Friday, October 27, 2006

Milestones and Rushing Water

Life has a lot of milestones, and there are a lot of milestones here in Peace Corps Bulgaria. I guess it depends on how you measure time and count what's important to you. I've seen PCVs keep online countdowns of how many years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds it will take until they finally close out their service. Time is a lovely phenomenon. It's astounding, really. It can heal wounds, change tides, bring pain, cause unexpected moments. The only thing it cannot do is be wound backwards. What's done is done. That can be especially painful. But anyway, today marks a year ago that I swore in and moved to Rakitovo. Yes, officially as of today, I have been a volunteer for a year - living in my tiny mountain town. Wow.
My mom and I went to visit "the family" this last weekend. I really wanted my mom to be able to meet the host family that I adore so much, and so we were able to stay with them for a couple days. Before going to the house, we decided to stop in Plovdiv and hang out for a while. My mom suggested that we get something to eat because she thought it rude to show up hungry at my "family's" doorstep. We had a very nice early lunch and then went on over to Trud. My family was so excited to see me and meet my mom. My host mom gave me a hug that almost broke my neck, and then they rushed us off to my old room to settle in... announcing that they had made my favorite traditional dish (red peppers stuffed with rice) and we'd better be hungry. My mom went out in the living room with them, and they immediately started to try and talk to her. "Oh wait, we need Apryl." I came in, and we had a fairly nice chat to catch up on what's been going on. I felt badly for my mom. I could translate for her, but she was still pretty much out-of-the-loop as to what was going on. She didn't seem to mind though. I remember being that way and just kinda letting the family do whatever they wanted with me. Sure enough, in no time we were eating again. My host mother was very upset to learn that we had eaten before we arrived. I tried to tell her that I knew the protocol: Show up hungry. My mom was to blame. Hehehe. We were stuffed to the brim the whole time we were there. Mom and I wouldn't have time to digest a meal before they were trying to get us to eat again. It was crazy! I think they wish we had eaten more. We never gorged ourselves enough to satisfy my host mom.
The first evening, they took us out to the old city in Plovdiv. I've been there many times, but I never get tired of it. It's a beautiful place, and it was especially gorgeous with the colored and changing leaves falling from the trees. My mom, Donka - my host mother, my "sister" Vili, my "cousin" Nellie, and I did quite a bit of walking that evening just taking in the sites of Plovdiv. The next day, after a lazy morning of homemade craps with homemade jams, we went up to the Bachkov Monastery - a little less than an hour away. It was beautiful up there... leading up to the Rhodope mountains and a beautiful waterfall. The monastery itself was ornate and beautiful with light cutting at sharp angles through the windows. We didn't spend long there, and then came back to Trud from lunch at the famous "Station" cafe (where I used to go just about every day during training) and some quick time at "home" again for a haircut and some picture swapping. Then my mom and I caught a bus back to Velingrad and home. It was a nice trip, and I'm really glad they got to meet.
This week has been pretty insane. I've started my English classes, and on paper I have sixty students. These include both children and adults. This was just the first week of sign-ups, and I still get kids asking every day if they can join. There are also kids that keep coming and asking when computer classes are going to start. Unfortunately, the computers aren't ready yet. We're still waiting on that guy to come and finish the job. Don't even get me started on that.... But, it's kind of a blessing in disguise because I'm supposed to be teaching computer classes, and I have no time at this point. I have seven English groups that meet twice a week and one more advanced student who really needs to meet with me everyday if he wants to progress. So, I'm at the center from 2-7 and have classes everyday for an hour at a time from 3-7. Four groups - every day for an hour. What have I gotten myself into? I can't keep up this pace. I don't even LIKE teaching English.
I'm having fun for now though. The kids are great. They're into it for the moment and are catching on pretty quickly. The adults are pretty good, too. I even taught some kids a bit of American football yesterday. It felt great playing out in the sunshine and the autumn leaves. My mom seems to like it, too. The kids have taken to her and she does a good job making sure they don't pester my classes or get too out of control in the center. She's an invaluable resource up there for the time-being. I don't know what I'm going to do when she's not there.
Okay, well, anyway, this isn't going to keep up like this. The water is gathering around, and it's not going to swallow me whole. A lot of the kids that originally signed up aren't even showing up anyway. So they have another week. After that, I'm crossing names off the list and combining groups. I refuse to teach English every day from 3-7. There's a reason I'm not a TEFL volunteer. And even if I'm busy from these hours in the center, I'm going to have to cut back my hours in the office. Something's going to have to give. I just hope my colleagues are all right with that. They've been acting kind of weird lately. It just seems like everyone's all tense and ready to go at each other's throats. More on that some other time. Right now, I'm going to go hang out with my mom.
Oh yeah! And the surprise party we had for her was great! She had no clue anything was up, and she got a lot of flowers and even some lipstick and perfume from my favorite kids. The food was excellent also. Plus, the kids immediately latched onto her like she was a shiny gem. It was a great night.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I didn’t tell you all about my visit to the U.S. Embassy! I can’t believe I forgot! First of all, it’s really close to the dentist’s office – whom I was visiting for my mid-service cleaning. Peace Corps sends us to a Swedish dentist who has a practice in a ritzy hotel in Sofia. The woman who cleaned my teeth was of Norwegian decent. That was an experience all in itself, let me tell you. My teeth felt polished, gritty, and lemony afterwards. And the cleaning was so out of control, I practically got a face-cleaning as well… free of charge! It was good though. After about a year and a half of not having my teeth cleaned, it was nice to have them scrubbed.
After having the bicuspids hosed down, I decided to take a little trip to find “America-Land,” a.k.a. the Embassy of the United States of America. The streets weren’t really well marked, and it was a little off the beaten path in my opinion, but I finally found it. It truly does look like a federal building. The grounds are pristinely manicured, the edifice itself is “ginormous,” the font that explains that it’s the embassy is distinctly governmental (I don’t know if you know what I mean by that, but I swear federal buildings have a certain font), there were eagle emblems in a few places, the checkpoints were imposing, there was a nice wrought-iron fence out front, and there were black, Washingtonian posts on the other side of the sidewalk. I truly felt in a familiar setting – although it was fairly cold, distant, and imposing.
I walked up to the entrance. I had grand delusions of wandering in, checking to see if the Ambassador was free for coffee, and telling him about my Peace Corps exploits. Okay, not really. But I was actually expecting there to be a visitor’s center or something. I don’t know why…. So, I started my way up the entrance, and a guard who was chatting with another guard asked me in Bulgarian, “Do you have business here?” “No. I just wanted to see what’s here.” He continued speaking to me in Bulgarian, “Are you an American citizen?” I shook my head, (which means “yes” in Bulgarian) and he kind of mocked me by imitating my gesture. “Yes or no?” “Da,” I said, and shook my head again. “Can I just go up and look through the entrance windows?” He nodded (which means “no.”) “If you don’t have business here….” And the impression was that I needed to step off.
I decided to wander up the sidewalk along the fence a ways – all the while being eyed by guards. There were guard posts every several meters, and the sidewalk dead-ended into a guard post. I stopped to look over at people out on a patio. I imagined them sipping Starbucks lattes under giant umbrellas. Either the guard in the ending post decided it was time to stretch his legs and take a little stroll, or he didn’t like me loitering there. He wandered out with his firearm slung over his shoulder. I soon wandered back to Bulgarian territory. Feel the love from the United States.
Has anyone seen “The Saint” with Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue? There’s a scene where she’s running to the Embassy in Russia to escape the mafia, and she screams, “Open up! I’m an American!” And they open this huge gate to let her come through and then close the gate on the bad guy. I had visions of trying that, too, and seeing what would happen. Too bad there weren’t any Soviet mobsters nearby to help me out.
This week has been a pretty good one. I’ve been up in the center every afternoon – giving kids tours and signing them up for English and computer classes. I’m overwhelmed. There are a lot of kids that want to come. That’s great, but… yeah. There has to be a limit. Plus, I think a lot just want to come and play on the computers. That’s normal. Well, they’ll have to pay! There will be a nominal fee for classes and computer time to subsidize utilities and materials. The kids are fun though, and I like having them around. I’m just constantly worrying that they’ll destroy something. As I like to say, “Kids - cute, little, walking advertisements for birth control.”
And here’s some great news for me: My mom is visiting! Yay! I’m going to bore her to death in Rakitovo. Yipee! I went to the airport yesterday afternoon to pick her up – which was an interesting experience in itself. All those who are expectantly awaiting passengers from far-away lands gather in front of three automatic doors (it looks like Star Trek in a way) and just wait – hoping they’ll spit out their loved one. It’s like this magical process. “Just wait behind these doors, people, and your daughter – who’s currently living in Paris – will suddenly appear.” When the doors open, the people who are more toward the back will pop up on tip-toe to look over the heads of those in front of them. “Is my brother here? Is my friend here?” And then they’ll stand down again. It’s like watching gophers or a “Whack-a-mole” game. I laugh because I was doing that too in order to try and see over their heads.
So, everyone around me was finding a loved one, claiming them, covering them in affection, and then wandering off. All except me…. (sniff, sniff)
No phone calls. No explanations. No Mom. Three hours, no Mom. I rudely awakened my grandparents and my father in the wee hours to try and ask if they had heard from her. No. I couldn’t help it. Tears. Enyo, who kindly drove me there and waited with me, finally went over to the airline and asked if they knew anything about her. Sure enough, she had missed her connecting flight and was still in Germany. She was on the next flight – at 11:00 that night. I wondered why she didn’t get a message to me. I wanted to try and call more people, but had no more money on my phone and that explanation sufficed for the moment.
Enyo and I went to McDonald’s to get some food and wait. On the way there, he made an illegal maneuver and was stopped by the police. “Here’s my license, officer. Oh, and here’s 5 leva to forget the whole thing happened.” Yeah. If it works and saves you trouble, you take the easy way out. I suspected it would happen that way, and I would probably do the same in his position. Unfortunately, this is not appropriate behavior for a country that laments the existence of corruption and is about to enter the European Union.
So, we went to McDonald’s – which is another “America-land” all in itself. Ronald McDonald was there, but he spoke Bulgarian. He was nice and gave me a balloon, but it was still surreal. And the food tastes the same as it would in your local Anytown Mickey D’s down the street. “I’m lovin’ it!”® There’s even yellow “cheese” on the cheeseburgers – which doesn’t technically exist in Bulgaria. That’s the beauty of consolidation and uniformity. McDonald’s is a symbol of American capitalism, but it’s almost communist in this way. Okay, maybe just I’m amused by that. As you can maybe tell, I don’t care much for McDonald’s, but being in a familiar atmosphere was nice – listening to non-Chalga music. Brandy, I heard “Nothing Else Matters” and “Unforgiven” a couple times while I was there, and I thought of you. I was going to send you a text, but I didn’t have any money on my phone. Yeah. And the 37 stotinki I had left was for “emergencies.” Hahahaha. That’s good enough to make your phone ring twice.
Anyway, after hanging out about 5 hours in the Golden Arch Kingdom (wondering multiple times if it’s prestigious in Bulgaria to work there), we went back to the airport to try and find my mom. It took her forever to come out, and I was starting to get worried. I still hadn’t talked to her or anyone who had heard from her. Would she just decide to come the next day? Finally, she wandered through the magical, Star Trek doors and this huge look of relief crossed her face when she saw me. I breathed a sigh and a prayer of thanks as well.
Unfortunately, we had to return to Rakitovo in the dark, and my mom missed seeing some beautiful countryside, but the stars were pretty, and we chatted a lot.
Now, she’s relaxing at home while I’m “working.” My colleagues and I are planning a surprise party later for her tonight. But shhh! Don’t tell her! I’ll update you all on how that turns out in the next post. Ciao for now. Yay! It’s been over a year and my mommy’s here! That’s a little rhyme for you to sing to yourself throughout the day.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Opening Grand Pictures

Carl Hammerdorfer, the Country Director for Peace Corps Bulgaria, shakes hands with Ani while both Peace Corps and Future Foundation colleagues look on. Posted by Picasa
So, I have posted the pictures that we put up in the center for our grand opening. It isn't entirely comprehensive by any means, but I've been taking pictures of that place since the end of March, and these are probably the best of the best. What a great day.
There's not too much going on at the center yet, but it's certainly receiving its fair share of attention. There are those who saw it on TV, were astonished, and want to come see it live. Kids show up, and I give them the tour. We posted up signs for computer and English classes up at the center, and I already have three kids signed up for English. My colleagues say a bunch more will come next week. Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the computer guy to show up and hook up our internet. "Tomorrow, Apryl. I'll come tomorrow for sure." And then he always has an excuse as to why he can't come. Who does business like this? Oh yeah, I almost forgot where I live for a second.
I'm currently waiting for a fellow, nutty Peace Corps Volunteer to show up at my place. He's apparently riding a bike from his town to mine, which I'm thinking is a 70 - 75 km trip. I'll have to ask him if he ever gets here. I'm a little worried about him as he thought he would be here an hour ago. Oh wait, he just showed up. I'm going to go and ramble at you all some more later.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Grand Opening!

"The Center" - as it looked before Posted by Picasa
We opened our center! It is officially called "Educational and Informational Center for Children and Parents," but I will probably continue to refer to it as "the center." It sounds more fun and psychiatric that way - like we've painted everything white, installed the shakles, and padded the walls. Fantastic. So, as you can see above, I've posted a picture of how it looked before we "centered" it up. You were probably looking at it thinking, "What is so special about THAT place?" Hehe. It's perfect for torturing kids is what. Before, people... this is the BEFORE picture. And not even quite that because this is after we cleaned all the trash and other crap out of it. I will soon provide a link of the progressional pictures we put up in the center for the opening. These pictures show a chronological understanding of how far we've come. I told people that they would be amazed with what we were able to do with $4931.86 (+ A LOT of help from other donors and specialists who were willing to work for practically nothing), and boy were they! I'm still amazed at what we've accomplished. It's a fantastic place.
So, as I told you all before, I wasn't feeling well the first part of this week. It turns out that a bunch of us volunteers and trainees fell sick up at a training this last week. We're still not sure if it was something from the hotel or what, but a funny story has come out of it. If you think it can't get funnier than vomiting, chills, bowel issues, etc., then just wait! So, Peace Corps, being the responsible organization that it is, decided to contact the National Epidemiological Service to let them know something may be amiss. Again, PC isn't pointing the finger at the hotel. They just wanted the matter looked into. Right away they were contacted by the media for a comment. Since they declined to throw a bone, a tabloid here decided to publish a story with the following: 20 Americans - Volunteers from Peace Corps - were poisoned, said the manager, but it's not from the food - they were drinking until 4 a.m.! Awesome.
Anyway, back to our lovely, fantastic, knock-your-socks-off, super-duper center. We had the opening ceremony yesterday, and I was SO sorry that I couldn't help my colleagues get ready for it because I was feeling under the weather. They cleaned up everything and prepared a bunch of hors d'oeuvres... er, appetizers. Does anyone really know how to spell that word? My colleagues joked that the free-for-all, help yourself style was a "Tsiganska-Amerikanska" table - referring to the partial mix of ethnicities we have in our office. So anyway, I missed out on all the preparation of that. I could only come and be amazed at how much food there was.
We had quite a few guests - teachers from various schools, representatives from various organizations, government officials, the media... it was great! Like I said, the Peace Corps Country Director came with his secretary and personal translator (she's great!). Our SPA project coordinator came, and so did our Community Outreach Coordinator. They all were pleasant, smily, and congratulated us the appropriate number of times. Hehe. I think they really liked our project and were really impressed by what we had accomplished. I knew they would be. The SPA Coordinator even said it's the largest scale SPA she's seen. We did a lot for just under $5000. My colleagues were especially excited to have Peace Corps representatives there. They asked the Country Director to speak and afterwards they kept asking me (even though they well knew because they talked to them), "What did the people from Peace Corps have to say? Did they like the center?"
We had a few people speak: Peace Corps Country Director, the Vice-Mayor of Rakitovo, the head of the town council, and then we had three groups dance for the crowd. Sometime in there, Valia read the history of how the center came about. They mentioned me by name and many in the crowd cheered and clapped. I could only blush. They give me WAY too much credit.
After the program, we had a small, traditional Bulgarian ceremony to open the center. A ribbon was placed in front of the entrance and the Country Director and the Vice-Mayor cut it together. Right after that, Ani threw water on the ground. This is a Bulgarian tradition for good luck. Upon walking in, guests were given chocolates and traditional bread to dip in savory spice. Once inside, they were given the tour of the center. We had a board up where I had developed and posted the chronological pictures I talked about earlier. People were excited to see themselves represented in photos and posted for all to see. I think that was probably the biggest hit just because people could really tell how far the center had come. After seeing all the rooms, people were ushered into the kitchen where they were poured wine or soda to toast with and snacks to fill their stomachs.
Soon after this, I left to have lunch with our Country Director and Brandy. Once a year, the director makes a visit each site. We actually missed him the first time he was scheduled to come because we were in Spain, but now we had the opportunity to have lunch and charge it to Peace Corps. I took advantage.
Afterwards, I went back up to the center just to hang out and talk with people some more. In the evening, I went and had a drink with Brandy to celebrate, and then I met Valia and Angel to have a drink and watch the news. They showed our center and talked a bit about it. Part of the Country Director's speech and Yanko's interview made the news. Brandy and I were shown briefly in the crowd. I ran into quite a few people today who had seen it. I was randomly trying to give away some of the snacks I was given to take home. I couldn't eat them all myself. And the people I met said that they had seen the news and heard about the center. Giving cookies away is kinda weird and very random, but it's a good way to meet people.
Unfortunately, somewhere in all the excitement, our foundation's video camera was taken. A friend of ours had filmed the entire ceremony and our guests touring the center. Afterwards, there was a miscommunication of some kind, and now the camera is gone. We are still hoping that someone took it by accident, but to lose something like that is HUGE - especially in a poor neighborhood like the one I work in.
Today, other than giving away cookies, I've been in the center trying to help the women clean up from yesterday and figure out how I want to schedule my English classes. In the past, I've had to compete with extracirriculars such as drama, ecology, arts and crafts, etc. Now, we have a bunch of rooms for everything. Plus, my colleagues tell me that our main donor isn't allowing us to use our budgeted money for these things, so I'm free to program my English and computer classes. Crazy, huh? So now I'm starting to recruit all those bright-eyed kids who think they want to learn English with me. I'm told that parents want to come as well. Hopefully, I will be busy. I look forward to that.
We finally have our center! It's ready! Yay! Thank God for that. From here-on-out, I hope to refer to it as a typical place where I hang out and get a lot of work done. It's still going to be challenging, but good stuff. I'll try and post pictures soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Silent Lapse

So, I just wasted five minutes or so trying to think of a witty retort to the comment left on my last post, but after thinking of several variations I didn't like, I'm moving on. Good gravy. Thanks for leaving a comment, random person. I rarely get comments anymore, and I appreciate readers.
Anyway, for those of you who are so addicted to my blog that you wake up and get online to check for a new post before you get your morning coffee, (you know who you are... don't try to hide it... admitting the addiction is half the battle) I must apologize for the lapse. Okay, so maybe none of you are that bad. But I have appreciated hearing - either directly from you or through the grapevine - that you have been wondering what's going on with me. Am I still alive? Am I still in Bulgaria? Was I away at a conference? Much to my dismay... all of the above are true. Wait... make that much to my great joy! You know this is going to be a long post, right?
So, let me see if I can catch you up on some of the events going on here in my own version of Balkan life. The other weekend was a busy one. I went to church three times! The first was to my traditional Adventist one. One of the congregants invited me to her house afterward, and I met her lovely granddaughter and had some really good food. I went for a walk afterward and ran into a guy hiking in the mountains with crutches. It was kind of random, but we had a nice conversation. It's cool to still meet people in my town that find an American wandering around a novel thing. I know I really complained about being such an oddity in earlier posts and having people stare at me, but I should have been more grateful for it at the time.
On Sunday, I went with Enyo, Milka, and little Emil (the one who calls me "Kaka O.K.") to the church across the way to light candles and pray to "Dyado Bozhe" (literally... Grandpa God). That evening, I went to the Evangelical Church next door - where the people were really nice and sang a lot. That was cool. I spent most of the day Sunday making posters to advertise the opening of our center. Which is in 14 hours! I'll get to that.
So, these posters.... The original idea was to get kids to do it. The reasoning for this was two-fold. #1: Why do work when you can get someone else to do it? b. If kids advertise the center, then they'll learn about the opportunities it has for them as well. So I decided the kids should partake in a poster contest to advertise the wonders of our center. First place - 20 leva, second place - 10, third - 5. That's a lot of money for a kid. I figured we'd have a good turnout of posters. An official at the Roma school told my boss that he should raise the prize money a bit more. My boss was livid. Anyway, not a single kid made a poster. There are probably many reasons for this, but it's still a little mind-boggling. The upside is that I was personally funding the contest, so now I won't have to put up prize money. The down side is... well... what is up with the kids in this town? Nevermind that some of these beautiful minds don't even know what a poster is.... Yeah. That was fun finding that out and trying to explain the concept. And it's not a translation thing either. As far as I know, poster is the same in English and Bulgarian. Anyway, I made these posters and then left them with my colleagues to put up while I was gone. "Oh, yeah Apryl, we got the posters. We didn't have time to put them up." Right. So I just got them up yesterday. Meh. And there's my diatribe on these posters.
I was gone at a Peace Corps Mid-Service Conference all this last week. It's basically just to mark a moment in time that says we're halfway through our service. Can you believe it? Here I am: halfway through my service. Yeah, you can believe it. Anyway, so we spent some time at this conference just talking about our experience and developing strategies for our second year. It was a good week. I enjoyed seeing other volunteers I hadn't seen in a long time, catching up, and sharing insights with new volunteers who are fresh and ready to face the world. It was nice to just be around Americans for the week - even though that's not usually my idea of a good time. I really like the people in my B18 volunteer group, and the new kids (the B20s) are cool, but I'm a hermit in my site. As I've mentioned before though, my colleagues are bickering and it was nice to just get away from that environment for a bit. The only downside to MSC is the opportunity to compare and scale the things you're doing with other volunteers. Trading of stories and getting ideas is good. It's if you go to that level where you think you're not as "good" as other volunteers because you feel you're not doing as much. I fall into that trap, but you also realize that everyone's site and experiences really are different. The sessions were really helpful for the mostpart though. There was one moment where we had to write a "speech" that we would give to our colleagues as we were leaving our posts. Basically, what could we see ourselves saying to them in a year? I've actually already spent some time thinking about this, and I started crying as I was writing my "speech." It's not going to be easy saying "good-bye." We taped up these "speeches," so I'm guessing we'll see them again in a year at our COS (Close of Service) Conference. I'll probably be crying then, too.
I also had an LPI (Language Proficiency Interview) at the conference, and I found out that my current placement for my handling of the Bulgarian language is Advanced-Mid... which basically means I speak well. Maybe I'll get Superior by the time I leave this place, but that's quite a stretch.
After the conference, I went back to site with a couple guests: Greg and Amy. We had a really great weekend, and both of them stayed through 'til Monday morning. It was kind of amazing that we had such a good time together because it was raining and both Amy and I got sick (something have happened at MSC or be going around or something 'cause a bunch of volunteers go sick at the same time). We stayed inside a lot and played cards. Eating was a challenge and so was my cooking. Haha. But it was a nice weekend regardless. I enjoyed being stuck inside most of the weekend with those guys.
Last night, I went to a cafe with Brandy and met the English owner. I'd heard we had English people in this town, but I hadn't met anyone yet. He'd been living in Spain for the past 20 years - near Valencia to be precise, and he was mixing his English with Spanish and Valenciano. It was great. Afterwards, I went to "na ghosti" (or na gosti - if you feel really passionate about it) with my landlords. And they asked for the hundredth time "When is your mom coming again?" They're getting excited and making plans. I told them I wanted to take her to meet my family, and they said, "But... aren't we your family?" I had a good evening, but I left feeling sick again. Boo!
So far this week, I have been just trying to catch up and get a feel for what's needed before we open our center. Unfortunately, I've still been ill. So all I did today as far as work was go to Velingrad to drop off some pictures for developing. My colleagues are still yelling at each other. I hope it's just the stress of getting the center ready and will end soon. They got the roof painted and finished it up yesterday. They even got some youth to help. The kitchen is finished and looks awesome. I got some stickers giving credit to PC and USAID for the project. We have computers! Yay! Unfortunately, the guy who brought them couldn't install them and says he will come tomorrow to do it. Lame. So, we're going to be opening the center and he's going to be hooking up computers? Well, you take what you can get, I suppose. And the Peace Corps Country Director is coming to our opening! We have other Peace Corps employees coming that are no less important for sure, and the media, too, but I really didn't know if the director would come. He's going to take Brandy and I out for lunch afterward.
So, it's all about the center. I've been talking about this for a long time, and now here we are at the grand opening. It's exciting. I'm not all wound and stressed-out like I have been though. That's good. I just hope it goes well. And I'm praying it doesn't rain. I'll probably post again soon (hopefully tomorrow night) to let you dear readers know how that goes. Toodles!
P.S. And it's officially the 100th post. Wow! All sorts of milestones these days! Ah, and we've discovered the leaver of the mystery comment. Thanks for the comment... person who speaks Bulgarian way better than I ever will.