Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

My boss called me this morning as I was getting ready for work.
Yanko: "Do you know that today is Friday the 13th?"
Apryl: "Yeah...."
Yanko: "Don't come into work today. Take a break."
Apryl: "Um, okay...."
Yes! It's not like I do a whole lot in the office, but at least I can have a day to do what I want to do. Actually, right now I'm in the office though 'cause I actually do have work. I'm waiting to hear back from an embassy representative as to whether we can get some excess property donations from our military bases here. We may have the opportunity to get some fitness equipment, books, maps, and other educational materials. All we would have to pay for would be the shipping from Sofia. As today is the deadline for this opportunity, I'm playing the waiting game in the office. So we'll see just how fortunate this unlucky day turns out for us.
My English classes have been better so far this week. Monday was fantastic. I actually showed up late because I got confused about the times, but inside were about 14 students - waiting for me to show up and teach. When I walked in, they were all sitting at tables and most of them were ready with pens and notebooks. Their eager little faces were beaming as they greeted my arrival, and many of them call me "Gospojo" like they're used to doing with their teachers (even though I tell them to call me "Apryl" or "Miss Gibson"). We went over greetings, numbers, and the alphabet - and they enthusiastically (sometimes almost a little too enthusiastically) repeated the answers. It was great!
My Wednesday class was comprised of new students. None of the ones who were actually scheduled to show up came, so we might as well open it up to others. I had six students in that class, and again we went over greetings, numbers, and the alphabet. I have some slightly more advanced learners in there though, (like my colleague Ani who already knows some English and absorbs everything the minute you tell her) so hopefully we'll move along fairly quickly. It's a more subdued group, but still a lot of fun. My two serious learners didn't bother to show up for the Wednesday evening class - which was kind of disappointing, but I made cookies instead.
We'll see how my class goes today. Last night, when I reminded the volunteers about their session today, some of them complained about the time. (It's been scheduled at that time for the past month and a half, and they haven't complained. They just haven't shown up. That's the only time when the club's free. There's a drama club that uses it before us.) They said they'd show up, but I'm used to them saying that because they think that's what I want to hear. I'd actually rather hear the truth - then I can plan or not plan accordingly - or I can give the class away to people who actually want to come. There's a sweet girl who confirms with me everytime I see her that we have class on Wednesday, yet without fail, she's always MIA, and she always has an excuse the next day. I like her, but I'm not about to depend on her for other things as well. She can show up if she likes, but I'm no longer going to save her a spot or make concessions for her.
I'm really not sure why our boss gave us the day off. I'm thinking something else must be up and maybe this is just an easy out - or maybe the others have been doing so much work around here recently (we're really tight on some deadlines and we've had to revamp our budget for January and February) that he thought we all needed a break. Now it's the volunteer's turn to stress. I'm still waiting to hear back from the embassy, and we have to get our SPA proposal for our educational center in soon. I'm going to go bite my nails now. Hope you all have a very lucky Friday the 13th.
***********************An hour later**********************
My boss is in the office now, and he doesn't seem surprised that I'm here. He told me that Valia and Ani are in Pazardjik now with poor little Janette - who has been battling bronchitis or asthma or some other lung condition for what feels like a month now. And I was in the middle of a long e-mail written in Spanish when the electricity went out. And we still haven't heard from the embassy. When we called, the woman wasn't in the office, but hopefully now she'll call us. How much longer can you listen to me whine? I'm content. A little frazzled, but content. I'm starting to believe in this whole unlucky day though. Maybe I should go home and go to sleep before I hurt myself or something.
Hey - and check out some more pictures of me and other volunteers/Bulgarians on another blog because I'm so full of myself. And you can see how much snow fell in Velingrad. Now isn't that fun?

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