Wednesday, October 12, 2005

FYI... and moving on

You should know that this blog is censored by the author. I wish I could be more honest about events and my feelings about them, but the internet is a place where anyone and everyone can see what you "think." I already had a misunderstanding with a Bulgarian due to my blog. Fortunately, he approached me and asked me about it. I applaud his forthrightness. What I'm trying to say is that my life here is not all "peaches & cream." What I share with you is true and honest, and I do love it here. I cannot believe how blessed I have been with an amazing family, a beautiful location in which to serve, and an overall great experience thus far. I just would share more if I could control my audience. It would give you all a better perspective on life here from my point of view, but I cannot risk offending someone.
That said, we made chocolate chip cookies tonight! Well, they turned out more like chocolate chip biscuits, or maybe chocolate chip scones or something, but we tried. We decided to make some goodies for the people who work at the "kmetsvoto" (city hall-type thing) because they've been really helpful in trying to get our youth project off the ground.
I wrote the grant proposal for our project last night. Tim, Holly, and Jennifer contributed ideas. Basically, we'd like to support the community in their plan to spruce up a small play-area between some block apartments. We'll get 50 lev (about $30) if our proposal is approved. We're really not biting our nails because we're sure Peace Corps wants us to do the project, but it's good practice for grant writing.
The space has a lot of charm, but it needs some work. The benches need some repair, there's a ping-pong table that needs some help, the skeleton of a slide sits off to the side (say that three times fast), there's a space to play soccer, but it needs to be leveled out, a beautiful tree is just itching for a tire swing, and the whole place basically needs a coat of paint. My grammar is atrocious - I know. I promise you that the grant proposal is much prettier. I've been having the worst time trying to get it printed out though. I'll have to burn it to a disc and hope that they have a method of viewing it in Pazardjik at HUB.
We've had a lot of other assignments too. Yesterday, Jennifer and I went to a part of town to ask women what they think it means to be a Bulgarian woman (yet another project we have). We got a lot of interesting answers. Many think it's difficult. Others think it's easy as long as there is a good man nearby to support them. Many believe that it means working 24-7, and I would agree with that. The women here work non-stop. It was fun walking around and interacting with the women though. Many of them kept saying that we were visitors from Germany. We corrected them, but they kept on saying it.
Woman to others: "Come meet these volunteers from Germany."
Apryl: "We're not from Germany. We're from America."
Woman: "Oh! You're from America!"
Apryl: "Yes."
Woman: "Which do you think is better? Life in Bulgaria or life in Germany?"
What are you going to do? Laugh and move on... just accept that you're a German volunteer. The people here are so great. They're always open, inviting, and willing to talk to us. I can't believe how accomodating the personalities here are.
Well, we leave for HUB for a couple days tomorrow. I'll be back on Friday, and then I'll turn around Saturday morning and go for a hike in the mountains over the weekend. I'm going to FREEZE!! A bunch of us are hiking to a place called "The Seven Lakes" though, so you can imagine how beautiful it's going to be. I'll tell you all about that if I survive the experience. Other than that, we only have a couple more weekends here in Trud, and then I'll be going to Rakitovo (Ракитово). Wow.

1 comment:

annie said...

Hi Apryl.
Really glad to have found your blog. I have been trying to find a recipe for sweet Bulgarian biscuits --you can see my endeavours charted so far at Annie in Bulgaria .
So enjoying your blog and know exactly what you mean. I am Scottish and have a small house near Veliko Turnovo but only manage to visit two or three times a year as yet. So progress is slow but people are lovely.
Have fun,
Annie