Somebody else's shoes

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

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Flag of Bulgaria  , Sofia Region,
Friday, December 17, 2010

Today we say goodbye to Chrissy and Pete, but not before a final trip to Skravena Roma Gypsy Camp.  After our last visit we decided that we had to return with all Pete's juggling gear and put on a show.  Some of the children were at school but there were many in the community who were at home, so Pete duly got his bag of tricks out an proceeded to entertain the small but enthusiastic crowd, we even had some fire juggling in the snow.  Both mums and dads really enjoyed the entertainment and soon Pete was getting the children involved and showing them how to use the various bits of equipment; even one or two of the grown ups were persuaded to spin a plate.

As you can see from the pictures there was snow on the ground and it was really cold and yet the children have very little clothing; one child even had no shoes or socks at all, at least not until his older brother sent him to put his flipflops on.  Even though we were there for 30 minutes and it was so cold, the kids just wanted to stay and take part in all the fun despite their very insufficient apparel. As if he hadn't done enough Pete leaves juggling balls, spinning plates, a diablo and flower-stick for the children and then it was time to say goodbye and lets the kids get back to the relative warmth of thier houses.

Then it was a sad farewell to Chrissy and Pete as they left for home.  It seemed very strange to lose two valued team mates, but Beccy and Rich soldier on bravely - all the way to the lovely warm FSCI office to have a cup of coffee with Niki. We get all the tough tasks. Massive thanks to both Chrissy and Pete- we miss you already. Check out Pete's website at for an overview of his work.  Niki was now our wheelman for the afternoon and drives like a local: see the gap- be the gap. Nice.

Our last job of the day was to visit Animus women's refuge and deliver 350 Christmas boxes for women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence and trafficking.  The staff at Animus told us how valued the presents are and how much joy they bring to the women and children that receive them.  It's really good to bless this organisation with boxes even if it means lugging 30+ cases of Christmas boxes up 5 flights of lethal, slippery marble stairs!  Cuppa tea well earned we think.  

Tomorrow we head into Sofia and one of the tough Roma communities to distribute shoeboxes to children there. Should be good!

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