From “горе-долу” to “много добре”

From “so-so” to “very well!”

I’ve been kinda gloomy recently about my work and purpose here. It hasn’t helped reading the 2006 Audit of Peace Corps Bulgaria, especially when it recommends that my program, Community and Organizational Development (COD), be shut down. However, I’ve soldiered on and been making my own work. This has boosted my morale. I discover more often how high the highs are and how low the lows are. It’s not called “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” for nothing.
I held the second English Club meeting for students. This time people came. Unfortunately, it’s more like “a person” came. However, he was really nice and his English isn’t that bad. We sat at the cafe and just chatted in English. He’s finishing his Freshman year in high school, plays the accordion and is studying Germany. His mother is a music teacher at the middle school and his father was a teacher, but now a prison guard (I’m not sure how much cross training the two professions get 😉 ) I told him I was training for the Athens Marathon. He asked me if he could join me for a run that evening. I agreed and went down to the track later that evening.

He told me he talked to his mother about me while he went home to change. His mother is taking some of her students on an overnight field trip to Western Bulgaria and to my surprise, invited me to come along! We will go to Velingrad, Bansko, Samoko, Borovits, Blagoevgrad and the Rila Monastery (my fourth time). All in a weekend! I’m very excited about this! I was talking to another PCV and he told me he’s always amazed how things like this snowball: I have interest in my English group, a new friend, a running partner and an invitation for a trip!

It got even better when today, just an hour or so ago, a woman came into the office looking for me. She was from the At-Risk Children’s Center and had a bag of gifts for me for raising money for the Center. She thanked me for helping organize the tournament. I told her it was my pleasure. She thanked me again and left me with the bag of goodies. The Center gave me bon boni (chocolates), cracker snacks, a wine flask and a pen. Most touching of all was the thank you card :

One of the greatest is secrets of life is to make a change for the better in someone else’s life!!!

Please accept a thousand “thank yous” from the staff and the children from the At-Risk Children’s Center in Chirpan for your noble idea and the funds you raised from the football tournament!

That made it all worth it. I’m going to put the card up on my bookshelf where I keep all my Bulgarian keepsakes.

And for the sake of balancing things out, my fridge broke last night. It made popping noises, shooting sparks across the floor and almost set the rug on fire.

Life is never dull.


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One Response to “From “горе-долу” to “много добре””

  1. thomas Says:

    Proud of you Jimmy, but seriously, lock the door to your kitchen and forget about that room before it kills you. Just make some arrangement with the Flamingo and your baba for nourishment.

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