On a warm December day...

Trip Start Dec 09, 2010
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
House of Joshua, Skravena

Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Greetings from a near tropical Sofia. Well, 15C anyway. T-shirt weather really.

Day 1 of the Trussell Trust's 2010 Christmas box distribution trip sees half of the UK team safely at the House of Joshua after a stress free day (apart from the police pulling Rich over for a random inspection. That's right, random) in the skies and on the roads.  The afternoon was spent checking out our warehouse and getting to know Nikolai Zlatev (Niki), newest member of our Bulgarian staff.  The truck has arrived in Sofia and tomorrow promises to be another day of fun with heavy boxes full of Christmas presents. Excercise is a good thing.

At this point we should really introduce the members of our team so you know who is who. Starting with our indispenable Bulgaria team, we have: 

Miryana Georgieva (Mimi) - our project fixer and all round go-getting girl.  Mimi has been with the Trust since she was 16 when she first did some translation work for us during Summer Camp.  She now helps to run all our projects in Bulgaria and has recently been spending a lot of time on the phone with all the various organisations, community groups and institutions to which we will be delivering Christmas boxes.

Niki Zlatev - First things first, Happy Birthday Niki and welcome to your first Christmas box distribution!  Niki is married with two children and joined our Bulgaria team in September as stand-in Director of FSCI (Trussell Trust's official Bulgaria arm) whilst Tedy Koleva is on maternity leave (congratulations Tedy and George on the birth of baby Vincent!).  Niki is a keen musician and shares Rich's love of cheesy euro rock. Oh how the hours will fly by in the van...

Valya Stankovska - Regular project translator and national class taekwondo exponent, Valya will be lifting two cases of Christmas boxes at a time tomorrow! 

UK Team:

Beccy Lang - Donor Relations Co-ordinator for the Trussell Trust on her first trip to Bulgaria. Immmediately got off to a flying start by successfully ordering her own lunch in Bulgarian much to Rich's amazement, due to her perfect pronunciation. Even Mimi was impressed. Nearly.

Chrissy McAuley - Trussell Trust UK Charity Shops Manager, Chrissy will be joining us next week for a few days fun in the predicted snow, Chrissy is VERY excited by the prospect of her visit. Anyone got any lead weights?

Rich Parsons - TT UK Bulgaria Operations Manager (aka Uncle Bulgaria): charming, handsome, debonair and witty, and never allowed to write this blog... Rich is in charge of logistics and driving up bus lanes.

Pete Cole - Pete is the founder of Salt & Light Ministries and in a break from his usual TT Summer Camp activities he is joining us as we visit orphanages and will be bringing his juggling act with him. Now, where's that paraffin.? Great balls of fire!

For the next two weeks this dubious group will have the privilege, the pleasure and the hard work of ensuring that 5,000+ Christmas boxes all find happy homes. Check in tomorrow to see how many local traffic laws Rich has fallen foul of and whether or not when we open the door of the truck somebody will get injured by the resulting cascade of boxes...
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