The week that was

This last week has been fairly busy. A brief review:

I sat in on the summer kindergarten class. I had a blast! We (read: my site mate) did several English games. A great one was having a duck-duck-goose style game where they went around the classroom and introduced themselves. The person chosen went on and chose someone else until everyone had gone. There were several “Psssst! Pick me! Pick me!. We (again- awesome site mate) went over colors. If the wore the color, they had to come give me a high five. If they didn’t, they had to jump. All in all, it was a great day.

The following day, Wednesday, my site mate had to go to Sofia for some Peace Corps work. I asked the supervising teacher if I could take the class. She agreed. I wanted to have a baptism of fire. I also wanted to see if I could do more than just English. I wanted to do an ecological lesson with them. Cindy came down from Karlovo and helped me. We had three bins, Trash, Recycle and Compost. We brought several object for each (cans, bottles, cucumber, newspaper, plastic bag, etc). We went over each one and gave the objects out to the class. The student then had to place it in the bin it belonged. It went much much better than I could have ever hoped. They were adorable. After we reviewed the catagories, I gave them a drawing lesson to re-enforce it. It’s a lesson I’ll definately do over the school year with the full class. Funny moment:
5 year old girl: “Can I see that cucumber?”
Me: “Sure. Here you go.”
“Can I eat it?”
“Huh? No, you can’t eat it. It’s old.”
“Why not? It looks good.”
“Give it to me, you can’t. It’s old”
*sad face*
Ten minutes later, she sneaks up to the desk to take the old cucumber.

On Thursday, the Peace Corps Country Director of Bulgaria came to visit awesome site mate and I in Chirpan. She wanted to know first hand about our expirences, what worked, difficulties, project ideas, etc. We had lunch with her and talked. A sticking point, it seemed, was when she asked me about training. I told her that I couldn’t remember it or didn’t find it useful (aside from the language). I didn’t offer her anything really constructive so I sent her an email this morning with a few ideas. I will apply to be a resource volunteer and help the new trainees with their training.

That evening, I had the English group again. This time, three people showed up, but not the guy from last time. The first person to show up was just finishing the 8th grade and his English was phenomenal. He’d been studying since the 1st grade (and started learning from a PCV!) and takes it very seriously. And it shows. He’s by far the best English speaking teen I’ve met so far. Two 6th grade girls showed up a bit later and were very nervous. They weren’t very confident (probably nerves) but I worked with them. Eventually, they had to leave for a meeting. I went with the 8th grader back to his house where he we preparing for the Bulgarian version of Prom. While he was getting ready, I had a beer with his mom. She works at the local perfumery (is that a real word?) and brewery (didn’t know we had one!). His father is a farmer who works out in the fields. They probably have the nicest house I’ve been to in Bulgaria (excluding the British Ex-pat).

Today I worked with another PCV trying to find information to get donations for hygiene lessons for a life skills project. Working with the kindergarten gave me the idea to do dental hygiene with them further down the road. I crafted an email and letter to send to Procter & Gamble and Colgate. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out. I’d appreicate any suggestions or ideas if you have them.

Tomorrow morning (6 hours from now) I’m meeting the students and teachers who are going on the trip to Western Bulgaria. I’m not certain where I’ll be going, just that I’m spending the night in Blagovgrad tomorrow night. I’ll have a full account and tons of photos when I get back.

On Monday, I’m going to a day camp in Plovdiv (the second largest city in Bulgaria) to help another PCV. That should be a lot of fun.

That, in a nutshell, is the week that was. Posts will be a lot more sporatic the upcoming week since I’ll be out of town.

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