Q: Hello Valentina! What’s your reason to come to Bulgaria?
A: I’m here thanks to a European Solidarity Corps’ project that gave me the chance to volunteer abroad.
Q: It’s your first time in the country? Why did you choose Varna and Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development?
A: Actually is not my first time in Bulgaria, I went to Sofia for a weekend two years ago. I didn’t really choose Varna it just happened that the project is based here but honestly I’m happy to live in a not too big seaside town. I did choose this NGO because I think that their main activities are various and really interesting.
Q: Did you consider different projects?
A: Yes I had another option, a project involving raising ecological awareness among children in Croatia. I choose this project because for me it’s the right mix between office work, that is mind work, and hand work.
Q: You haven’t been here for a long time but you’ve already been involved in some activities, tell me about your first impressions.
A: I arrived in Varna at 1am in the night and the next morning I was brought directly to the Eco Camp in Ezerets Village so I can say it has been such an excited initiation. I didn’t know anyone here so that one has been the best way to fill my first days.
Q: If you could go back in time would you choose this project again?
A: Yes sure, a week is definitely a too short period of time to change my mind. Maybe you can ask me again in one month!
Q: I’m buying you a washing machine so please think about it quickly! Okay, next question. What do you like more about Varna so far?
A: It’s full of cats along the streets!
Q: Which is the most strange thing you’ve seen here so far?
A: It’s definitely the habit of drinking rakia while eating. I mean, you drink it in the while you eat salad! In Italy grappa is a digestive that you drink after your meal. Anyway, I actually like your way, I even think it’s the best one.
Q: Which are your personal goals here?
A: I’m really keen to go deep into the Bulgarian and Balcan culture.
Q: Who are you? What did you study, which are your interests and what about your dreams?
A: I studied Political Sciences for the International Cooperation in Italy, for the first three years in Genova and for the next two years in Bologna. I have a Master Degree in Local and global development and I worked one year for Cospe Onlus, an italian NGO. Then I moved to New Zealand, working, travelling and volunteering around the country. There I’ve improoved my English language skills and my ability to communicate and to take care of myself. Now I’m here because I want to keep on challenging myself. Also, I really want to work in the no-profit sector and I dream to be able to make a difference in this wild world in which we live nowadays.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I’m trying to learn how to play ukulele recently. I bought it in New Zealand and I keep on bringing it around with me.
Q: What would you like to bring back with you when you’ll leave Bulgaria?
A: Definitely a lot of rakia. And probably a cat, or two.
Q: How did your family react to your decision to come here?
A: They are extremely happy that this time is not in the opposite of the world as New Zealand but only two hours by plane from Milan.
Q: So is your family planning to come to visit you?
A: My mum and her partner have already bought a flight ticket for the beginning of November. They are following me around the world every year to celebrate his birthday.
Q: So I have to be sure that you get the laundry machine before that date, poor me!! So, I only have one last question for you. Do they have rakia in New Zealand?
A: Unfortunately not. But they definitely should, I’ll let them know about that.