Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a final

There really is no excuse or explanation on why I haven’t written in… more than a year. It’s not like I couldn’t find the time to write or that I didn’t have anything to write about… I guess to me, I didn’t think anyone really wanted to read it… and the people who do… I was speaking with on a semi-regular basis. But at any rate, here are some raw thoughts on my past year and my final thoughts on Peace Corps as a whole.

Becoming a villager in the Bulgarian Rhodopee Mountains is and will be; one of the most unique things I have ever done.

I accomplished a lot. I learned a language albeit not as strong as I think I could have been yet stronger than I ever thought plausible! I should have purchased a TV…

The English courses with the adults were fantastic; I made a real impact in at least three adult women’s English ability. By the end of our year of learning, they were to a point where they could understand just about anything…much like my Bulgarian language, so that was quite incredible.

The kids of the village were impacted by me, probably in ways that I can’t even define, but overtly positive, same with the adults, but probably to less of an extent but it’s hard to say.

Reservations I have are things like… I wish I would have built a nice hiking trail, I wish I would have repaved the school’s basketball court, I wish I would have developed more businesses with people of the village… but what it comes down to is that there has to be the interest to do those things. All I could do was be there and support whatever initiatives the people wanted to do. And that is just what I did.

I showed up.

and I am proud that I did that.

There’s more. There’s lot’s of coffee’s treated to, potatoes gifted, lifts given (including one where a cafĂ© owner kicked another hitch-hiker out of his car so that I could ride…I had no say in the matter) dinners invited to, rakia poured, goats roasted, and paintings painted… that will make me look back at this point in my life as one of the strangest and most profoundly rewarding experiences I have ever had.

To the question; do Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference?
I give the answer of a resounding Yes.