I up with the Texas group on Sunday evening after their trip to Greece and my week-end of rest. We continued the English classes throughout the mornings from Monday to Friday. During the afternoons, we attempted to see more of the region. We even took some time to rest, for we got a bit tired as we continued. Along with seeing some sights, we met with some people and the Texas team (as well as myself) got a different view of Kochan and the area.
During one of the afternoons, we traveled to visit a couple of old villages. At one of the villages, the older women gathered together to show their hand-made products and to sell them to us. Things were a bit more expensive than they wanted to pay, so we didn't buy more than a few things. From their, we traveled through the ghetto (where Gypsies live-a place I had no idea about!) and wound up into the mountain. At last, we arrived in a village recognized for it's old style homes. It was my first trip there. I tell you, there's so much I have yet to learn!
The director did a very nice job of arranging meals and meetings with different leaders in the community. We met with a couple of factory owners, Kochan's mayor, and the regional mayor. The group got a better idea of the region and the business side of it. They are looking at continuing to help with this region and these meetings helped the Texans to understand more of the "need". It ended up being a very beneficial trip for both the Americans and the Bulgarians.
On Saturday, I sent the team off to Plovdiv where they had another meeting and took some time to see the sights. Then on Monday, I met up with them again in Sofia. While in Sofia, I passed by the Peace Corps. office where I finished up the last of my paperwork. Around noon, I was officially titled a "RPCV" (Returned Peace Corps. Volunteer), even though I haven't yet returned. It wasn't sad for me. It was more as if this was just the next step to take in my life. Now I'm waiting to know where my next adventure is. While waiting, I'm going to fly to Germany and Italy for a family vacation. I'll even show them around Bulgaria. :) More later.