Sunday, December 11, 2005

What if the "Hokey-Pokey" really IS what it's all about?

No one came to the two other English classes I held last week. I actually don't care much. It's their decision if they want to come and learn English, and they haven't been able to prioritize accordingly. One girl said that she was in Velingrad. Sorry. Others had work to do. Understandable. But I saw one guy right before he was scheduled to show up for class! He asked me if I would translate something for him, and then he decided to hang out with his friends instead. Can I understand this mentality? No. I'm not going to even try. I just wish I hadn't been up the night before preparing. This last time, I decided to go ahead and play "Bingo" with the people who were in the clubhouse - even though they weren't signed up for English. I think they enjoyed it. Valia won, so I gave her a Snickers bar. Now they're talking about having me teach to younger kids because they keep coming up and asking my colleagues if they can join in on the lessons. I can only hope they have more motivation than the people I work with.
Brandy has been teaching her fifth-grade class the "Hokey-Pokey." Reneta told me she had learned it, but she wasn't sure how to sing it. Another day, Sashko (Valia's son) came into the office and asked me if I knew it. Angel and his mom had no clue what it was, so I asked if he wanted to show them. "Okay, but you sing." So I sang, and we did all the gestures... twice. The kids are very good at it. They just need to learn how to sing the song. The following day we were in the clubhouse, and I told everyone there that Sashko dances the "Hokey-Pokey" very well. "What's the Hokey-Pokey?" So, I told them that Sashko and I would show them later. On our way out the door, they reminded us that they wanted to see the "Hokey-Pokey," so I told them they had to get in a circle and do it with us 'cause it's easier than the "kuchek." It was so hilarious - seeing these teenage boys "shaking all about." We were all in stitches by the time it was over. I can't believe I still remember the "Hokey-Pokey." I guess it's just one of those universal things that stick with you into adulthood.
I had a visitor this weekend. Leslie, a B-18 volunteer in Hissar, came over. It was a nice and relaxing time for me. We came into Velingrad yesterday, got some lunch, and then went and hung out in a cafe in a gorgeous 5-star hotel in town. It started snowing, so we went back home after that. Brandy came out with us to a cafe in Rakitovo a couple times, and I enjoyed hanging out with other girls, speaking English, and just relaxing. It seems like my organization always has something going on during the weekends, and I try my best to show up to anything they invite me to. It was nice to just have a weekend to relax and not think about how frustrating it can get here - or at least to have someone to identify with your frustration. Brandy's going to be going home for Christmas here in a week or so, and I think I'm going to miss her. At first I didn't want to be placed in a site that already had a volunteer, but now I'm glad that I have someone I can vent to, bounce ideas off of, etc.
Dearest Readers: I hope you're all doing well. I hope you're not currently stressing out during the holiday season. It's too wonderful a time of year to let that kind of stuff get the best of you.

6 comments:

vassi said...

i've often wondered that too...what if the hokey-pokey's it, the 'big apple'...what if there's nothing else? Things that make you go hmmm. Thanks for your humor, Apryl, and thanks also for mentioning the Hokey-Pokey...i'm supposed to be doing songs with fifth graders this week and i think the Hokey Pokey is just what we'll do. By the way, if no one comes to your class, you should go do songs with the kids in school who are learning English...it's much more fun than grammar, especially around the holidays!
Take care, chica,
vasi

Kalyn said...

Hey Apryl! Bet you didn't expect to hear from me...It's good to hear that you're doing great on your "mission". It's nice to be away from the "world" (sacramento) and do something worthy. The holidays are pretty bad, I wish I can just be a kid and sing the Hokey Pokey all day long.
Keep up the good work! Have a wonderful X-mas in Bulgaria.

Lyrpa said...

Kalyn? How did you know about this blog? Did Nate tell you? What are you up to? When are you going to come over and sing some karaoke with me? Write me an e-mail or something.

kalyn said...

you forgot about me already? you sent me (and hundreds of other people) a link before you left of your journey to bulgaria, i just kind of spaced out and didn't get a chance to check it out til now...but yeah, i'd sure love to do some karaoke! :-)

Lyrpa said...

Oh yeah! That's right. Well, count yourself one of the priviledged hundreds. =P Come over and we'll sing "Material Girl" or "Dancing Queen" or something. Or maybe you'll sing, and I'll take pictures.

Nert said...

I have to remind Kalyn to do lots of things...

Love you, dude.