Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Final Post - Заключителния пост

Hello Friends – near and far.  This will be my last post here and I’ve been thinking about how I want to say farewell.  There is no way I can sum up my experiences in Bulgaria in a few sentences, but those of you who have looked at my posts of the past 27 months have a good idea of many of my experiences and emotional journeys.  Twenty-seven months of being present to my life in a foreign land – foreign to me but not to all my Bulgarian friends, of course!  They welcomed a stranger to their villages and I  became a friend interwoven into their lives.

Mid-June I traveled back to the USA and Sedona was a wonderful place to return to. I was warmly welcomed by friends I hadn’t see for a long time.  And the familiarity and beauty of “home” made me feel like I had been away only a couple of weeks instead of a couple of years.  Driving a car after a 27 month hiatus was a piece of cake.  I’ve been in the US for 5 weeks now – the time is passing quickly.  My first two weeks were in Sedona and I was eager to visit with friends and colleagues.  I showed three different groups a 20-30 minute presentation of some of my favorite photos of Bulgaria.  Then I headed to California for 2 weeks to visit my family.  I also met new people who I look forward to seeing again.  Now I am once again in Sedona, though this time, I am resting and preparing to move to Santa Barbara CA.  There I am renting a room from a woman who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.  This will be the beginning of a new chapter for me - living in a new city.  I posted photos of my travels in Sedona and California – see the right hand column.

I know that however my life unfolds next, my heart and soul are richer because of my time in Bulgaria, living and breathing and sharing life with everyone I met (Bulgarians, English and other Peace Corps Volunteers).  Thank you to each and every one of you.

If you want to stay in contact, email me at:  pspatricia11@yahoo.com .  I’m also on Facebook pspatricia11.  I’m decreasing the amount of time I spend on FB, but will continue to check it at least a couple of times every week.


Peace.

Здравейте Приятели - близо и далеч. Това ще бъде последният ми пост тук и си мисля за това как искам да кажа сбогом. Няма начин мога да обобщя моя опит в България в няколко изречения, но тези от вас, които са се занимавали с моите постове от последните 27месеца имат добра представа за много от моите преживявания и емоционални пътувания. Двадесет и седем месеца да присъства в живота ми в чужда земя - чужда за мен, но не на всички мои български приятели, разбира се! Те приветстваха непознат за селата си и живота ни стана преплетени.

Средата на юни се върнах в САЩ и Sedona е чудесно място да се върнете към. Бях посрещнат топло от приятели не бях виж за дълго време. И познаване и красотата на "дом" ме накара да се чувствам като съм бил далеч само няколко седмици, вместо на няколко години. Карането на кола след 27 месеца пауза е парче от тортата. Бил съм в САЩ в продължение на 5 седмици - времето минава бързо. Моят първите две седмици са били в Sedona и бях нетърпелив да посетите с приятели и колеги. I показва три различни групи по 20-30 минути представяне на някои от любимите ми снимки от България. След 2 седмици в Sedona, аз отидох в Калифорния в продължение на 12 дни, за да посети семейството ми. Аз също се срещна с нови хора, които очаквам да се видим отново. Сега съм отново в Седона, въпреки че този път, аз съм почивка и подготовка да се премести в Санта Барбара, калифорния. Там съм и аз наемане на стая от една жена, която беше доброволка от Корпуса на мира в Африка през 1970-те и 1980-те. Това ще бъде началото на нова глава за мен - живея в един град, ново за мен. Имам публикувани снимки на моите пътувания в Седона и Калифорния - виж дясната колона.

Знам, че все пак животът ми развива следващата, сърцето и душата ми са по-богати, защото от времето си в България, живот и дишане и споделяне на живота с всички срещнах (българи, Англичаните и други доброволци от Корпуса на мира). Благодаря на всеки един от вас.

Ако искате да останат в контакт, ми пишете на: pspatricia11@yahoo.com. Аз също съм на Facebook (pspatricia11). Аз съм намаляване на количеството на време прекарвам и в FB, но ще продължи да се провери това поне няколко пъти всяка седмица.

Мир.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Endings, Beginnings



Today is my last day as a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer).  At midnight I become an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer).  These past weeks have been filled with breathing in deeply - my last sights, sounds, and scents of Bulgaria.  For two years Dzhulyunitsa, Dobri Dyal and Dragizhevo have been my home and have generously welcomed me into their communities.  It's been a rich time filled with new friends, new culture and language and discovery.  There have been great times and challenging times.  I have said "See You Soon" to my friends, colleagues, neighbors, Babas and acquaintances.  I am grateful to each person who has shared their smiles, hearts, patience and lovely food with me.  My heart and soul have expanded from this experience.  I have lots of photos and stories to share with America. I am filled with emotion.  While I excitedly anticipate the return to "home" and I feel sadness about closing this chapter in my life and saying good-bye to friends.  Thank you so much, to everyone who has touched my life here. I will remember the gifts of Bulgaria and her people.  I have added photos on the photo page.

Днес е последният ми ден като PCV (доброволка от Корпуса на мира). В полунощ да стана RPCV (Върната доброволка от Корпуса на мира) . Тези последните седмици бяха изпълнени с дишане в дълбоко - последните ми гледки, звуци и аромати на България. За две години и Джулюница, Добри дял и Драгижево да е моят дом и са щедро ме посрещна в техните общности. Той е бил богат време изпълнен с нови приятели, нова култура и език и открития. Имаше много добри времена и трудни времена. Аз казах "Ще се видим скоро" на моите приятели, колеги, съседи, баби и познати. Благодарен съм на всеки човек, който споделя своите усмивки, сърца, търпение и прекрасна храна с мен. Сърцето и душата ми са се разширили от този опит. Имам много снимки и истории за споделяне с Америка. Изпълнен съм с емоции. Докато аз развълнувано предвиждат връщането към родина и аз се чувствам тъга за затваряне на тази глава в живота си и да се сбогува с приятелите си. Благодаря ви много, на всички, които докосна живота ми тук. Ще си спомня даровете на България и нейния народ. (Имам добавят снимки на страницата със снимката.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Even More Spring Rain - How to Have Fun....

Sunny this morning - afternoon rain (more intense than the last storm) - blue sky again before sunset. This dog shows how to turn flooding streets into a playground!  It's short and sweet - enjoy.

video

Friday, May 24, 2013

Spring Rain


We have had some spring rain!  Here's a little snippet of the road in front of my apartment yesterday.

Имахме някои пролетен дъжд! Ето един малък фрагмент на пътя пред апартамента ми вчера.







Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Lilacs



Katya, my friend and advocate here in Dzhulyunitsa, is a neighbor of mine in the single apartment building here.  She has another family house where they go to garden (one of two gardens) and to hang out in a quieter part of the village.  She invited me to the garden for fresh lettuce, onions, garlic and parsley.  And of course, a wonderful bunch of lovely lilacs!  What a treat to brighten my spirits and apartment.

(I have posted additional photos on the Spring 2013 page.  Click on the link in the column to the right.)

Over the past 6 months feeling well has been a challenge.  Off and on I've been successful, but I've had more than my share of colds and "owies."  I've always been a pretty healthy person, so this on-again, off-again, not-feeling-well is new to me and has made me more empathetic to folks who have chronic illnesses.  Around March 20th, another "new" cold began.  A few days later I traveled to Sofia for our Final Peace Corps conference.  I had a couple intense coughing spasms, but had assistance when I needed it.  I am grateful for the help of the Peace Corps medical staff.  For the past month I've been drinking herbal teas for lung health, using a few herbal remedies I brought with me to Bulgaria and meditated on my emotional/mental imbalance which might be causing these physical experiences.

Certainly I feel some stress about winding down my work and time in Bulgaria.  Two years in a community is a long time.  I will miss my friends here and have appreciated their warm embrace into their village and lives.  We have shared our cultures with each other.  We've shared laughter, learning and ideas. They have been very patient with my fledgling Bulgarian language skills.

I look forward to returning to America.  Can't wait to see my family and friends there.  Returning to a familiar life is both exciting and terrifying on various levels.  I will have some time in Sedona to re-acclimate to a time zone 10 hours earlier than what my body is used to.  I'm sure some of what used to be familiar to me, will still be.  But I will see everything with a different perspective after living in Bulgaria for an extended time.  The astounding beauty of Sedona is calling to me and I look forward to the quiet and the energy of some of my favorite trails (and maybe some new ones too). Then I will visit family in California and the Pacific Ocean.

This is all I have planned.  I know the next chapter will work out just fine.  But I do have some stress when I begin thinking about all the details about where to live and work; how can I find a good car in my price range, etc.

I've been doing my best to stay focused on all the wonderful parts of my life and my personal strengths and gifts.  But my body has told me, I've been focusing too much on the stresses.  I went to Sofia last week for my departing medical and dental appointments.  Along with me went a refreshed version of a cold with a ongoing cough.  The doctor took me to a specialist who diagnosed a virus (no surprise).  More than five weeks of not feeling my usual healthy self, wore me down and I have embraced the medical solutions to my symptoms.  Yesterday was the first day of using an inhaler and taking Zyrtec.  I felt better almost immediately and I was able to go for an uphill walk with friends, without a long coughing spell.  I will continue the course of medication for a week because I want to be healthy and available to these last weeks in my village.

I will continue to focus on what I want to create in my life when I return to Arizona and California.  I will continue to trust the process of co-creation and that the next chapter in my life will be as lovely and rewarding as my life has been all along the way.

P.S.  I'm not sure how many more blog posts I'll have time for - there is lots to do in the next 6 weeks!

A Summary of Bulgarian Spring Holidays




The days are warm in Bulgaria.  This past week the temperatures have been in the mid-to-high 70s.  And the week before I was still using my heater occasionally when I felt chilled in the evenings and mornings.  It was a quick switch!
Here is a quick update on Bulgarian holidays - it’s a time rich in holidays :
Sat. April 27 – Lazarovden (Day of Lazar).  According to the Bulgarian tradition, Lazarovden is the day that marks the transition in maidens between a girl and a young woman fit to be married.   On this day, several groups of girls aged between 10 and 16 (“lazarki”), dressed in their best holiday clothes or wedding costumes adorned with wreaths and bunches of flowers go around the village. They visit each house and sing praises to everyone in the family, including children and the elderly, women and men, and Bulgarians of all professions.  The owners of each visited home gave them eggs and money.  Old sayings state that any house visited by lazarki will prosper throughout the year.
Sun. April 28 -  Bulgarian Orthodox Christians celebrate Palm Sunday - Tsventisa-Vrabnitsa, to mark the triumphal arrival of Christ into Jerusalem.   The Bulgarian tradition is to carry flowers and willow branches, rather than palm leaves, and the day is also regarded as the holiday of the fields, meadows and forests. It is one of the most important holy days, falling one week before Easter, and marking the beginning of the Passion of Christ.
Wed. May 1 – Labor Day, celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of those who work AND it marks the point in the year where people begin earning money for themselves after 4 months of earning money for the government – in the form of taxes.
Fri. May 3 – Bulgarian Orthodox Good Friday
Sat. May 4 - Bulgarian Orthodox Good Saturday
Sat. May 5 – Easter Sunday
Mon. May 6 – St. Georges Day. In Bulgaria St. George is the patron of spring verdure and fertility, and of shepherds and farmers. His Day, May 6, is believed to set in summer and the new farming cycle.   A common ritual is to prepare and eat a whole lamb, which is an ancient practice possibly related to Slavic pagan sacrificial traditions and the fact that St. George is the patron saint of shepherds.  A special place on the table is attributed to the ritual Gergyovden breed. All sorts of bread are made for the feast - the cross bread, the shepherd's bread, the large ring-bread, as well as small ones, or the special ring-shaped bun baked by the young wife in the house.
So this year many Bulgarians have a long holiday from May 1st through the 6th.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

63 Days


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."   Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD

Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues in Arizona and California,
First, let me say I have just posted photos from the past couple of months.  Click on Photos - Spring 2013 in the right hand column.

My time in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps Volunteer is quickly coming to a close.  The next seven weeks will be filled with final English classes, holidays and celebrations and many, many good-byes.  There will be laughter and there will be tears.

I am flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on June 16th (I will know the exact time in the near future). 

I am beginning to explore options for the next chapter in my life when I return.  First, I’m very much looking forward to returning to the stunning beauty of Sedona to process these past 2 years and spending time on my favorite trails (as well as some one’s I haven’t been on) to assist my re-assimilation and reflection processes. 

At this point, I don’t know what work I will be doing and I’m not sure where I will be living (the first will influence the second, I’m sure).  I have lots of ideas, but no plan. 
The following tasks I’ve been researching online, but I also want to ask you to keep your eyes and ears open for me for opportunities:
1.   If anyone is traveling from Phoenix to Sedona on the 16th or 17th and has room for one person and 3 large suitcases – I’d love a ride.
 2.   Initially, I am looking for a short-term place to stay –
from my arrival on June 16 or 17 until I go to visit family in Calfornia - either for the 4th of July weekend or the week of the 8th.
  3.    I will need to buy a car – I sold mine for $4,000 before leaving and that is my ballpark price for the next one.  Two important qualities I’m looking for:  it as to be dependable and have reasonable gas mileage.
  4.    I will be looking for work.  I will not be returning to real estate as a full time sales agent.  I am open to possibilities of all kinds – let’s talk.   (My interests include (but not limited to) teaching ESL, working with animals and/or children, working in a environment for health and healing.)

My time as a Peace Corps Volunteer has been quite an experience and I’m looking forward to sharing with those in America who are interested.