Thursday, October 06, 2005

Never tell a Bulgarian mother when you are sick.

I caught a horrible, nasty cold this week. When my "mom" found out, she immediately went into overload. First, we had to put a heater in my room. Then, she told me to stop eating what she had spent quite a bit of time preparing because she wanted to make me something else. I finally calmed her down from that notion. She then proceeded to ask me what I wanted to eat over the next couple of days, but it wasn't a casual question. It was intense in its presentation, and it was like I needed to figure out right then how she could make my entire life better. It's impossible in words to convey the chaos that one sentence ("I am sick") can bring, but I felt like the sky was falling in my house. Ah well... more cultural learning for Apryl. Most Bulgarian mothers are just naturally overprotective.
I have been trying to get rest this week, but it's been pretty much impossible. My tactic has been to just basically stop doing Bulgarian homework. I've also let my room get a little messy. The days are so full, I don't have time for these relatively easy tasks. Yesterday, for example, we had to go teach at one of the English classes. Holly and I took the 2nd Grade, and we had fun creating alphabet and color games for them to play. So, the night before was a busy one just trying to come up with these ideas and create the games. I thought the English class went well. The kids were very bright and interactive. We had a really good time with them. I've started meeting with some of the girls in the village who want to practice their English. The first session went well, but I'm struggling to come up with things I can talk to them about just off-the-cuff. I don't want to spend a bunch of time trying to plan actual lessons or anything. Today we played a memory game I created during my lunch break. Let me share with you today's schedule because it was just "nuts" in my opinion. I know there are others in the world who have more going on in their social calendars than I do, but I'm busier here than I ever thought I would be for training.
9:00-10:30: Bulgarian Language Class
10:30-12:30: Minority Discussion with Peace Corps Guests (If they hadn't come, we would have been studying Bulgarian.)
12:30-2:00: Lunch (We had "Sarmi," which are grape leaves stuffed with rice... SOOOO YUMMY!!!)
2:00-3:00: Bulgarian Language Class
3:00-4:30: Play Basketball with Girls from Local School
5:00-6:00: English Club
6:00-7:00: Meeting with Local Community Members to Discuss Play Area Clean-Up Project
7:00-9:00: I should be having dinner right now, but I'm at the Internet Cafe
9:00 - ?: Debrief Session with Other Trainees to Talk about Previous Meeting
Almost every day, I'm gone from the house from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a return trip for lunch in-between.
Enough of that. We went out to karaoke last night! That was a blast. Tim got up on stage and sang "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. Jennifer and I got up and sang a Madonna song, and then Tim repeatedly pulled me on stage so we could dance to "Hotel California" and other good classics from the English-speaking crowd. There's more I'd like to share, but I think I'd better head home for dinner. Plus, the internet guy looks like he might want to close up shop soon. As they say in Bulgaria, "Hiday - Ciao!"

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