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!