Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More holidays!

So, those of you who are more astute (like my sitemate, Lincoln) will recognize that the bazar/market I explained is much like a farmer's market!!! I foolishly forgot that we had anything in the US that resembled our marketplace. But as my language faulters, and I forget what life was like in the US- don't worry, because I promise I remember all of you!

Happy name day to me (tues 17th)!!! Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, happens to share something in common with me- our name!!! In the bulgarian orthodox church (which oddly celebrates things according to the gregorian calandar, and not e orthodox...), the feast of each saint, as they would be called in the Catholic Chuch, is CELEBRATED! I mean, this is a big deal!!! So for anyone named Tony, Toni, Anthony, Antoinette, Antonia, etc, yesterday was a party day! in some cases, we Tones aren't even expected to go to work! we are supposed to drink a lot of rakia, eat chocolates, and have a party in a restaurant that night. Its also a day when the similarly named person pays for everything- you "treat" your friends to food, coffee, candy, etc because of your good fortune of sharing a name with a saint. People have all kinds of wishes for you- including those of long life, good health, and lots of love! Too bad someone didn't wish me luck in the bulgarian language.... :) I celebrated by bringing chocolates into work, and then took my english class to coffee after class.

Oh yeah, so I'm teaching an english class now :) I am phenomonaly happy to be teaching this class- in fact, I am so pleased with this bi-weekly activity that I have definately suprised myself. I was extremely resistant to teaching an english class for myriad reasons, perhaps one of the least flattering that "I didn't go to university to teach English!" However snobby that was(and I don't really care that it is, which is probably telling of my haughty character and my notoriously dominating work-style), I truely felt that my time would be better spent writting grants and building connections with other organization- after all, that was WHY I was placed with my organization- they wanted a grant writter, and PC thought I showed potential. Needless to say, with a crappy attitude like this, I thought class would be terrible. Man was I wrong!!!! Though I have only taught 3 classes so far, I have had a TON of fun with my students, and I think they get a kick out of my attempts to explain MY language while speaking in THEIRS. I have about 8-9 students, which is small, but they are incredibly bright and have great energy and enthusiasm to learn english. SO far, they can introduce themselves, ask you who you are/where you are from, use the verbs "to be" and "to like" with questions, positive statements, and negative statements, and identify basic food items in english. I am really proud of them, and this has become the highlight of my week!

Also last week, I celebrated the Roma New Year!!! I attended the event with my coworkers, local Romi people, and another volunteer from a near by (and TERRIBLY small) town. We ate a ton, danced even more, and for the most part, had a really great time! the only negative thing was that my boss got in a fight! Clearly, this was no good, espeically since the bulgarian version on National PBS was at our party!! whoops!!!! Actaully, the reasons he got in a fight was partially because of me. There was a guy from another Roma NGO who came up and introduced himself to me during the course of the party, and he had obviously read about me in the newspapers or watched the interviews on the local news, because he knew that I had done work for the Dem. party and that I was a Peace Corps volunteer. SO the converstation started out fine, but then he asked me how I had become a volunteer for my specific organization. As I began to explain the application and interview process, he interrupted me and began telling me that I was a liar! Then he said that all Americans are liars, that the embassy is full of liars, etc- and to make matters worse, he then told the TV reporters that i was a liar, a bad person, and A SECRET AGENT sent from the US to spy on the Romi people in my town!!!!!!!!! what?!?!?!?!?!? well, as it turns out, this guy was really drunk, but in general, is known for antics such as this. So Isai, my boss, basically had enough, and started a fight with him!!! Thankfully though, no one was arrested, the mean guy was escorted out of the party, and nobody got hurt!!!

okay, so that is MY update- I'd love to hear yours!!!!! please send me some emails!!!


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Alfie said...

"Come away with me, in the night ... "

Read my latest LiveJournal entry. It's entertaining, informative and insightfull!

Daschle's considering a presidential run!


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