Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Winding Up & Winding Down

It's been busy. I thought I'd get a break with the trainees at their permanent sites, but no such luck. The trainees came back from their permanent site visits, and then we've had a couple of all-day sessions pretty much back-to-back. On Thursday, I went to a nearby town to meet up with all the Youth Development trainees. The preparation was stressful because I made it so. I'm a sort of neurotic personality. I'm a control freak. I really like having things my way. I'm also a people-pleaser. I want it my way, and I want everyone to be happy about that. Umm... this is just not possible. You see where the problem lies? This is where the neurosis starts. Let's not dwell on that. The sessions went well. We played some games. I think the Trainees liked it. Of course, you never know what people are really thinking until you see evaluation forms, but I've decided I don't care about those anymore. I know how much hard work I put into these sessions, and I'm not going to let some low (or even high) evaluation change the value of my efforts. I still love the trainees. No problems there. And I'm still enjoying my job.
I did take Friday off though... except for that hour when I was in the office. This weekend, I was in Rakitovo. I decided to go because Angel took off for a conference in Turkey for a month. I wanted to see him before he left. Otherwise, I was scheduled to go to Plovdiv to see the host family. I'm going to try and go next weekend. Rakitovo was nice. It rained a bit, and I kept to myself a lot of the time. I didn't feel like running around and going "na gosti" at people's houses the whole weekend. I did see my former landlady, and I was pleased to meet her elder daughter whom I've heard so much about. She lives in Canada, and I wasn't sure that I would ever get the chance to meet her. I was glad I pulled myself out of my funk to make the visit. I also got to see a couple of other people that I hadn't seen yet, so that was good.
On Monday, we had another session for about half of the day. I wasn't scheduled to lead out any of the sessions this time, but one of the volunteers who was got sick at the last minute. Fortunately, she had sent me all her ideas, so I got someone to let me into the office in the middle of the night so I could retrieve the e-mail she sent me. It was a team building session, so we ended up playing a lot of games. I think the trainees had fun. The session was repeated twice, and there was a good-sized groups for both times. I spent a lot of time running around in my high-heels, so my thighs are killing me today.
Afterward, some of us went on a field trip to a resource center. A resource center is a facility which works toward the integration of special needs kids into regular schools. It's a new concept to Bulgaria, but it's a good one. Hopefully, they will have much success. It was a field trip that had been requested by one of the YD trainees, so it wasn't scheduled from the beginning. I had to make a special trip to meet the staff and arrange it beforehand. I think it went well though. The staff seem really nice. They're wanting to apply for a volunteer.
We're getting here towards the end. I mean, there's a little less than four weeks left of training. A lot of the trainees have been asking me what I'll be doing after this. They always look disappointed when I tell them that I'm going back to the states. I appreciate the sentiment. They are a great group of "kids." Several members of PC staff have tried to encourage me to try to find work here. Even my grandmother is saying it might be a good option - due to the financial crisis. I joke that my grandmothers used to tell me that I couldn't find a husband here, work, etc. - anything that would jeopardize my return to the states. Now I have one saying that I might be better off if I just stayed here. I find that hilarious - of course in a sad sort of way.

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