Tuesday, August 15, 2006

4estita годишнина!

happy one year anniversay in Bulgaria to us!

today marks the 365th day of my life in Bulgaria! I can hardly believe its come so fast! there were times when I counted down everyday until COS (close of service), times when I woke up and suddenly it was saturday again, times when things were downright scary (WHAT are they trying to feed me?) to ridiculously funny (I once said that my frozen clothes were full of brother-in-laws, rather than ice).

here is the space where I should insert meaningful reflections on being part of the Bulgarian culture, living in a post-communist society which is vie-ing for a spot in the EU... what have I learned? Mostly, I've realized that making mistakes is the only way to learn how to do something right. I've encountered this mostly through learning the langauge, but also from "failed" assignments during training, mistakes made in the first workplace, misconceptions between cultures and people. I am firmly in support of making mistakes. and as my coworker Tsveti says "Az sam 'Za!'" (i'm for it!)

in other news, I am one of 5 youth development volunteers who was chosen to assist during the b20's (newest group of volunteers...i'm an "18") initial training. Each of us were assigned to a host community, where we will meet with the training groups and assist them with project design and management, help them organize meetings and events, and provide general support and assitance to them as friends and peers. Last thursday, we were invited to the "orientation" week in order to meet our groups, exchange contact information, and again, provide whatever support was needed. here's a picture of my group;

Toni, Karlen, The Patrick, Mike, Alden

this week was also interesting, as i learned how to take someone's blood pressure! Last night, i was coming home from a late day at work, and my elderly neighboor's door was open. When he saw me (Marteen), he began talking about taking my blood pressuere. I was thoroughly confused, but decided to come see what he was up to anyway. Well, Marteen is getting up there in age, and he lost most of his hearing years ago. His wife had taken on the job of listening to his heartbeat, but unfortunately passed away a few months ago. anyway, Marteen excitedly began describing the process to me, but i was completely lost! Since I was about 80% unfamiliar with what I was supposed to do, his thorough instructions in bulgarian were lost on me. Finally, after several failed attempts, I finally figured the whole thing out and was able to tell Marteen his blood pressure. Chalk that one up to new experiences learned! But seriously, it was nice to be of assistance to my neighboor.

well, so those are my brief reflections on one year in bulgaria. maybe during this week i'll be able to compose a list of funny/interesting things that have happened thus far, and post them!


At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you are all about some blogging lately! Congrats on your first year through!

Much Love,



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