The news is estimating that within the next week, Bulgaria will officially be in a "national crisis" for swine flu. My school closed this past Monday, and will remain closed until at least this coming Tuesday. Apparently there is a law in Bulgaria that if 30% of the student body is absent for whatever reason, then the school is required to close. On Monday I was substitute teaching for the English classes at my school (and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I had been dreading this since I "volunteered" to do it for the day), and no kids showed up to my first period. I had two children for second period, third and fourth off, three kids in 5th, and then before I ever got to the last class, we were closed for "Swine Flu Vacation." Schools and towns along the Eastern part of the country were closing pretty quickly, but Samokov was the first Western municipality to declare an "epidemic." The news article estimates that 100,000 Bulgarians are sick with the "new flu," and once we hit 200 sick for every 10,000 Bulgarians, we'll officially be in a national crisis. Kind of scary, and definitely contributing to a panic mode! I walk by the hospital every day on my way to work, and it has been soooo crowded over the last couple of weeks. I even heard that some hospitals nationwide are having to turn people away because they are ill-equipped to handle everyone seeking medical attention.
On another note... I've been taking "my week off" as an opportunity to catch up on some of the administrative work I have to do. My organization has zero cash flow at the moment, and in dire need of some fuel for our operating costs. The last couple of days I have been weeding through old projects and trying to find pieces we can utilize for new grant proposals. One I've been working on in particular is focused on capacity building and social skills building for the kids. It's pretty awesome sounding, but trying to understand parts of it (it is in English, but you can tell at parts its been translated and retranslated back and forth between Bulgarian and English multiple times) well enough to formulate new ideas has been a challenge. But, I think as soon as I can work with my colleagues and decide on a dollar amount, it should be ready to go. Of course, this is just the letter... if we get approved to submit the full project, we are no where near being done!! :)