Meet new volunteer – Christine


Greetings! My name is Christine Trinh and I am from the United States. I got involved with Smokinya Foundation in order to connect with the local and greater community in Bulgaria and create meaningful connections.

My background is in medical-surgical nursing, which I have worked in for over four years. It is a rewarding career, but also mentally and physically demanding. At some point, I started to feel like I was just going through the motions of the day (wake up, eat, work, repeat). And with quarantine, the self-isolation set in deeper. I wasn’t sure what excited or motivated me anymore. I knew it was time for a change when I couldn’t confidently say that I was satisfied with my life.

I had visited Bulgaria before during trips with my partner who is native here and saw an opportunity with Smokinya. I read about their heuristic approach through “empowering a person to discover or learn something for themselves.” I wanted to take a step back, rediscover my passions and goals, and invest myself into something that would challenge me while connecting with others.

I had previous experience with organizing community-based initiatives and set up a meeting with Tisho, the director. Long story short, a few months later and I am here in Plovdiv. I will be supporting Smokinya’s daily operations and hope to incorporate my entrepreneurial interests with my healthcare experience and support educational projects.

So far, I am enjoying my time and excited to see what is in store. During my free time, I am indulging in my foodie desires. My motto in life is to always try something once. My past roster of unusual eats includes raw duck blood cake, grilled snake, roasted crickets, etc. The next few months will be an adventure of self-growth and leadership and if anything, I know I will have a great story to tell after.

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Meet new volunteer – Christine