Tuesday, June 15, 2010


So I know its been a long time since I updated, but whatever. Today was my final day of teaching this semester which means the stress should end... or so I thought. The mayor just informed me that she would be coming by to check my house....ummmm ok. So I kinda have been living like a slob and it doesn't help that my sink is broken (how does that happen) and I cannot do my dishes.... I am going to try to use this thought to motivate me to get my shit together and clean this place (and keep it that way) but I dont' know how well that will work... maybe she will come by and see it and then just kick me out. Its that bad right now.

Tonight is the 8th grade ball. I am going. That is about all the emotion I can muster up for that thought. I will mmiss those guys mainly for their humor. Latest example: 3 students came in a half hour late the other day and said "Mr. Olson, we are so sorry. We thought we had math class this hour and we do nothing in that class. We would have been here if we would have known it was you teaching." It made me feel good. LOVE LOVE LOVE those kiddos and widh them the best... ok... I am going to clean... or rather, and more likely, watch reality tv... so is life.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Made a child cry...

The title says it all. 1st graders are awful. He was upset that after a year of putting up with his crap I finally feel comfortable enough to talk to his mother. Hopefully this will help. Probably won't but at least the other kids know I am serious.

In other news, I updated yesterday so read that post.


PS - I just failed at meditation... gonna try again tomorrow. Hopefully I can stop laughing at myself and just focus on my breathing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Half the story....

Well I was expecting a good weekend and what I got was a GREAT weekend. A lot of stuff went wrong, but that seems to have only made it better. I think this is becoming the theme to my travel adventures.

After teaching all day Friday I hopped a train to Mezdra and met up with Whitnet, Diana, Brian and Raf. We had a nice dinner and then went out with Whitney's CP. I ended up getting to sleep around 4:00 AM only after Diana, Raf and I left the disco early. I awoke (amazingly) at 6:00, repacked, showered and caught the train to Sofia to hang out with Potere and friends. Martha's family was in town and she invited me to go see the mountains. I of course thought she meant spending the day at Mt. Vitosha in Sofia, however, I was mistaken. We hop in the car and after some wrong turns we make it out of Sofia and start driving to the Rila Monastery. Let me back up a minute... when I say hop into a car, I mean the 4 of us crammed ourselves into the back of a Chevy. It was some nice PC cuddle time although I think I am pregnant with Alex's baby now. We stop in Dupnitsa and have a nice non-alcoholic lunch and proceed to the Monastery all the while jamming to "The Best of Phil Collin: Ballads". After visiting the Monastery and spending the day with these fantastic people I do have to say I agree with Mr. Collins in that this is just another day for you and me in paradise. Now here is where the story gets a little more interesting.

After leaving the Monastery and driving through the old B-23 PST sites, our car caught the uneven and jagged edge of the road and we blew a tire. We had a spare so we thought we were ok. The problem was that the side with the flat was now on this marshy, uneven grass and the jack would not stay stable. After several attempts and even some unsolicited BG assistance, we finally changed the tire only to discover (after about 10 more minutes of driving) that the back tire was now also flat. Having no spare we had no choice but to drive a little bit further to a Shell Station. We had bent the rim. Luckily the attendants were super nice and the Shell station had beer. I will say that one of the best parts about being a Peace Corps Volunteer is that you are never the designated driver b/c you are forbidden to drive motor vehicles. So after our 3 hour dilemma, we finally arrived back to Sofia. Although now I was 3 hours late to Illyria's birthday celebration.

So I show up and everyone's there and celebrating. We hang out at one bar and then head to McDonald's b/c we feel like it is expected of us whenever we are in Sofia to go there. Also, McFlurry's are always good after beer. Then we went to Solo and danced and what not.....*This part of the story is being shortened b/c this is PG rated blog*.... I finally got back to the Hostel at 6:30AM and pass out after what had been the longest 24 hours of being awake EVER! It was a FANTASTIC mini-vacay and I will now spend the rest of the month chilling and wishing that this weekend could last forever. Thanks to all who made it possible!


~ PS - LOVED seeing Val at the train station especially b/c the 1st words out of her mouth were "You look like shit." I felt like it too...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Limited Internet Access

It has come to my attention that I spend FAR too much time on the internet. I need to make some dramatic cutbacks on my internet usage. I am saying I spent a good 18 hours online this weekend. Thats sad. I need to go outside and let me albino colored flesh bronze, or rather redden. I spent all winter whining about be stuck inside and now I am still sitting here stuck in old habits despite the glory of the Bulgarian Spring. I should get off line now and go wandering... maybe with my dog. He is feeling neglected... along with my body... I need to start working out more... although I cannot run due to a knee injury. Ok... I am prolonging this now.. good bye!


Saturday, April 24, 2010


I miss my family a great deal; more and more as each day passes. Its especially hard on the weekends when I cannot adequately fill my time. I know for the past 7 years I have lived away from home, but this experience is so dramatically different than college. In college I was only a few hours away plus I could call them regularly. Being on the other side of the planet is so much more difficult. I go months without hearing their voices and its really strange to me. I guess I have always considered myself fairly independent from my family, but these days I tear up at reality shows when contestants are sent home and reunited with their loved ones. It makes me think about returning home and what the scene at the airport will be like. I know I will cry, but c'mon, who wouldn't.

What makes me even more nervous is thinking about what happens after the airport. Where do I go? What do I do? What happens after Peace Corps? I mean, I only have 15 months remaining which really isn't much time to figure out my life... especially b/c I am working and working in a foreign country. There are so many decisions to be made and I honestly hae no freakin idea. Part of me wants to go back to Dallas, although I have not lived there for 7 years now. I have connections elsewhere, but I don't know. Then there is always the option of starting over someplace new yet again. I just keep hoping for a point in my life where I have everything figured out, but the older I get, the more I realize that this will never happen. Which, I guess, is living. Making the best choices you can when you can and just accepting that it will all work itself out. As unsettling as that is, what choice do we really have?



Thursday, March 25, 2010


10 months is the longest I have gone in my adult life with out attending a church service. While there is a church in my village, it is non-functioning except for the major holidays (Christmas and Easter). I was not at site during Christmas and this Easter I will be hopefully be attending a service while vacationing in Belgrade. Seeing as I cannot easily attend church here, I have been listening to the Cathedral of Hope's pod-casts whenever I can/remember to. There is something that moves me about the sermons. Maybe its the fact that I hear the message alone in my house as if it were meant solely for me. Maybe its the fact that its coming from a congregation whose beliefs are similar to my own. Or maybe its the need to be a part of a community even in my isolation. I am really not sure why I feel so connected to a church I have never stepped foot in. All I know is that I am grateful that I am glad to have such a connection and that it helps me immensely...usually when I least expect it.

I listened tonight and Dr. Rev. Jo Hudson was preaching from the parable of the Prodigal Son. This particular story is well known and I am not usually exicited to hear anyone preach from this passage. As a man who worked for the church for several years and toured the country monthly singing at different churches, I feel like I have heard this parable 10,000 times and every pastor tries to find something new to make it interesting. They usually fail. However, tonight, I was delighted upon hearing the interpretation. Instead of focusing on the return of the younger son or the feelings of the elder son, Hudson examined the father and not the father as God, but rather as Jesus. The father sacrificing all for the relationships he has with his sons and for the relationships between his sons. All of his energy is focused on relationships; gifts given, the fatted calf slain and parrties thrown. How much better would life be if we could all devote ourselves to our relationships in such a manner?

In my life, I am struggling with relationships. I physically far away from every relationship I cherished less than one year ago. Some new ones have been made here, but I still feel that they are muddled due to all I have been focusing on. I spend so much time concerned with what I am missing, or what I cannot say, or what I have to do each day, and my relationships suffer. I am usually focused so much on the parts of myself I cannot divulge to my community that I don't divulge enough. Personally, I am really scared to let them know more of me, which is to everyone's detriment... well, certainly to mine. I hope I can find the courage to let them know me so that I can better serve them and honestly, be happier. I just don't know how...

Monday, February 22, 2010

cheerfully upbeat

SO I dont know if its been the sunshine, the melting snow, the clean clothes, or the extra oxygen I am getting due to the lack of cigarettes, but I have been in an extremely good mood. I am trying to just go with it, but its been four good days in a row. I want to trust it, so I think I am going to. Thats all for now...