Friday, April 17, 2009

Bulgaria Day 6

Yesterday I found out about the two earthquakes the area experienced last week. I heard the news was reporting seismologists are predicting another tremor … but on a much larger scale. So while in conversation with my new friend who is a teacher …we talked about disaster preparedness …the subject came up that Bulgaria has no preparation in place to train the local children on how to prepare or survive a major quake. Being an ex-American Red Cross worker I was totally appalled and offered to give the her kids a lesson on how to prepare for disaster. She was very enthusiastic and we had the subject that I could wow them with while just speaking English for them.

Today has been busy. I started my morning by attending the 8th grade English class at one of the public schools. I was the guest teacher. The class went fabulously I had a group made up of 18 boys and 3 girls. The boys all wore uniforms, they were quite handsome. The girls were beautiful and might be future supermodels they were so pretty.

We started by my telling them about living in Oklahoma and explaining a little about my culture and how the culture in Bulgaria was very similar in its make up of citizens. Oklahoma’s heritage of Indian culture compared to the history of Bulgaria opening boarders to immigrants from other nations where persecution was taking effect.

We then went on to discuss the natural disasters that Oklahoman’s face: Tornados and floods to Bulgaria’s Earthquakes and Floods. I explained how we teach our children how to prepare. They were interested, I asked if any of them had a disaster plan and they all shook their heads in astonishment. I asked if they knew what to do in an event of an earthquake and again I got some answers but they were not good ones.

So I then pulled out a backpack that was filled with the items everyone should have who lives in an earthquake prone area. They were totally paying attention and nodded in agreement when I would explain the next item. I then told them what they needed to do to stay safe inside a building. Where to go and what to do, should they feel the floor start rocking under their feet.

Because they were such a good class I pulled out my bag of American Candy and gave each one of them two pieces. At the same time I showed them pictures of my kids and of my nieces and nephews. The boys seemed very interested in my daughter and my niece wondering if they might be coming for a visit anytime soon. I laughed.

We still had a little bit of time left before their next class and I asked if they had any questions… none forthcoming I grabbed my camera and said… “then I’ll ask the questions”… I went around and asked each one what they wanted to be when they grew up. They found it very interesting that someone would be interested in their goals and desires. I took each one’s picture and would comment on their choice.

I was very impressed with the group and found out that there were several in the class who were on the soccer team. I asked if they were going to have a game this week in hopes that I could go and watch. They were surprised I would be willing to come. Their tournament does not start until Monday so I can’t go.
After the class was dismissed one of the young ladies asked for my autograph … I said.. ”Sure but how about I give you my e-mail and you send me a letter” she gave me a big smile and said YES. My friend was wide eyed when she helped me pick up my stuff and told me that she was impressed that I held their attention for so long. It was fun.

My host who was also my taxi for the day met me in front of the school with a Turkish sandwich (GYRO) and hauled me to the next destination… an elementary school where I was asked to take pictures of the children who were going to be viewing the Jesus film. I started out helping move desks and chairs to get the room set up. Then suddenly I was wearing a Media hat and had to trouble shoot the sound system set up. I prayed constantly that I would be successful… I don’t read Turkish or Bulgarian and I don’t know what language the computer was showing me. I got it fixed and sat through two showings and shot a few pictures and about 30 minutes of video. It was a great experience.

The funny thing that happened was that one of the young boys that was in the village where I am staying just happened to be at this school. He and a few of his friends snuck into the second show because he wanted to show everyone that we were already friends. I had taken several pictures of him while on my walk on Sunday.

After a full day of educational establishments, my hostess picked me up and we headed back to the village for an item of importance. On our way we came upon a Muslim funeral. Ever the photographer I rolled down my window in the rain and began shooting. I got several shots of the men carrying the body, on what looked like a wooden bed, up the hill. I got the video out and captured several minutes of their procession. It was quite interesting.. no women were allowed.

Then it was a fly by drive by shooting as we videoed the track from the village into the city. The ride was rough but I think it will be good for what we are looking for when I begin to put the promotional video together. We spend about half and hour cruising around town and visited an Orthodox Church took some pictures then it was time to head to the office and meet up with the rest of my hosts.

We were invited to dinner at my new Korean friend’s home. They served an authentic Korean dinner along with chop sticks. I love using chopsticks. WE had a great time of fellowship and sharing time. The jr. hosts and their friends played and played having a great time as well. I took the family pictures as well as their “nanny” tutor who is teaching the children Korean. Their kids were extremely smart. The 4 year old speaks 5 languages. Amazing.

That was my day it was full! And my host just told me that my teacher friend wants me to come back to school this week and teach another class about earthquake safety. Hey I’m game. It was fun and if it keeps these kids safe during the next earthquake then well that will just make my day.

No comments: