Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Temperament Changes

"Don't you have someone at home who can scold you for going out without a jacket?
That was the second time someone I didn’t know had stopped me to tell me I was an idiot for leaving my apartment with only a short-sleeved shirt.  The weather in Plovdiv has changed, literally, overnight.  One day it was hot and suffocating.  The next, it was windy and chilly. 
I missed the change because I was ill the day it happened.  I’d been in my apartment for hours on end, and it’s deceivingly warm in there.  At least I know it’ll keep me at least five degrees warmer than whatever is going on outside during the winter.
As I mentioned in the last post, I was a guest on a local morning show in Plovdiv.  If you’d like to see the video, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click on this link to the DC Cable Television site and scroll within the video area until you get to "Utro - korpus na mira - 4.10.2012 part 2."
  2. Click on that link and wait for it to load at least to 24:30, as that's when my segment starts.
  3. If you don't know it yet, it might be useful to learn Bulgarian.
This past weekend, I was involved in a leadership training workshop for 80+ young people from three schools around Plovdiv.  I had been asked to be a co-leader of one of the groups.  However, not having been given concrete responsibilities, there wasn’t much I could contribute.  This drove me absolutely insane – and it showed.  The woman I had been assigned to work with wasn’t aware of my abilities and therefore didn’t seem comfortable trusting me with many responsibilities.  She said I could help her with some of the games only to shoot down all of my ideas.  I quickly got frustrated.  She saw this and soon gave me some leeway to help her out with some of the games.  In the end, it worked out well.  The kids seemed to have a lot of fun.  Let’s hope they learned something in the process.
I am slowly beginning to piece together what NAVA (the organization I work with) expects from me.  After the fall of Communism, many western countries and businesses rushed in to try and support the non-government sectors in Eastern Europe.  With Bulgaria’s entry in the European Union over five years ago, more and more donor organizations abroad are expecting non-profits  here to survive on their own.  Peace Corps’ imminent exit is just a small example of this.  Therefore, organizations like NAVA need to find ways to survive after their sources of funding dry up. 
NAVA has decided to sell some of their services in order to fund the rest of their activities.  One of these services is camps.  So, now some of my colleagues and I are trying to brainstorm ways to raise money with these camps.  If anyone has any non-traditional ideas about how to raise money or even how to brand camps to increase interest, I would love your input.  My brain is only capable of storming so much.
I haven’t been to Rakitovo yet.  I’m not sure when I’ll make it over there.  I’ve seen Vili, my host parents, and Angel.  Speaking of, how is it that someone you haven't seen in over a year can tell the difference of eight pounds on your body, when you can barely even tell the difference?  Meaning, my mother and sister have informed me that I'm currently the perfect weight, and I'm not allowed to lose any while I'm here.  I guess that's my opening to ask them to feed me.  I still have many more people I would like to see, but that involves finding time and getting on a bus.  All that sounds so overwhelming right now. 

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