For much of the time since my return to Samokov, I've felt like I have been trying to regain my footings and catch up for lost time. I wasn't really feeling like time was moving productively forward yet, only trying to pick up the pieces I left in limbo after my accident last Christmas. In the past couple weeks, though, exciting things have been starting to happen again! I've been meeting some new people, finally pushing some project ideas/proposals through, strengthening our day to day programming at Svetlina, and most importantly, truly connecting with some of the kids. Even over simple things, like staying after to play a couple extra games of "Jenga" (I put that in quotes because, do not be fooled, knock off "Jenga is soooo not as cool as the real thing ;)) or bowling with a tennis ball and toilet paper rolls.
Youth work is (for obvious reasons) much more of a challenge for me over here because I still struggle with a language barrier. I'm functionally conversational at this point, but to truly dig deep with these kids is hard. I can laugh with them when the tower falls in Jenga, but to look them in the eyes and see their world is hard, and my prayer is that it won't be much longer until I can be there for them like I want to be.