Thursday, August 23, 2012

"back in the US(S)A(R)"

So here I am sitting at my parents home in the USA.  I have been stateside for all of 5 days and am getting ready to travel to Seattle to see my sister's family next week for about 6 weeks.   I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do about my blog; if I'll keep posting or not.  I went to my old workplace Friday night and surprised all my friends there and that was very nice!  I even had an Atlanta Dream (WNBA) player come up to where I was (after my friends made a commotion upon seeing me) and shake my hand while thanking me for my service.  That was pretty neat.  Then on Sunday I went to church and surprised everyone there.  It's so nice to see everyone's reactions when they realize it's me!  It feels different being back here.  For one thing I'm between houses which is one of the reasons I feel like I'm in limbo.  I feel kinda like I'm floating; not really doing anything.  I can't help but think how different things are now from only a month ago and how quickly I'm going back to the "old" routine of just doing because that's how it's done here and how much it seems like I just take things for granted just because.   I don't mean to but when things are done a certin way that's how they are done.  This probably makes no sense.  Anyway, I'm trying to get everything pretty much squared away before next Tuesday.  The driving came back no problem but of course that was just an errand close to home; we'll see when I have to go on the highway or even downtown!  For now love and hugs from me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

life after

I'll go more in depth later.  We are in Istanbul now and I can't believe how big it is!  Taxi's everywhere!  Coming from a small town in B  withou a taxi...that's different  for me!  Sunday morning was hard since I was leaving the life and people I had known for 2 years!!  I want to leave to see my family in the states but I don't want to leave all my neighbors and friends in B. behind.  I'm trying to use some Turkish here and recognize some words.  We decided to stay in the room today and not take a tour to save mom's hips and relax befoer the craziness begins!  We walked around a little and went to some little shops and got stuff for lunch.  There are so many thoughts running through my head now and my thoughts go back to my B home and how everything I'm doing now my community where I lived wouldn't be doing.  More later!  Love and hugs from mom and I!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"leaving on a jet plane"

So I'm thinking this might be the last blog in B.  Of course that could change.  My mom is coming on Friday (can't wait) and we are traveling for a couple of weeks in the Greek Islands, Istanbul, and Greece itself I think.  I will try and blog during our travels but just not sure how that will go; I may be using facebook more.  I'm trying to plan gosti's while mom is here and looking forward to showing her around what has been my home (and always will be in spirit) and introducing her to the people who have taken care of, fed, loved, supported me, and so much more over the past 2 years!!  As of right now her bed is a mess (one of them anyway) with stuff to go in luggage.  It hasn't hit me yet that I'm leaving and won't be back for what I'm thinking will be quite a while; a ticket over here is expensive!  I'm not sure when it will hit me, but women and used to crying for no reason and at the drop of a hat.  All the other times I thought I would cry when saying goodbye and such I got tears in my eyes but that's pretty much where they stayed.  I'm thinking when we actually leave, are standing at the bus stop with people from my Glodzhevo waiting to get on the bus, I will cry saying goodbye to them.  But who knows!  It's sad and, yes, there are other ways to show saddness.  Maybe like I said before it hasn't really hit me yet; I've left and come back many times in these 2 years.  Well we'll see!!  Love and hugs from me!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the people "behind the scenes"

  Tomorrow I leave for Kubrat to get on a bus at 3 am on Thursday to go to Sofia for the last time!  WOW!  I just heard what I wrote.  I had always known that this will be the final time in S; what I didn't think about was that part of this last trip to Sofia (not my favorite place lets be honest-it's a big city and I like small/smaller places) is the last time I will see all the staff who have been with me for 27 months.  Some have left already but most are still there.  Now that I think about it that makes me sad.   I thought about the volunteer friends I will be saying goodbye (for awhile at least) to but I never thought about saying goodbye to the staff.  While I'm on the subject let me just say a big thank you to our staff, both B and A.  Every volunteer has a different story and experience but I have to say the staff here is top notch!!  From the (relatively new) Country Director, who came at our midservice conference, to the drivers who know the way to each one of the volunteers' sites (at one time there has probably been pretty darn near 200 here) AND how to navigate B'ian traffic-no small task!  To a person our staff isn't just "staff."  If something happens and I need to talk I know I can call ANY ONE OF THEM, not just program staff if it's related to youth development or the SSC if it's an issue of security.  I have never been afraid.  Of course that's partly because I'm in a small town but it also has to do with how informed Dilyana keeps us on issues of security, safety issues that affect us/me.  We are able to do our "jobs" because they do theirs so well, spored men (in my opinion).   So (I just decided I'm going to make this a seperate blog for the staff) to all my friends at the Peace Corps office (there are so many and I can't name them all) but from the bottom of my heart-THANK YOU!!  I would write that in B'ian too but my sheet of the B'ian keyboard is packed somewhere and I'm too lazy to do the google keyboard thing!  YOU helped make my experience a great one!   I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world in your future endeavors!  Ha zjev i strav!  Vsi4ko hubavo i 4esta be6e moq!  Life and health!  All the best and the honor was mine!  Love and hugs from me!

homeward bound!

Way back in May 2010 when I was getting ready to come to B the Peace Corps allowed us 2 checked bags weighing a total of 100 pounds, a carryon and a personal item, like most flights.  My sister and her husband are members of a camping/outdoorsy store and got me a 33 liter backpack that was my carryon and I used a beach bag stuffed with odds and ends for my 27 months as my personal item.  Needless to say I've accumulated much more over the 27 months; some I can give away (like some clothes) and some I plan on keeping (like the birthday gifts I got from the teachers at the English school and others).  Getting it all home will be a chore and I know I will have to pay a baggage fee; that's just going to be a fact and I'm ok with that.  However I have been sending some stuff home (hense the homeward bound) little by little to (hopefully) lighten my load a little.  The post office here will ship a 2 kg. package for me.  I know what you're thinking, "2 kg!  You can hardly fit anything in a 2 kg package!"  You are right, but it's cheaper and much more convient!   So I've been using my scale to very carefully get to the 2 kg. limit before I go to the post office.  This morning I had a package all ready to go and it even was a tad under 2 kg. so I headed to the post office ONLY for their scale (the one that matters) to tell me it was over the limit!  Today is the day to pay electricity and that is done at the post office, so while the ladies were busy with taking money, I tried to repack my already carefully packed package.  With what I had in the package there was no way it was going to be 2 kg. so I ended up sending a 1.65 kg package.   Did I think of other things I could put in to make up the difference?  SURE DID, but they were in my apartment and I wanted to be done with that.  So far I've sent 3 packages home with a total of most of my gifts for family and that I have been given, a blanket that I bought here that served as excellent wrapping material, and some clothes that serve a dual purpose; clothes and wrapping material.  I think that's probably all I'll send but I'll have to wait and see.  Now I'm just hoping the Bulgarian and English words for "fragile" mean something to whoever handles my packages!  Every time I send something I have flashes of that computer/new tv/whatever that was being dropped over a fence when being delivered.  I know thev're just things but those "things" mean more to me than losing my bags!  Loe and hugs from me!