Saturday, December 17, 2005

Imperialism & not understanding any of it... at all

I'm going to apologize right now. This entry is going to be a bunch of rambling nonsense that probably won't even make sense to me after I'm done. Maybe I should reserve these entries for my personal journal, but this is my attempt to be open and honest - and mostly just with myself. So, here it is.
I'm human, and I'm trapped in my own way of thinking. I will never be Bulgarian. I will never fully know the trials and tribulations of living here. Peace Corps is a great organization, but it keeps me in a protective bubble. Even if it didn't, I still wouldn't know. I already have my ideas and I'm set in my ways. Realizing that, how can I fault others for thinking the way they do? And should I try to change it? Is that just imperialism?
This is coming after a round of realizing just how opinionated and vocal I really am. I always thought I was timid about my personal beliefs and I never wanted to create waves. Ever. With anyone. But maybe that's not who I am anymore. I mean, see the last entry on my opinions of teachers on strike... and looking at it through the eyes of my background and my loyalty to my organization over here. Yeah, do I really understand what's going on? Do I know the reasons behind everything people do? No. Do I have the right to be "preachy?" Probably not.
This is also coming after a night of feeling like I had to defend my organization and the people I work with. I was at a party last night with a bunch of teachers who work with the TEFL volunteer in Velingrad. There were a few moments of awkwardness when they learned who I work with. I'm not going to relate everything that happened. I'll save that for my personal journal. Plus, maybe people shouldn't be accountable for things said under the influence of alcohol. I'll only share my own short-comings - which can be easily found without alcoholic beverages. I'm fiercely loyal to the people I work with. I'm too sensitive - I know this. And I need to be more open-minded and see things from other people's perspective. Can people always be accountable for the way they think - for the way they were raised? Can they be accountable for lamenting the problems here in Bulgaria and trying to find a scapegoat for them? Am I any better than them? To the last question, I can definitely say, "Of course not!" I just think I have a better way of thinking (which could be called "imperialism"), and I have the luxury of that because of the way I was programmed, because of the blessings I have that I easily take for granted, and because of my own natural self-centeredness. I'm not being hard on myself. I'm just trying to think some things through - and this is my rambling outlet.
And then after all that - of maybe going too far and reacting to them in a way the might offend, the Bulgarians were still hospitable to me. They still wanted to invite me to their next party and plan some type of cooperative activity. For this I am amazed and grateful. I can only hope I will obtain that level of maturity one day.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Regardless of people's ignorance (mine included), it's good to air these issues. The Roma situation is not something that's talked about in school meetings, etc. Policies are just handed down above from the government and you don't get to hear how people really feel about it until after a few drinks na masata.

What i'm trying to say is that it was an educational evening.

you have a nice blog Apryl. Check mine out if you dare:

i'll post pictures from the party on monday.