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Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm going to be completely honest… weekends are tough.

You would think that after a busy week full of overwhelming Bulgarian lessons and technical training a weekend would be a welcome reprieve.

In actuality though, by the time I hit Friday afternoon, I'm downright exhausted. Then you throw in the only night of the work week that the other volunteers and I truly get to hang out, and….

I love my life here, I really do. And although learning the language isn't as scary as I thought it would be, it still takes a lot out of me, and the weekends are the most concentrated time I spend in an all-Bulgarian, all the time environment. During the week, my time is broken up nicely with language in the morning, lunch (and if I'm lucky – a nap or quality reading time!) with my host parents, and then either back to the training center for technical sessions or self-study, homework, or working on technical assignments. As much as I love my family here and I know that my time with them is paying off, I come of the week tired already, and then my Saturdays are relaxing, but they are long and tiring trying to process as much Bulgarian as possible (read – not much). Even with my self-mandated mini-breaks conveniently inserted throughout my day, I go to be every night so tired (but really early!) and on mental overload.

Every past and currently volunteer I have talked to has said "I wish I took advantage of training more" or "I wish I spent more time studying," so that is what I am trying to do: make every effort to spend as much time with my host family and babas across the street as possible, because I know that is what training is for – to totally immerse myself in my new culture. The more work I put into it now, the easier my adjustment will be to my permanent site in a couple of months. (In theory J)

But I am TIRED.

And I have no words to explain to most host parents that my personality just requires ME time – time to process and reenergize. They don't seem to mind me disappearing periodically throughout the day though…

To make light of my current exhaustive state… there is an old-school Backstreet Boys music video marathon on right now… yay Bulgarian cable!

And I walked home from the store last night with two cows.


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