Today was an epic day. It was not only a day of teaching, but also exploring the town of Stara Zagora, and also getting an insight to Bulgarian culture with traditional Bulgarian dancing.
Kicking off the day bright and early the youth workers took us on a brief tour and treasure hunt of Stara Zagora. We were all very shocked to see the depth in culture only a few streets away from us. We were given an image of the amphitheatre we had to find and a list of questions that we had to answer via the people around the town (luckily getting the help from the translators as we’re still not fully fluent in Bulgarian). It was great to see the rich heritage combined with people’s enthusiasm for sharing the town’s culture and the brief information about it from the head of education in Stara Zagora.
Getting use to the routine we got back to the youth centre, excited to teach the buzzing children who were eager to start the day. From it being the third day in of teaching them it was really nice to see the children still raring to go, eager to learn and enjoy themselves. The scorching sun didn’t seem to discourage them from having a great time outside, enthusiastic as ever. It couldn’t have been made more clear that the children were having fun as other children from around the park came to join in with the games we were playing, just as happy as the rest.
Going back inside all the groups coped well the changing dynamics and lively children as new additions were made to the group. Individually from our group we gained 5 new children so it stretched our age range from 9-13 year olds. It only confirmed our liking for the children as they welcomed new people to the group and were willing to make new friends. Today really touched our hearts as we learnt more about them in the activity based around our theme of the week, seasons. We were exploring their culture of Christmas when one asked whether they could write up their Christmas wishes. We were surprised with some of the responses and were touched by sincerity shown by some of the children. With responses like “peace in the world” and most touchingly a wish to “make a lot of new friends”. This gave us a whole new perspective on the children we were teaching with finding out what they really cared about. Other groups enjoyed activities such as making animals out of plasticine and even complex algebra!
In the afternoon we were treated to a dance lesson of learning the traditional Bulgarian folk dance. This gave us a new burst of energy at the end of the long day and kept us laughing, as we were all gradually trying to the steps right to the music.
After having dinner we dressed up as smartly as we could and headed off to the jazz concert. We were blown away by the amphitheatre at night and by the vast number of talented musicians on stage. With the exception of Hannah confidently clapping in a pause in the music, we fitted in well. The concert lasted for just over an hour and it seemed that everybody enjoyed it and was a fantastic way to finish the jam-packed day. We headed back to the hotel stuffing our faces with ice cream, eager to get back to our beds to sleep after the amazing activities of a very full day.
We’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on, Chiara and Charlotte X