Week 5!

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April 19th 2011
Published: April 19th 2011
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[youtube=XLpzvZIpjAs][youtube=-GLs8RCFbGM]Hi All!

Had another fantastic (but roller coaster of a) week...
The change of plans on Monday meant that Mum and Josh were now coming to Sofia which was great to look forward to at such short notice.

Monday - Did the language course in the morning and then went to the Pink House in the afternoon. Had a bit of a gathering in the evening with some of the erasmus students and played hide and seek in our mansion of a house. It was good fu 😊
Tuesday - We got up early to go to the Mental Health Centre to so our weekly group exploring the individuals lives (using the Kawa model for all you OT's reading this).It was more successful than we expected and were very impressed with the results. Chilled out in the evening and watched some Glee with Em and Claire.
Wednesday - Went to the childrens home all day and had the most successful day so far. We took the children to the park in the morning as it was such a lovely day. I then took one of the children into town to get some photographs developed which was great fun seeing them all out and about, exploring a new environment. In the afternoon we went to the large supermarket to get some supplies and to spend some of the money raised by our sponsored swim on games, toys and fruit for the children. Managed to get soe much spending just £30. Payed for the rest of Istanbul in the afternoon so that is all sorted now - cant wait! In the evening we went to Karaoke again and sung a variety of songs. Its such a good laugh there and everyone we know goes.
Thursday - Language course again and I can read Bulgarian and also write in the cyrillic alphabet! We had to do a dictation test which was very difficult, writing 'My name is Rachel. I am a student from England. I speak English. There are people from Spain, Romania and Turkey in my class. We are good friends.'
Not sure how I did - but it looked impressive so Im happy! Met our educator in the afternoon and went to the 'special school' for the first time to assess the need for an OT intervention there. We entered the room the 10 children were in and they were all playing on computer games. These kids stay at school all day even after school closes as their parents cant pick them up till later in the afternoon - so it's like an afterschool club where the entertainment (up until the moment we walked in) was playing on shooting games on the PC!! All the children, aged about 8-12 were lovely, spoke a little English, and were pretty typical children - their only reason for being in a 'special school' being that they were 'naughty'!We played loads of games with them, with balloons and parashutes and had a lovely afternoon. They were so chatty, speaking English and Bulgarian we managed to have a comversation and were very impressed I had seen David Beckham play at Manchester United (back in 2004!)
Friday - Went to the childrens home again today and had the most productive day. We had origionally planned to have a training day today with all the staff however this had not been properly arranged by the other staff so is due to take place some time next week. We did however, use our time wisely, sis 1:1 sessions with our kids and did some music and gross motor groups, taking the children to play in the garden and explore outside. In the afternoon we did a sensory snack time with a variety of fruit which was a great success and very funny - the children rarely get fruit so to see thier faces when biting into an orange or a mango was hilarious as they are not used to such sweet things. Hopeing to introduce this weekly to promote healthy eating and to also allow the children to explore their food in a fun way. Went out for tea in the evening with Emily, Claire, Michel and Korde to a traditional Bulgarian restaurant - we had meat served on a sword, covered in flaming Rakia - it was fantastic!
Saturday - Got the bus to Sofia to meet Mamma and Brother Huss! Wes very excited to see them. The journey through the mountains was lovely - the odd village or town in the distance, the villagers all outside thier homes farming or doing manual work, so calm and relaxed. Terracotta roofs scattered across the landscape, horse and carts, misty mountains on the horizon, small agricultural farms..... ipod in ears, twix in hands and smile on my face 😊 - Did some shopping in Sofia when I arrived and met mum and josh at the airport at 12ish at the airport.
Sunday- Took mum and Josh on a tour of Sofia - checking out the buildings and historical churches. Enjoyed a beer in the (wish i could say sun...) cold... and had a lovely day together. We went to a restaurant in the evening to try traditional bulgarian food (teratar, mish mash, rakia) and taught mum and josh some of the language. Had a loely evening, filled with giggles and card games 😊
Monday - Decided to go on an adventure today to experience an alternative bulgaria (as Sofia is quite western compared to the rest).... so we got a 2 hour bus through the hills and across the valleys to Plovdiv, the second largest city in bulgaria. Had another nice day together in the (...again i wish i could say sunshine) cold and did some shopping and saw some historical sites. Had an italian for tea (mmmm) then had an interesting bulgarian dessert called 'Rachel' for pudding. It was pumpkin and honey - very odd, but nice (bit like me ! :P) and got the bus back in the evening, arriving back at our hotel about 11pm.
Tuesday - Woke at 8 and left the hotel fo 9 to get some breakfast and get mum and josh to the airport and me on my bus back to Ruse. Had a long journey back, finding out once I got to Ruse, that Mum and Josh were still in the airport and were delayed by about 6 hours!!! Hope they get home ok!

Had a great week - it's been nice to see the family and am ready to enjoy the second half of my placement!

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