" with Nellie and we meet another sweet Bulgarian, Dida, there. We stay there a few hours and then it's back home to bed. Pretty soon I'm going to have to figure out how to fit some homework time into there. Well, now that you know my life story, I shall take my leave. To those of you who leave comments, forgive me if I'm not great about taking the time to write you back, but I LOVE the comments. They make my day 'cause I'm so glad that someone is out there reading and is interested in my exciting, yet mundane, life in Bulgaria. Ciao!


Anonymous said...

Girl, your life is far from mundane, especially if you are doing something that you enjoy. I've only read your first letter and i love it! You are an inspiration. =)
(This is Andrea Reed by the way)

Trang said...

Posting again, Apryl! This time I spelled it right :)

What do you mean mundane life? (And to believe that it is just beginning muahahaha...just kidding :P I also find it quite interesting. I love your notes of the quirkiness (or not) of people there. Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Yep - cool stuff Apryl. OH, BTW, can you guess who this is? There's a hint in here somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wow, things sounds great. Actually, it doesn't sound like you are experiencing too much of a culture shock. It also looks like everyone is super friendly. Maybe they just think they are cool to have an american friend. You rock, Apes!

Anonymous said...

I noticed some of your commentators are spammers. The injustice of it!!

Rebecca said...

WOW I love that this BLOG thing is working out for you. So are you paying for things yet, or is your "family" spoiling you? Do things seemmore expensive? or dirt cheap but notmal to average income?
you can delete the post you don't want by loging on then visiting your web page and click on the "leave a post" then it will list all of them with a trash can next to them.

Lyrpa said...

I can't believe people are spamming my blog!!!! What the dirty???? I did not even realize this was possible. I bet Bulgarians would never do this... hehehe.