Before my trip to the “eco-festival”, I felt nervous, coming to an EVS project for the first time with new people you didn’t know before and visiting a new country. Coming from Sweden to the other side of Europe always creates encouragement such as linguistics. Before my trip to Bulgaria, I had little knowledge about the nation and the people there. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised that the people in Bulgaria are very nice and talkative to our treatment. Although we did not speak the same language or English, the Bulgarians tried to come to us and have a conversation. For example, when I visited a football match in Sofia (Cska Sofia against Ludogorets in the Super Cup), a person came, who saw that we were from abroad, and was happy that we visited the match. Even if the person had difficulty with English, he was still happy to have a conversation with us. We talked about where we came from and what we were doing in Bulgaria so he could tell the supporter club he was a part of. Another person came by bike when we were going out and wanted to discuss our work on the projects. He talked about how he had seen us in local articles about the projects and was very positive about our work. Often people come to us willingly to talk. I feel very welcomed by people in Kazanlak and around Bulgaria. I’m glad I came here.
The first thing that came to mind when I came to Bulgaria was simplicity. That the people here live a completely different life compared to where I come from. Here it feels like the requirements and expectations are not so high, which feels like a nice thing. The need for a luxury life is minimal here. At home in Sweden, there is an expectation during a journey to luxury. Living in a guesthouse as we lived during the projects with not many assets taught me to be able to appreciate things more. Difficulties such as power outages and water shortages give you a new perspective on thinking. When I had phone calls with family and friends, I said that “not many people I know would be able to stay here for a day in the guesthouse.” Living in the guesthouse and Kazanlak for 4 weeks has taught me to appreciate things more and to live under other conditions. Which I will take with me for the rest of my life.