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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I found out some really exciting and encouraging news awhile back... and can't believe I haven't shared it yet!!

Of the ten kindergarteners I've been working with that are ready for first grade next year (a bunch still have another year or two left before they are old enough), ALL but two of them are going on to a predominately Bulgarian elementary school!

This is HUGE news!! No reflection on me as far as success goes... but I couldn't be more excited! This means they are on the track to continue to be main-streamed if all goes well. :) :) :)


Adrienne Hadaway said...

Oh. Does this mean that you are teaching them Bulgarian? I'll be teaching English there.

Katie F. said...

I'm a youth development volunteer working with Roma/Gypsy youth. When these kids start in kindergarten here (where I teach English lessons at the segregated Roma school), they are usually speaking Bulgarian for the first time since the Roma language is what they speak at home. The fact that these kids will be mainstreamed instead of continuing to be segregated is HUGE!

Are you ready?? We can't wait to meet you guys!

Vic and Suebee said...

This is so great, Katie - what an encouragement! So happy for them . . . and for you! :D

Richard and Shirley said...


I have been following your blog for almost two years now. I’m proud of what you are doing. You are having the Peace Corps (PC) experience that I had hoped to have.

When Shirley and I left Bulgaria after only two months we were devastated. It was something we felt compelled to do but it seemed so wrong. We felt so bad that we both went into a real funk for six months afterwards. The PC was something that I had wanted to ever since I watched JFK announce its formation back in the 60s. Yes, I am that old. I was an adult even then and had commitments that precluded joining the PC then.

Leaving Bulgaria was something we felt must do but we never understood why. It just seemed wrong to leave so soon especially since our assignment was to be in such a delightful village. But as we found out life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Nine months after returning to the states Shirley had a routine mammogram, which turned up a “spot worth watching.” A follow up was ordered for six months later, which found that the spot had grown rapidly. Surgery was required in March and Shirley is now recuperating and undergoing chemo. Long-term prospects look good but it is going to be a long, ugly, painful year for her.

If we had stayed in the PC, she would not have received a mammogram so soon, since PC policy says wait a year after being sworn in as a volunteer. She would have had to go to another east European country for the mammogram since the PC did not have access to these in Bulgaria. Through it all, there is a good chance that the rapidly growing cancer would have grown much larger before it would have been caught under the P.C. timetable. Given the aggressiveness of this particular cancer, her long-term prospects would have been much different if it had not been detected until months later than happened here in the States.

So call it an amazing coincidence or call it divine intervention but the fact remains that we were somehow driven to leave our PC dream in Bulgaria and return early to the States where excellent medical intervention is going to save Shirley’s life. Sometimes it pays to listen when we feel that we are compelled to do something even though we don’t understand why at the time.

Please share this with other B24s who may be interested.