Monday, March 03, 2008

"Sunshiney"

The weather has been positively gorgeous as of late. I almost miss the cold weather. It was a good excuse to be lazy. I'm feeling much better now. I can still tell that I'm a little sick in that my appetite hasn't quite returned yet, and my body gets tired easily. Oh yeah, and I'm also still "coughy" and "sniffly." It's nice to be able to get out of the house a bit though. I was getting stir-crazy.
Our fundraiser went really well. I don't know if I mentioned what it was for, but there's a young girl in my town who has cancer. I don't know how serious it is, but she hasn't been well, and she's been needing treatment. Her family isn't by any means wealthy, and people have taken up various collections for her sake. I asked a couple girls what they thought about a fundraiser, and they ran with it.
As I've said before, I barely had to do anything. I just made a bunch of cards, some posters, a donation box, some cookies, and I came with balloons, markers, and tape. I was amazed at how pro-active everyone was. There were sweets and cakes galore, cards, books, pencils, notebooks, mugs, and "martenichki." More on that in a second. I was so impressed with how many people turned out with items to sell. In the end, we were left with very little. Many people refused to take their change, and several put extra money in the donation box. I was amazed that the cards I made sold. People must have really wanted to help. Hehe. We even had an elderly man hanging out near us - telling everyone who stopped by that they should put 2 leva in the donation box.
We had the fundraiser on Saturday. March 1st is "Baba Marta" day in Bulgaria. It's the annual holiday where everyone gives each other "martenichkis" - bracelets, pins, or necklaces of red and white yarn that you wear until you see your first stork. Then, you take the "martenichkis" and put them on a fruit-bearing tree or hide them under a rock. This ensures health and luck, as most Bulgarian traditions do. So, the "martenichki" were the first to go from our humble sale. In the end, we raised 426.45 leva... which is quite a haul for our little initiative. Yesterday, I went with the two girls to drop off the money. The sick girl's grandmother had tears in her eyes and kept saying "God bless you." She gave us all kisses, and we had to refuse to come into the house. I could tell that the girls felt proud of themselves, and they thanked me for "giving them the idea." Really, that's pretty much all I did. They turned it into an amazing reality.
I had a guest over the weekend. A PCV came to visit all the way from the other side of the country, and I put him to work making cookies for the fundraiser. He was a good sport and hung out with us for the duration of the sale. It was nice to have a guest - especially after having been cooped up for the week. I don't get guests that often - even when my group of B-18 comrades were here, not many people made it down to my town - so it's always nice to have company.
Yesterday, after my guest left, I called up my friend, Veska, and had her meet me for tea. I haven't been able to see her since I got back in-country, and I had to give her the souvenir I bought for her. I went up to the mahala to meet her, and I saw a group of boys hitting a volleyball around. They asked if I wanted to join them, so I went after I met up with Veska. It didn't take long for a suitable group to gather together, so they divided into two teams,and tied a cable between two poles for a "net." I didn't play long. I tired out quickly, and the boys were hogging the ball, but I had a great time being out in the sunshine playing a pick-up game of volleyball. When I wasn't playing, I checked in on the Educational Center next door. The radiators are finally being fixed, and they're almost ready - just when the weather has decided to improve.
Today was "Bulgarian Liberation Day," so we celebrated the national holiday instead of working. There was a short program in the center, and my colleagues decided to get together for some coffee. We decided that we would get together again this evening and eat dinner. Valia and Ani would make "sarmi" (sour cabbage leaves stuffed with rice), and Yanko would bring some meat. Sylvia said she would bring some pizza. I decided that I would bring cookies. I couldn't find any peanut-butter today (boo-hoo!), so I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. They turned out pretty nicely. Dinner was nice. I liked being with my colleagues again, but I had a hard time sitting in one place. Like I said, my body still gets tired and restless very easily.
Tomorrow I have to go to Sofia to get a shot. It's going to hurt! There's no way around it. I suppose I'd better "suck it up" and just go. I'm going to treat myself to a good meal to make up for it. I deserve it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog plus sunshine! Pleased to know the bug-a-boo stuff is going and you're improving. magic123