"Only if there are awesome Peace Corps Volunteers who decide to show Bulgarians how its done!"
More than a week after the actual holiday... with a lot of substitutions for normally integral Halloween materials... the party that my site-mate Amy and I threw for our kids yesterday went off without a hitch.
You know it must have been a good party if I went home at the end of the night covered in pumpkin guts, frosting, slimy spaghetti, and a little bit of glue.
Amy and I even managed to hunt down a Baba selling pumpkins in the Pazar. She only had two (very small) pumpkins with her, but the next day I returned with three of my girls and the Baba actually packed up her little basket of pears, took us to her house, and sold us 9 pumpkins. My kids were super excited to be able to help as they thought about the concept of carving pumpkins that I had told them so much about (a totally new concept for them), and I think we totally made the Babas day! 9 pumkpins only cost me 20 leva (about $14), but I bet that was more than she makes in a few weeks selling her apples and pears at the Pazar. So everyone was happy, and my kids even got candy from her and I got an invite to come back and visit!
As I've mentioned numerous times, I work for an organization here in Samokov that is based out of the only 100% Roma school outside of the Roma neighborhood. Amy teaches English at a predominately Bulgarian school in the center of town. We figured that if we held the party at my organization and invited both of our groups of kids, not only would we get to work together as Samokov's Peace Corps Volunteers, but it would be a great opportunity to get our kids to interact and have fun together. We knew the chances were high that we'd notice a lot of divisions throughout the evening, and they did exist, but it was awesome to see our kids mix long enough to cover their friends (or "mummies") in toilet paper and cheer each other on as they dug "eye balls" out of slimy spaghetti using only spoons between their lips.
All in all, the kids seemed to have a blast, my counterpart was happy, and other than the weather suddenly turning into winter on us, everything went off without a hitch. I learned a lot about what it takes to make this sort of thing happen, and my prayer was answered that this be a good learning experience and first shot so that in the next two years, I can continue to find ways to bring these kids from very different worlds, together.