Friday, October 21, 2005

The finality of it all....

Life in Trud is wrapping up. I definitely feel it. We'll get to that in a second though. First, I have to share this with you because it's awesome - makes me feel special: I received an e-mail from my good friend Brandy. Some friends of mine have started an annual October adults-only (they're all married and most have kids) trip to Disneyland. Last year was the first year, but it already feels like a tradition somehow. I knew I'd be missing out on it, and I was sad about that. I wanted to share with you part of the e-mail she sent me:

The annual adults only trip to DLand was this past weekend, we all had fun but you were definitely missed. There were times where we had an empty seat on a ride and it was always "apryl's seat!" The girls' photo turned out good, but we missed having you in it! We're debating photo-shopping you in because you were with us in our hearts!!

Sweet. Miss ya, Bran. Miss ya, girls and husbands of girls. Now moving on....
I just had my final LPI (Language Proficiency Interview). I think it went pretty well. The proctor said that it went well, and at least I understood all that she was asking me. It's not really a big deal because you just have to speak at fairly basic, elementary level of Bulgarian to "pass" and move on to service, but it's still nice to place at your highest possible level so that you can go from there and hopefully build up to practically native-speaker by the time you leave. And now I must apologize for my English grammar. I'm cramming it out of the way to make room.
Over the past couple of days, we've been working on our community project with the youth. As I've mentioned before, we're cleaning up a small play area with a donation of 50 lev. Kids have come out to help us sand benches and play equipment. Some adults have gotten together and repaired/added wooden slats to benches. Tim's "dad" brought out his tractor and dug up some earth so we could level an area for soccer. We weren't there at the time, so he dug up the wrong end of the field, but all we could do was laugh and be grateful that we had an area to work with. It really did help in the long-run. Some kids, another very helpful Bulgarian adult, and us trainees were out there with shovels, buckets, and wheelbarrows - moving earth from one end of the field to the other. It's almost useless to promise pictures now... you probably are sick of hearing such promises, but I'm gonna try when I get to site! When we showed up yesterday, a new board on a bench had already broken and the wrong side of the field was tilled up. We gaped for a while, and then laughed and moved on. The kids are anxious to paint. Maybe we'll do that today.
We had an impromptu play-time with some kids from the school. We were at the "kmetsvoto" (city hall) for our afternoon language session and the employees there wanted to take pictures with us. While we were out in there in front, a girl we know walked by and started giggling and waving at us. Tim chased her down, picked her up, and tickled her. More kids showed up and crowded around, so I started a game of tag. Then, I started picking up beautiful autumn leaves and throwing them at the children. Holly twirled kids around while Jennifer threw leaves and played as well. Ani (our language trainer) let us postpone language lessons and take pictures with her camera. I HAVE to share these pictures with you. They're so great. It was so much fun. The next day, one of the girls came up to me and asked when we were going to get together and play in front of the "kmetsvoto" again. I'm really going to miss these kids. I feel as though we have truly become part of the community now, and I do not relish the idea of having to start all over in a new place without someone there to hold my hand. Almost every kid we pass by says "Zdravey" (hello) and flashes us a mischievous smile.
I have less than a week left here in site. We'll finish up our community project on Saturday, and then we'll go out and celebrate Saturday night. Monday will find us in Sofia (the capitol). We're going to visit the Peace Corps office and see some sites. Tuesday we'll be back again in Trud - meeting with people and saying good-bye. Wednesday we go to Pazardjik for final HUB. Thursday we go to Sofia again for a quick swearing-in ceremony. Then they send us off to site. By Thursday evening I should be in Rakitovo. I was out with my sister Villi and our friend Dida last night. "What are we going to do without you?" she asked. "Without me? What am I going to do without YOU!" (all in Bulgarian, so be impressed) I'll get a phone, and we'll keep in touch. I'll come "home" and visit, and they'll come to my "home" and see me. If I could just arrange for someone to cook and clean for me like I've been having for the past 2.5 months, things would be excellent.
P.S. David's blog has a much better and definitely more artistic description of the Rila Lakes hike if you'd like to check it out. I swear he stole some sentences from me though....


Fuzzmaster said...

Wow!... You get to throw leaves at children. I do believe you'd get imprisoned for that here in California. It's definately some jail time for tickling I know that for certain. Dang extroverts have all the fun. PS: Are you going to play dress up for Ol' Hallows Eve? I don't imagine that they celebrate it much there being that you're so close to Dracula's birthplace.

Fuzzmaster said...

Please insert a few commas and perhaps a semi-colon above... Oh wait, that's right... this is on the Internet where no one gives a rat's pauhtooty about such things.

Lyrpa said...

I'm not an extrovert! I would consider you more of an extrovert than I. I'm an extroverted introvert... or maybe an introverted extrovert. An extrovert trapped in an introvert's body?

Fuzzmaster said...

Yeah right, lets recap:

1. Abandoned comfort and familiarity.
2. Abandoned steady income, friends, relatives, and possessions.
3. Dove headfirst into chaos and uncertainty.
4. Made friends along the way.
5. Quickly learned and conversed with natives in their own tongue. Including several dialogues with Ambassadors and other elected officials.
6. Still found time to post most of your inner fears and thoughts on the web for all to see.

Yeah sounds like an introvert to me...

Give it up, besides we all know about your secret super-spy lifestyle.