I've been experiencing so much more lately than just teaching. I've lived in Bulgaria for a year now and I'm really acceptpting it as home. My students are still my students but they're also like a bunch of crazy little brothers and sisters. My second term is going well. All the mistakes I made in my first term are not happening now. I am more prepared and I know my students better. It also helps that I'm getting a lot of support from fellow teachers; my Bulgarian still isn't great but I'm trying to communicate with them as much as possible.

The people here make all the difference. I was sitting in a cafe the other night and everyone was singing traditional Bulgarian songs to an accordion. Something that's quite unusual in the States but normal here. Six months ago I would have been embarrassed but now I just sing right along. Goat poop doesn't phase me anymore and I'm getting used to washing my clothes by hand. Of course there are washing machines here, but I'm only a volunteer so I can't really afford one.

Spring is also coming and the weather is beautiful. I can go out running one day and by the end of it I usually have some students running behind me. I'm truly enjoying my kids. Although they can be a pain, they really make my job here delightful and entertaining. I'm really starting to like this 'Ms. Onken' thing. I'm even thinking of going back to grad school to study teaching. I figure if I can handle the things I've dealt with here, I can handle the lot. I find that my students are teaching me about who I am without them knowing it.