An amazing journey towards self-awareness, skill acquisition and the majestic mountains of Dobrinishte!
It started really lukewarm, meaning that my expectations from this training course – my first one – were very low… How interesting can it be? Will I get to learn something new or will my days there be full of boredom and lack of motivation? Very positive mindset, I know! To be honest, I am quite new in the sector of non-formal education, NGOs and youth work, and as much as I enjoy this whole new reality and work field that I am still exploring, I was quite distrustful and pessimistic towards the project. Also, I am not very well-acquainted with digital tools and technological means; another reason why I was hesitating…
HOWEVER, once I stepped foot in Bulgaria, everything changed! I was positively surprised by the vibe of Sofia, its vivid ambience and its Balkan spirit with a lot of modern touches. A multi-cultural and modernized European hub with a great range of historic churches, museums and green areas, this is what Sofia is to my eye. The most astonishing part of it is undoubtedly the view from the city center over the imposing Mount Vitosha. I was absolutely amazed by it!
But the best part was yet to come… From the moment I arrived in Dobrinishte, I was greeted by trainers and Deiana with a great big smile and a warm welcome. The whole group of participants was composed of happy faces, enthusiastic personalities coming to the program with a strong eagerness to contribute, to open up and reveal themselves to others. I got carried away by this wishfulness of theirs to truthfully get to know each other and create meaningful bonds and so I decided to let my personal fears aside, overcome the natural shyness I have and dive into this colorful mix of different cultures, mentalities and ways of viewing this world. I never regretted it!
Maria’s, one of our trainers, approach was personable, sharp, dynamic and engaging! Nothing was too much trouble or too complicated for her. George, the other trainer, was more sentimental, soft, with a great sense of humor and a very energetic character! Both of them were nothing but fantastic and inspiring! Thanks to this training course, I learnt valuable skills and I discovered things about myself that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. With the course content, the pace of it and the experience gained during the course activities I found out I was capable of more than I dreamed of. Previously, I would immediately become anxious at the thought of having to stand up in front of people and give a presentation. Now, I am in the process of learning to enjoy it! A huge thanks to everyone involved in this wonderful project!
Evanthia Gkouma, Greece