Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog or Facebook?

Tryavna, Gabrovo, Bulgaria
Трявна, Габрово, Булгария

There are so many “social network” ways to share now..... and  it seems everyone has their favorite way.  I am going to continue to use both this blog and Facebook since they are not 100% mutually exclusive.  I know some of you who prefer one to the other and do not participate in both.  I apologize to those who do read both for any overlapping repetition….not a big deal, right?

The first weekend in November, I was invited to join the Women's Club Djula on an excursion to the picturesque town of Tryavna.  I posted some photos from this recent trip on the November-December page and previously posted photos from my visit in August.  This time there were many personal touches to the visit...going na gosti to the welcoming home of Stoyan and Ivanka for a delicious, and true to Bulgarian tradition, very generous meal.  Prior to eating, Ivan drove us up to a great overlook.  Far in the distance on the mountain tops, I could see monument which I have seen from the opposite side when I went to Shipka and Kazanluk.  This was a real treat, because usually I am limited to places public transportation or my feet can take me to.  And Sunday, Stoyan and Ivanka gave me a tour around the town they have loved living in for many, many years.

This weekend I was grateful to have some time at home to do laundry, clean, catch-up and pull out my winter bedding.  It's definitely cooler, but still mild.  

Over the past 6 weeks I've had some minor health challenges, but things are looking brighter now.  I won’t go into all the unpleasant details, because I am feeling better now.  One interesting aspect though was my visits to a nearby hospital for ten physical therapy appointments for tendonitis in my left bicep/shoulder area.  Each one included light therapy, electric magnets, mild electrical currents and something like a sonogram (sonar?).  I could definitely feel the energy or activity of each method in my arm.  Now it’s time to give it time for rest and healing for a month.  I’m grateful for the treatments, however they were very different than the alternative therapies I usually do. If I were at home, I would have gone to my acupuncturist, massage therapist and maybe had some cranial sacral work - all of which treat the whole body when addressing a specific issue.  I have done some yoga stretches and want to continue, gently stretching and energizing my arm.  These treatments are more subtle than what I experienced with the physical therapy.  It will be interesting to see in a month, how my arm (and body) feels. And I am making an effort to lighten my backpack, and I am not riding my bike right now because that involves carrying it down and up 1 ½ flights of stairs from/to my apartment.

Visiting a hospital outside of a large city in Bulgaria is different too.  First, let me say that I'm grateful to the Peace Corps staff because they are always there if I need interpretation from Bulgarian to English or vice-versa.  They are always just a phone call away and always willing to assist. 

O.k. back to visiting a hospital. Typically you find the correct hallway with the door of the doctor’s office you’re looking for, knock on it – maybe peek in, and then wait in the hall until the doctor comes out.  This can be anywhere from a minute to 30 or more.  The doctors offices I’ve seen have been painted a variety of pastel colors – peach, yellow, green – and it looks pretty fresh, but the corridors of the hospitals are pretty much the same as they were 50 years ago.  Kinda cold, kinda gloomy.  Maybe one reason the hospitals are not all shiny and new is because average health care is very inexpensive compared to western standards.  My 10 sessions (4 treatments, approx. 10 min. each) cost a total of 71 leva which is approximately $46.18…less than the cost of 10 round trip bus fares from my village. 

All for now, I’m going to load some photos and call it a night.  Hope you are enjoying autumn.

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