Sunday, May 18, 2008

Out and About

This weekend was pretty involved. I went to Pazardjik on Thursday for a meeting with the regional Safety and Security Officer. I spent the night in Sofia with a friend. The next day I bought a ticket to the northeastern portion of the country. I called the friend that I was supposed to visit, but she was sick with the flu. I ended up spending the night in Veliko Turnovo - one of the more beautiful cities in Bulgaria. The next day, my friend was feeling better, so I went to her town. Then, this morning, I got up early and got into Plovdiv a little after noon. I had some time to kill in Plovdiv, so I hung out with my host sister and a friend of hers. It was a good weekend, but it wasn't very "restful." I came home, and I went to visit a colleague/friend of mine who invited me over ages ago. I'm tired.
Last weekend, I was in Plovdiv to visit Angel. He had invited me to come and check out his university. He had some lengthy lectures on Saturday, and I sat in on them. Then we went hiking up one of the hills in Plovdiv.
This past week was interesting as far as work went. The days never turned out exactly how I planned. I did some project writing. I helped my colleagues plan some events. I went and visited people. I talked to another group about getting a volunteer. They couldn't seem to grasp the fact that I was American - even though I repeated it three times. One guy insisted on talking to me in French. After that I was asked, yet again, "Are you English or American?" Confuse my nationality once. That's fine. Just listen to me. Afterwards, I guess they asked my colleagues if "the English girl" could translate a project for them. Yeah. Thanks for listening to me.
I went with Ani to visit Veska, Angel's sister, who seems to be doing much better, although she was trembling and practically having a panic attack when we came in. Ani got her to calm down by explaining that she has a job lined up if she wants it. Veska was happy to hear that she would have work waiting for her, and she promised to get better as soon as possible. I certainly hope she gets better soon. While she was trembling, she repeated to us, "I'm sorry. I don't know who you are," but then she would call us by name when she talked to us. Once she calmed down, she broke into a smile and said, "I remember who you are now." It was the oddest thing. It's hard to see a friend suffer like that. I can't imagine how her family feels.
I was joking with Ani this week that she should let me take Maria and Reneta to a Spanish-speaking country when I finish my service, so that we can all study some Spanish together. Ani surprised me by saying she would let them come with me. She told them, "I would let you go with Apryl - no one else." I told her that I wouldn't even trust myself with her two daughters in another country. I was taken aback. It was a really flattering compliment, 'cause I know Ani trusts no one when it comes to the fate of her two daughters - as any mother should.
I wanted to include more things in this post, but I think I've pretty much covered everything. I'm pretty exhausted after my travels this weekend, but I've told myself that I need to get out and see more of the country - even though I've probably seen more than most Bulgarians. When you live here, it's different, you know? I bet there are foreigners who have seen more of the states than I have.

No comments: