Hello. my name is Kalda, I am from Georgia. My country is located exactly between Europe and Asia, and 20% of my country is occupied by Russia. In this article I want to talk about my 1-year experience in Bulgaria, where I was part of ESC, long term volunteering project “The Balkan Highway”.
It’s been one year since I became part of “Smokinya Foundation”. During this time I grew a lot in a professional as well as personal way. Exactly one year ago when I arrived I felt very welcomed and somehow in a very short time Plovdiv became my second home, where I always felt like home…
In “Smokinya” we had lot of changes, some volunteers left during this year and some new volunteers arrived, it was nice to meet all this amazing people and get to know them and their culture.
It was not easy to work during the pandemic, because of many restrictions and changes, with what we had to adapt and fit our activities, but we manage to do a lot of great work. Summer was very intense, we were running over 30 projects in different countries, we sent almost 100 Bulgarians in a different Erasmus+ activities. Also we had local – weekly and monthly events, where we hosted as Bulgarian as well as foreigner guest.
What I miss the most is the hospitality of the Bulgarians, which I can say, we have in common –with Georgia and Bulgaria; as well as the special atmosphere that will always take you back and yes, I will definitely come back.
Despite the pandemic I feel grateful and fulfilled that I had the opportunity to see and discover new beautiful places in different parts of Bulgaria as well as different countries, I visited 7 countries during this year, which was very exciting and full of adventures.
After my experience of living abroad and working with “Smokinya” I feel more self-confident, independent and mentally strong. So, I am ready to use my knowledge and start new life. Now it’s time to say goodbye to my second home and to all the people who I met here. It was a wonderful adventure and a great experience for me, full of challenges and surprises.