The hot spot.

Trip Start Jul 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 03, 2013

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Flag of Bulgaria  , Montana,
Monday, July 29, 2013

The first full day of the Football/House of Opportunity (HOP) project is over and we have 38 people here at the hotel now; yesterday the UK team arrived along with staff from FSCI and today the young people from all our HOP programmes joined us to make a full contingent of 38.

Our hotel could perhaps be described as 1* if you're of a generous disposition. After a meat paste on toast breakfast (made from yesterday’s leftover meatballs) the UK team and interpreters Bogi, Georgi and Toshko along with HOP resident Krasi made their way to Boychinovtsi Youth Prison for the first training/football session.

After a lengthy entrance procedure we were escorted to the "pitch" and after splitting the inmates into four squads began a warm-up (in 35C!) led by Chris, Angus and Fran. A series of drills and exercises followed and then we finished with a couple of games. The young men were very happy to see us and the deputy director of the prison told us they were very grateful for our visit. We left to big thumbs up all round and the general cry of “outré”; tomorrow. We’ll be at the jail from 09:00 tomorrow to beat the heat.

This afternoon we went to the local pool to keep cool and then we brought everybody together for an ice-breaking session. This included a time where everybody shared their expectations for the week. Making new friends featured highly and we hope that the HOP young people will be able to support each other as they move toward independence.

Unfortunately we can’t take pics at the prison so you’ll have to use your imagination; just picture a sun-blasted training yard with baked ground and listen out for Chris Garvey shouting “push forward, man on, drive”; I’m sure you can hear him from there...
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