Things are going great
The Patron's Day show was a huge success!! All of the dancers rehearsed their butts off the two days before the show, and it surely paid off!! I only have two of the dances uploaded online, and you can watch them here. The first video is the dance I was in.....originally, I wasnt supposed to be in the dance, but the other boy dropped out, so I took his place. It turned out just fine : )
and here is my largest group's dance:
The sense of pride I felt for all of my dancers made me feel like a mother....I can't explain the feeling.....just seeing them smile and feel so good about their dances made the last 7 months I've spent here all worth it!! My Director also gave me a big shout-out at the beginning of the show, giving me a lot of praise....it was awesome!! At the end of the show, they announced their thanks to all of the teachers, one by one. I was the last person to get announced, and the round of applause was remarkable. I felt 100% fulfilled, proud, and overall heightened. All of the teachers gave me big hugs and very nice compliments. My Director was just GLOWING over how well it went....it was a perfect evening.
What made it all even better was having 11 PC volunteers come into town to share in the excitement. Even our PC Director, Stephen, made it into town. I was so excited to share such a great night with everyone!! After the show, we went to eat as a group. Later, a few of us decided to hit up the Irish Pub, b/c there is always a live band that plays on Thursday nights there. But really.....having your colleagues come out and show their support is something really special. I'm so thankful for them!!
The rest of my weekend could not have been better. I spent some good time with Anna, just walking around and shopping. My school got together to further celebrate the Patron's event, and they all flooded me with hugs, kisses, food, and very kind words. I really feel appreciated and like I'm actually part of the team now!! HOW GREAT!! Furthermore, the students are now much warmer towards me. I have become very close with some of my students, and I just LOVE them to death. Walking on the street, I now am always having someone say hello to me, and it really makes me smile from ear to ear. I feel like everyone in the city now knows me.....like they finally know what I do here....and I feel really positive about that. I'm still the weird blonde American, but now I'm the weird blonde American who brought something new to the city. : )
I got to see CJ and Elena this weekend too. We went to a grand re-opening of a bar here...it wasnt really our scene, so we left almost immediately. We ran into Bobi and Ivan, my two dancing guys, and convinced them to join us at the pub instead. Normally, the people who go to the pub are older than 18, but my kids fit in perfectly there. Here, it is totally acceptable for the older students to drink in bars. This concept took me forever to understand and accept, and now Im thankful to have them around on a weekend night. They dont abuse liquor like most American teenagers...a lot of them dont even drink in the bars!
Anyways!! We danced, sang, and had a great time. The night ended with a hip-hop dance party in my apartment!! We all sat out on my porch, b/c the weather was perfect for it. I showed them photos of my friends and family from back home, and we plotted big plans for the "dance crew" we are forming. I went to bed feeling so lucky to have such great people here.
Today, things seemed to finally slow down a bit. I got my laundry done and the weather has finally allowed me to hang it all up outside : ) I had an AMAZING lunch at Emilija's house with her family, and we were able to watch the entire Patron's Day show, b/c she bought the DVD of it. We were both so happy with how things worked out, so we spent the entire time bragging, haha!!
The only bad news is I think I'm getting sick. My throat started hurting real bad today, and my body feels dead. I made myself some tea and soup, but I know one of the volunteers from this week had strep throat, so I hope I didnt pick it up. I'm going to try and take it easier this week, and hopefully I can shake off whatever illness is brewing inside of me. I have one last thing to leave you all with, and that is a beautiful photo that Lilika shot of me. (yes, I have bangs now) ајде!!!!