The Grand Opening

Today was the grand opening of the new At risk children’s center (direct translation from Bulgarian is “Center for work with children at risk”). This is the project that I’d help translate documents for. It was finance with funds from PHARE, a program to help countries who want to join the European Union meet its standards. All documents submitted to PHARA must be in either English or French (the official languages of the EU) and the local language.

I caught a ride with my co-worker and headed out. Outside was the re-elected mayor and oe of the vice-mayors. I briefly chatted with them before heading in.

The Exterior of the Center

Inside where several people. Most of whom I’d never seen before, some I recognized from city council meetings, and others I knew personally from working with or were on the dance team. The ceremony started out with an Eastern Orthodox priest blessing the center.

Priest

He recited verses from his pray book. He didn’t just say them, he sang them. And he did so very quickly. I could barely pickup what he was saying because I’d never heard Bulgarian spoken like this. The whole prayer was very ritualized; picking a crucifix up with certain verses, making the sign of the Cross, putting the crucifix down, putting flowers into holy water, taking them out, lighting candles in bread, making another sign of the Cross, all while chatting (after the whole ceremony I heard him chatting with several of the attendees. It was so strange hearing him talk!) After he finished, the mayor and the center’s director cut a ribbon, officially declaring the center open.

officially open!

They then both made a few remarks

Mayor and director

My charity football tournament in the Spring will help raise funds for the center.

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