Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Running out of time.

The end of my time here is coming faster than I'd expected. Doubts and worries swim through my mind rather than the sense of accomplishment I'd hoped for. I feel like I'm leaving friends behind and turning my back on a world in which I've spent so much effort to create mutual understanding. I keep telling myself that I have only been here for two years, and that when I leave, pretty much everything will continue here as it has for 7,000 years without my help. The personal impression I made is light, and will (by design) fade quickly. The impact of what I've worked with, however, will hopefully (I like to think that likely) continue. If all of this happens, our mission and designs are successful.

The evening outside is touched by the soft twilight and benches throughout the park sag with the weight of reclining pensioners. The culture of Stara Zagora is modernizing, but I hope that the relaxed atmosphere of early evenings, which Bulgarians commonly admire about this city, remains. I will certainly miss that aspect of life in Stara Zagora. Reading at cafe's has helped drastically increase my pagecount and is one of daily pleasures.

My current apartment has never really felt like home. Although I have lived there for 9 months, I have disliked it from the beginning. Leaving is like packing up a campsite. Neighbors weren't interested in much interaction and I was not able to join or create a sense of community there. I will always think of home here as the apartment near the brewery on Genberal Stoletov Street, with the smells of stewed grains and the pine trees of the hills, the views of the Thracian Plains, and friendly neighbors like Baba Netka, Slavov and Lena. I left home months ago.

Paperwork, paying final bills and saying goodbye take up most of my time these days. I am trying to sell a few of my things, but think I'll end up giving most of it away. OK, my counterpart is shoo-ing me away from the computer for coffee.


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