That's that then...
Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
12Trip End Dec 19, 2009
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As ever we started the day in a tussle with Sofia's seething traffic as we made our way to collect all the Christmas boxes from the warehouse. Fully loaded once again we made our way to the village of Novachene where we delivered some boxes to the kindergarten before making our way up the icy road to Lipnitsa, high up in the mountains. The village looked fantastic covered in snow and as we drove into the school yard the children came rushing out to greet us. It was really good to see Gregor, Radi, Krassi, Danni, Toshko, Netka and all the others that we had spent time with during summer camp. They were really pleased to see us as were the staff and especially the school director, our friend Mr Petkov
The children performed a show for us containing traditional Bulgarian songs and dancing before it was time for us to give out the Christmas shoeboxes. This is such a special time for the kids and we consider ourselves privileged to be able to distribute the presents here to our friends. The staff, who in common with all state paid workers in institutions like these are very low paid, all received boxes for themselves and their families too. After spending more time with the kids and having some lunch it was time for us to leave. This is always a very protracted process as various children surround us to give us hugs and try to prevent the van from leaving. Eventually we managed to extract ourselves from the mini mob and waved our goodbyes for another year.
The afternoon was finished at the House of Joshua with the young residents and staff
All too soon we had to leave and make our way back to Sofia and the warehouse for a final clear up. We have distributed 3,400 boxes over the last 10 days, leaving less than 500 in the warehouse. Tedy and Mimi will see that the remaining boxes are distributed to other children and families in need over the next couple of weeks but for the UK team the job is done and it is a time of quiet reflection in the near empty space that just last week was packed full of cases containing all those lovingly prepared gifts. Or time for some more daft photo’s.
This is our last blog entry for this years’ Christmas Box appeal distribution trip
We have seen so many smiles from those who received boxes and been thanked by so many others and it is humbling to think about how grateful the recipients of these boxes are and then compare this to our reactions to receiving, say, a pair of socks at Christmas!
I want to say thank you to Tedy, Mimi and Valya; we could not have done this without you all and you are a real joy to work with. Thanks also to Lizzie who is always calm and collected and ready with a smile to brighten the day and a special thanks to Sophia who has endured the last few months working with me: you have been a great help and I am so glad to have had your support.
Thanks again everybody. See you next year!
Bulgaria Operations Manager
The Trussell Trust