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Thursday, January 14, 2010

This has just been an all around good week. It started with fun nights and restful days around Samokov (including a HUGE win for our basketball team against the number one ranking team in Bulgaria’s National Basketball League!) through the weekend, and Sunday ended with a call from a friend here in town saying that she and her husband (who plays for Rilski Sportist– our pro bball team) were in Sofia that day and wanted to surprise the kids at my organization sometime that week with some new basketballs and soccer balls! Normally our sports day is on Wednesdays, but when I woke up to the sun shining and relatively warm weather (who am I kidding… the entire winter thus far has been uncharacteristically warm) on Monday, we moved some things around to take advantage of the sunshine.

We had a BLAST. Jackie and Travis brought Svetlina (our NGO) 10 brand new balls for the kids to use afterschool, and spent the next hour shooting around outside and bumping around the volleyball. It was so great to see the kids so excited! I know they loved the new equipment, but I’m pretty sure they were even more excited about the 6’10 pro athlete and the college volleyball player who came just to spend time with them. I stood around taking some pictures (and playing gatekeeper to make sure the balls stayed IN the school yard… somehow we still managed to lose one), and let the kids enjoy our guests. Definitely a great day.

Yesterday, I found out my project proposal for the new social development project we’ll start to implement in February was APPROVED! I’m really excited, and even though the logistics around getting the proposal written gave me a number of headaches, I can’t wait to get it going. We’ll be working on this one through September next fall, and it will include seminars for a target group of 30 kids are their parents, psych consults for each family, field trips, trainings, etc. The idea is to try and focus on 30 kids and their parents, to create progressive mindsets towards integration, and social involvement in the Samokov community by targeting the entire family. 

Also… today, I found out that the ping pong table we’ve been trying to purchase for Svetlina is finally on sale!! We were hoping to pick it up before Christmas, but that didn’t work out, and then last week I went to Sofia to try again, and with the VAT tax, it added 20% (yes… TWENTY %) to the price, which was almost 100 BGN Leva more than we had budgeted for. Buuuttttt, my amazing friend Lisa in Sofia has been scouting the price for me, and even though the store said it might be months before its on sale, it happened only a week later! And now it’s LESS than we budgeted for, which leaves room to buy the kids some extra games and equipment for the after school program. 

It’s a tiring and emotionally trying existence as a PC volunteer, but it’s weeks like this, when things all of the sudden miraculously come together, that you can step back and appreciate your hard work and the fruits of your labor. :) 

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