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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things are certainly picking up, which is definitely a good thing. This past weekend wasn't so great - among other things, I lost water for about 4 days and internet for 2 (if I lose those every time it snows, I am in for a LONG winter!!). Neither were that big of a deal, I definitely made due without water, and now know to keep my 10 Liter bottles filled and ready, and not having internet was actually kind of refreshing... It is nice to have both amenities back though!

I'm still making some really good contacts, and next week should start finding more ways to get down into the Mahala and make more direct connections there. There is a pretty active Roma church and community center, and it would be a great way to meet people and have more direct contact down there. As I've mentioned, my organization is in the entirely Roma school, but its not actually in the Mahala. In some ways, its great, because it draws the kids out into the rest of the community. It also keeps ME out of the Mahala though without some careful planning. But, things are coming along...

I have my ups and downs with my kids, per usual. Its good because I can tell they get excited when I see them at the organization or when I am out and about, but per usual with youth work, its hard finding the balance between being a friend and being someone they will respect and listen to when we do need to be serious. Some aspects of management will get better as my language improves, but my director keeps reminding me that SHE has trouble keeping their attention - "and I speak Bulgarian!" I do feel for them though... Mondays I teach English, and the kids speak only Romski at home, Bulgarian in school and in town, and now they are expected to sit through my English classes. I know the importance of English in today's society (especially with the EU affiliation), but I feel as though they should be focusing on Bulgarian so we can first push them to be leaders in Samokov, then Bulgaria, and THEN the greater market. But, for now... baby steps.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I am going into Sofia to enjoy the day with an American family I met through connections back home. I never expected to be so blessed by them, but their connections are continuing to amaze me as I meet people who are working all around Bulgaria and providing me with additional areas to serve, as well as being in support of MY work. I also have some errands I need to do in the city (my Bulgarian ID should be ready, and every time I try to go to the Sofia police station to work all that out, its an adventure...), and I am on turkey duty for our B24 (my group of volunteers) Thanksgiving reunion Saturday.

So, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
Miss everyone SOOOOO much. :)

But thanks to the wonderosity of Skype, I get to talk to some of my cousins tomorrow! Oh, and other family members as well. ;P

New band obsession - Tenth Avenue North... and a simply great video that makes me smile. Enjoy.

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