Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Okay. Due to popular demand (thanks for the three of you who spoke up), I'm back with a Bulgaria-related post that I need to process. I just received word that a friend of mine lost her husband. I mentioned them before. They were the ones who went to Pakistan so he could receive some medical treatment. He came back about a month before I left and was apparently fine. I'd only met him once, but she became a good friend of mine - one of those people I befriended shortly before leaving. I'm dumbfounded. He was so young. My head is filled with the conversations she and I had about her love for him. All that time he was sick... all that hope in the possibility of a cure.... I miss her so much. I've never been good with consoling people, but at least I could be there.
I was going through some boxes, and I came across some possible Peace Corps assignments my recruiter had written down for me when I went for my interview. During the application process, you go and interview with a recruiter, who in turn nominates you for a program that they think you would be a good match for. My recruiter was gung-ho about sending me to teach English in Eastern Europe. I think it was mostly because that's what she had done, but she said it was because she couldn't see me having any other viable skills (You're a Spanish major? What can you do with that other than teach?). I was a bit skeptical, but I really wanted to do Peace Corps - even if that meant being an English teacher. I pressed her to give me some other options, and this is what she wrote down:
English Teaching - Central Europe - April 2005; Community development projects, clubs, summer camps
Water Sanitation - Central/South America - May 2005; Construct H2O systems, wells, pumps, latrines, waste disposal
Health - Central/South America (indigenous?) - June 2005; Train health promoters in basic nutrition, vaccines, HIV/AIDS, rural, no electricity
Well, we all know how that one turned out. I ended up not taking any of those assignments, but my assignment turned out to be most like the English teaching. Actually, my first assignment was that English teaching one in April. (Did I share this story already?) I would have been with the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) group that arrived a few months before us. It was the middle of March, and I received a call at the place where I was working, and I tried to be calm. Peace Corps is on the phone offering me another job - there's nothing out of the ordinary. The woman on the other line was asking if I'd leave in a month to go to Bulgaria and teach young children English.
Apryl: A month is... wow... it's soon.
Woman: Yeah. Well, there's another opening in August. You'd be doing basically the same thing, but you'd be working with older kids.
Apryl: Hmm.... I'm better with smaller kids, but a month is really soon. Would I be going to Bulgaria for that one?
Woman: I can't say specifically, but it'd be in that part of the world.
Apryl: Can I think about it and let you know?
Woman: I'll call you tomorrow, and you can give me your answer then. But please know that this first group could really use you.
I took the evening and thought about it, prayed about it, hemmed and hawed about it. I took the second option, and the rest, as they say, is history. I don't know what would have happened had I taken the first option, but I think I made the right choice.
I have my first French class tomorrow. It's an intermediate class, and I'm a bit nervous. I'm also signed up for a beginners class. I signed up for that one first since it's been six years since I took French in college. My mom convinced me that I should go for the intermediate since she has such great faith in me. We'll see. If all goes well tomorrow, I'll drop the beginners class. If not, I'll drop the intermediate.
I've also heard from a family in France about coming and being an au pair. I was really excited about the prospect of doing that, but I'm becoming less and less excited the more I think about it. I don't think that I would thrive in that situation. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that I should just pay my own way to take an intensive course. Either that, or I should try and find another form of employment in France to subsidize my classes. I talk to my friends about the offer, and they throw their hands up in the air, "That's it. She's leaving again."
My karate class is going well. I'm signed up for a free month. I really enjoy it, but it will be cost-prohibitive to continue to attend. I'll shell out hundreds of dollars to travel and learn languages, but karate doesn't hold the same lure for me. I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars a month for just a few classes. Isn't it strange what we decide is cost-effective and what we decide to let go? What vices we will rationalize and what others we will give up?
So, this is me trying to readjust - trying to get into a fairly solid routine without engaging in employment. I talk to people in Bulgaria, and they ask, "Have you found a job yet?" One has to ease into these things - especially one who has the luxury of doing so.
So is the blog back? I don't know. I just don't know.


Anonymous said...

"Psych... Sike? Yikes!"
Thanks for the surprise blog.
Your ever lovin' Gpa

Anonymous said...

You don't have to know right now Apryl...you just got back. Give yourself time. One step at a time, poco a poco. I second your Gpa...thanks for the surprise blog :o)