When to Not Tell the Weather What to Do

(The spoilers:)

Fanka and I
the crew

Wednesday we met in the center of town around 8:15, heading out around 8:30 for a trash clean up a half mile outside of town. It was a good solid half day of work, though it was somewhat exhausting. 12 of us picked up and hauled away some 80 large trash bags from the drop-off off the side of the road.

I think we made a dent in the total amount of trash but the general experience was that when someone would pull a plastic bottle or something else half-stuck in the ground, up and out, they’d uncover still more trash, deeper in the topsoil.

We were cleaning up this plot of land because the mayor is responsible for cleaning it up by law since it was reported while he was in office, even though the trash could be, and is reportedly, from years before he was elected.

People have been dumping their trash off the side of the road for decades. And we aren’t talking about candy wrappers, no we’re talking about large things, parts of beds, gallon water jugs, whole bags of trash. It’s been used as an actual trash dump. It’s disappointing and frustrating to say the least. What’s more, while we were working, some guys on the clean-up crew were actually working to bury some of the trash so it wouldn’t be visible, because the whole purpose of the clean-up was to remove the trash so he wouldn’t have to pay the fine he’s legally on the hook for.

Ideally this would be an all volunteer event (probably most of the people there were on the social-jobs program), with the mayor leading the way toward volunteerism and community service. It would be planned in advanced and attention would have been paid to inspiring and mobilizing people. Instead it was totally last minute, haphazard and devoid of narrative or ascribed meaning.

There are good things though, the work did get done. There is that much less trash sitting in a forest in Bulgaria now and additionally, those who took part were able to see how much we could accomplish in such a little amount of time – an important lesson and victory as well.

We were all set to go out again on Thursday and then…

Thwarted by the weather

As you can see from the first two pictures at the top on Wednesday there was no snow on the ground and it was a pretty clear day – even warm out. Everyone had been saying, “it’s going to rain by lunch and we’ll have to stop working.” I told them “I’ve decided it’s not going to rain today so we can work more.” They laughed and it ended up being true, but then it appears there was a greater cost inherent in that decision.

I will now add, “either rain today or snow tomorrow,” to my ever growing list of life’s trade-offs, and I’ll try and be more weary of telling the weather what to do lest I get my self into another Faustian deal again.


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