The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of Elon University, the U.S. government, or the Peace Corps.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm going back!

I leave to head back to Bulgaria next Wednesday, and I'll be moving back to Samokov the following Tuesday.

Peace Corps Bulgaria TAKE 2!!

I'll be there until April 2011.

And I promise - no skiing.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

When I left for Bulgaria a little more than a year ago, there was so much build up to my actual departure day. I had so many things I wanted to squeeze in before I left, people I wanted to see, things I needed to get done... but this time, well, since i may or may not leave in 2 and a half weeks (visa depending), it has been very hard to allow reality to set in. I still have people I want to see and things I want to do, but its very hard to squeeze them in when you don't know how much time you have. I'm not sure how long it will take them to know whether I can be on a plane on the 9th, but I could have any amount of time longer than that. All in all, this build up seems to be a bit on the anti-climactic side. But geez.... hardly more than two weeks and I could be gone again until summer 2011!

On a different note, but passport has worked itself out!! Even though I got accused of "failing to disclose" that I had lost two no-fee passports I never owned, and was threatened with "further investigation" or the answering of a "higher power" (all of which sounded a lot more scary on the phone, and only amounted to a headache in the passport office), turns out someone from the Peace Corps office retrieved my passport MONTHS ago (like, January 9) but never made a record of it and then misplaced it. But a woman who wasn't even a part of our conversation overheard what we were talking about as we looked for it in all these boxes and drawers, walked across the room, opened a random drawer, and there it was: with all of the PC staff passports. "Oh, you're not staff? That shouldn't have been in there!!"

No kidding!

Praise God it was found tho! Now onto the Visa....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"If you weren't making an impact on the kingdom, then things wouldn't be so hard."
Pretty sure that is beginning to be my mantra. Sometimes I wonder (ok, a lot) why things have to be so hard, all the time. Yes, I understand that I really don't have anything to complain about. Nothing earth shattering ever happens (at least in retrospect that is true), but its the things that continue to pile up that really get to you.
In Bulgaria it was one thing after another (let's see, file a police report after an entirely too close of a call with a creep, a week later go back to the police station for follow up and have passport stolen -either in police station or in market on the way home, and then....), to the point where I culminated sitting on an airplane unshowered and unmedicated with a shattered lower leg and clothes many days old, and alternating between fits of laughter and a downpour of tears (no wonder no one talked to me except to give me that over the top look of sympathy).
For the last 8 months I have struggled with seeing the meaning of all this, and at least after co-directing last weeks extremely successful Bible Camp at my church (a record breaking 147 kids, 9 proffesions of faith, $700+ raised, 5 service projects, and SO much fun) I feel like I have accomplished something, but I still go through periods where I wonder, "what am I fighting for?" Should this all really be THIS hard?
The latest development - I jumped for joy yesterday when I handed over my passport to be expedited at the state department. "Success!!!"
I should have known better.
About 30 minutes ago I get a call saying, "since you have reported TWO passports stolen in the last few months, you will not be leaving the country any time soon, and will most likely have to answer to a higher authority."
I mean really. What is a higher authority anyway? Since I know God is not personifying himself through the State Department passport office (wouldnt that be nice....).....
And for the record, I only had one passport stolen. The new one was in the works when I broke my leg and was halted until last week when they said that it hadn't gotten far enough in the process to continue it. So start again. And now they think I lost two. But now I basically keep all important documents duct taped to my person. I learned my lesson. Pick pocketing CAN happen to you. But hopefully only once. But now I have to go speak to a "higher power" tomorrow. ?!?!?!? Ugh.
So now i go back down town to continue to fight the machine, and wonder how I lost a passport I never even owned in the first place. Good thing I'm local.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Something those from the Bulg will appreciate... and the rest of you will find ridiculously adorable.

I've been babysitting for a family from my church, and last week I decided to "teach" the girls a little bit of Bulgarian. 

After wowing them (and boosting my ego) with a couple sentences, I showed them how to write out the alphabet and then their names.

I wrote out Lauren's, and then she copied it. Then she wanted to see if she could write it herself without looking at my model.

In case you were wondering, Lauren spelled in Bulgarian is "mountain, "O," "P," "E," H."

Cutest thing ever.


On a slightly unrelated note, things are moving a bit slower with the Peace Corps than I had originally forecasted. I received the clearance from my surgeon a couple weeks ago, but its been one struggle after another rounding up (or rerounding... ugh) all my medical paperwork. I believe everything is in the right hands now, so I just continue playing the waiting game. 

The clincher is that until I get the official clearance from Peace Corps (the PC docs have to agree with my dental and physical results from civ docs), we can't move forward with the official passport or visa. Once we can submit those, it has to be processed here in DC before getting sent to Bulgaria to be processed there (which may just take forever), then it will find its way back here. 

My goal is to be back by the B24 midservice conference near the end of September (midservice?!?!? I will have missed 8 out of the 14 months my team has been over there.... oh well) in order to reconnect with the guys I trained with.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone and getting back to work. My prayer at the moment is that things start to move a bit more smoothly and I can be on that plane sooner rather than later.

I have no hesitation that God is calling me to finish my service in bulgaria and continue to cultivate the friendships I was building over there, not to mention the time I can't wait to spend hanging out with my Svetlina kiddos. 

However, the longer I spend here at home, the more content I feel. Its taken me so long to feel adjusted to living back in the NOVA area, that its kind of unsettling that its time to leave again. 

But baby, if i ain't movin, i'm sure not standing still