Monday, September 22, 2008
Wow, it's been a while since I've written the mass e-mail/blog. I've been busy attempting to coach my baseball team, teaching adult English to a couple of my friends in town and trying to get to know the movers and shakers in my community before school starts. I also wallpapered my kitchen with the help of my collegue, Svetla. She is basically superwoman. Later I survived my first Bulgarian haircut with great results. :)
I spent almost a week in a beautiful city on the other side of the mountain from my town for an HIV-AIDS Training Seminar. I invited one of the teachers from the School for Deaf Children in my town since there currently isn't any HIV-AIDS training there. While tiring at times, the seminar left me with lots of ideas for working with students and gave my partner teacher and I a good basis for starting our project together.
It snuck up on me quickly. I was just about to think that summer would never end when the weather turned dramatically much colder and my next door neighbor knocked on my door. She gave me flowers and threw a bucket of water on the ground before me to wish me good luck for the first day of school.
School's going to be a challenge for me because I have to catch up on a lot of the literature that I'll be teaching for my lit classes, and for my other classes I won't have a textbook to work out of, so I will have to be creative with lesson planning. I also must learn to say no. When it comes to volunteering, I usually jump on any opportunity that comes up.
Case in point: A weekend or so ago, I started going to a horo dance class. It's very fun and a pleasant release of my tension. Later, one gentleman from the class contacted the director of my school to see if I could attend the Bulgarian Independence Day Festival in the former capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. I accepted and went along with his group. It ended up being interesting but way over my language abilities. Bulgarians at the festival all held post-graduate degrees and discussed the theory of independence and historical inaccuracies. I was way over my head. Later that day, the gentleman that invited me told me about his plan to start a project with all the schools in my region. I thought that it sounded like a good idea to have a better parent, teacher, student connection and told him so. Later during the meeting, he announced that I would be a partner on the project. Suprise! I will have to make sure to keep my head above water with this one, so wish me luck!
The pictures attached are as follows: My lunch (in the summer), Svetla the superwoman wallpaperer, me modeling a new haircut and chocolate ice cream and raspberries as Matt, another volunteer looks jealous, a giant chess set in the park in Stara Zagora, the first day of school presentation, teachers with way too many flowers, Veliko Tarnovo independence day festival.