I haven’t been keeping this blog up-to-date as I should have. And the entries I have posted have been excerpts from Bulgarian news. It’s been a combination of not doing anything really interesting and pure laziness (mostly the latter). So this will catch you up to speed:

I was recently asked to be a resource volunteer. These volunteers assist the Peace Corps Trainees (who arrived in Bulgaria late last month). This means someone somewhere thinks I’m doing a good enough job to be an authority on such things. Last week I went to the mountain resort of Panichishte, where my initial orientation was. I gave a presentation on how to integrate into a Bulgarian community with another PCV. It felt very strange being on the other side of things (and it also felt really good! I’m so thankful I don’t have to go through that whole process again). It was an eye opener to see how far I’ve come in a year. Our presentation had some Bulgarian words in it we subconsciously used and we were later told that most of the PCTs didn’t know them! That made me realize how much Bulgarian I have learned and can use on a daily basis.

That evening I was peppered with all kinds of questions ranging from life in Bulgaria, what my job is like, Bulgarian words and pronunciation and Peace Corps policy. I didn’t consider myself an expert but then again, I’ve been in Bulgaria for over a year and they arrived only 3 days prior. It was a strange feeling. The following day I, along with the other resource volunteers, gave a presentation on what it’s like within our respective programs. Each resource volunteer is assigned to a training site. I was given Rila, where I spent my training. I look forward to going back there and seeing my host family again.

I’ve been working on a few projects. However, it’s been pretty difficult since most Bulgarians go on vacation in August since it’s towards the end of the tourist season. One of my co-workers is going on a (much deserved) three week vacation. This has left the rest of us without much to do. And since the teacher I’ve been working on a project to get playground equipment is also on vacation, this has left me with my English group and studying Bulgarian. Things will definitely pick up once the school year starts on September 15th (I’m really looking forward to that). Since Bulgaria has lost most of it’s EU funding and PHARE has been suspended, the Department of External Resources (where I work) won’t be having much work to do. I’ll be working more closely with the school where I’ve been teaching a computer class and will teach kindergarten English.

I will be going on vacation starting tomorrow to Austria and Slovenia. I’ll be back in Bulgaria next week but I have some training stuff to do as a resource volunteer. So it’ll be a while for my next entry. But you can be sure it will be full of photos from my vacation. That’s more or less it.


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