In July, We all had some things outside of the project. Also, it was the last month of our beloved Mája, who went away the second of August and left us in misery.
At the first weekend, there was the knife- festival, where blacksmiths from all over the country came and exchanged at the museum. For this weekend, we were showing some presence in the museum and selling several foods from the café.
From the 4. to the 9. of July, we were coinsidently all away and coinsidently all somewhere else:
Mája went to a church camp where she looked after children from 9 to 14 years old. The only photo I saw from it actually was on a cup she received as “thank you” for her help.
Hugo was invited to a “Midterm-Training” in Burgas, where he and other volunteers were resembled by the ESC to share their experiences and establish friendships.
I went to the “On-Arrival-Meeting” in Sofia where there was also a “Midterm-meeting” nearby.
The “On-Arrival-training” was insane, it was a lot more action than I am used to, especially when you attend the inoffical evening program and get a drink with the others somewhere. I met amazing people there and I hope, a lot of them will visit me soon! I really loved this opportunity of ESC and since it was in a 5-star-hotel, I was able to experience another side of Bulgaria as well. Without it, I probably wouldn’t even see a hotel in Bulgaria as well because, well…
It seems like we are more into hiking. After this amazing On-arrival and after a weekend at the flat of great volunteers which I actually just met five days earlier, Hugo, Mája and me were meeting in Sofia to take the public transport to Rila. Rila, one of the most interesting and amazing places in whole Bulgaria, was supposed to be our last trip all together before Mája leaves. For me, a beginner in hiking, it was the living hell, but at the same time, I was astouned and impressed by what my body was able to achieve when I had a motivation to push it to the limits. Of course, aside from the walking and the exhaustion, Rila was more like heaven:
Not only was it beautiful and the sight was unbelievable, we also always found nice people to talk to, nice places to sleep and even a shower once! I was always sleeping like a baby due to the energy I needed to invest in walking and I was happy and pround on what we did after every day. On friday morning at 4 o’clock, I was returning to Shipka again, whilst Hugo and Mája were staying in Sofia to attend a bazar for our project. They sold handcrafted works from the region to enhance the popularity of and encourage traditional or not so traditional local artists.
Of course, aside of this, we also helped in the Museum, in Chitalishte, in the school and we maintained the garden, which is bursting with fruits and vegetables. Hugo is really proud on his first tomato, the cucumbers, the potatoes, the beans and the zuccinis. For me, a highlight were the early figs we took in mid-July. We also got some mirabelles from Ivanka, a nice friend of ours who was teaching us to bake cookies in the third week. My family were doing holidays in Buglaria for this time, so I was also occupied with this. If you’re looking for a good restaurant near Shipka (well, two hours with the bike, 15 to 20 minutes by car), I would suggest Svetiloto (светилото ), it’s an ethnographical compex with an amazing kittchen inside.
In the end of the month, we did a bonfire for Mája, who was leaving us. We invited the other volunteers from Shipka as well and in the end, we got like 3 hours of sleep that two days. With this sad and heartbreaking moment, the last week of July faded away. Now, Hugo and me are the only volunteers under Tanyas control.