Original Article by Svilena Velcheva
“Is there anyone?” The hoarse male voice brings me back to reality. Look around. We are nowhere, there are only fields around.
The small intercity bus stopped at the side of the main road. “Where we are?” a man in the back seat asks shyly. “Ezerets,” said the driver. He jumped as if burned. He nearly missed his stop.
Time from Varna to Ezerets has passed imperceptibly. Approximately 2 hours drive with a 15 minute stop in Kavarna. The direct bus from Varna to Granichar, stopping in the village of Ezerets, runs only on Saturdays and Sundays. Besides, however, most travelers go mainly to Albena, Kavarna or Shabla.
I see a sign at the fork, it says “Wild Duck” – one of the first hotel complexes in the village. It’s empty. Just a few minutes later, to the right of the road, I see a hotel, a swimming pool, and tourists drinking their morning coffee under umbrellas. The noise of the children. I pass one of the newest leisure spots in Ezerets to reach the junction “To the sea”.
I pass and continue to the only shop in the town, which will soon close for the autumn-winter holidays. However, there is still life inside. Next there is the social center. A blackboard with the chalk inscription “I am from the village” hangs next to its door.
I keep going straight. The road splits in two. After a brief telephone consultation, I take a left. At the next crossroads I follow a decorative wooden sign “Honey”. Prove I’m on 16th Street, which is in the right direction. The apiary is in the home of Ellen Sabatini – a French woman who arrived as a volunteer in our country some time ago and who started a family in Ezerets. She is now the general secretary of the community center and one of the drivers for the development of the village as a youth, ecological and tourist center. At the end of “16th” street, after the left turn, on “17th” street, is the start of “Ecocenter Ezerets” – the end point of my journey. Here ends the strange timelessness that surrounds you from the quiet and somewhat lonely narrow and dusty country lanes. Because here begins the buzz of people busy doing something. It looks like a beehive.
THE ECOLOGICAL CENTER
A boy and a girl have their backs bent over the grass-covered wire fence. Like artists, they grab brushes and paint. But not paintings, but old wooden windows, the kind that some remember from grandmothers’ houses – with many small windows. They colour, they don’t paint, because their brushes are for the canvas and the colours are for the rainbow.
This colourful window will soon become a photo frame for beach holidaymakers. And the natural landscape will serve as a backdrop for shooting – to the sea or the forest, as you like. Next to the window there will be two snowboard benches, which were made in the “hive” earlier. In this unconventional recreation area there is also a library made from an old refrigerator found during the beach cleaning.
“Here you do everything that comes from within. You are free to do different things,” says Krassimira, who came in Ezerets for the first time this summer. He comes here with the idea of escaping the city. “You get up in Varna, have a quick coffee and your homework calls you. You stay in front of the computer all day. From commitment to commitment, until your efficiency drops completely,” says the woman over 40 who runs her own business. . When she discovered Ezerets, she said to herself, “This is the place.”
“At this age we look for the connection with nature and the way to recharge, because we know how much the city separates us from it,” said Krassimira. According to her, everyone can feel good in the eco center, regardless of their age and profession. “A person who came here is of the same blood type: she loves nature, simple things and thinks more globally about the world.” She realizes that she is responsible for her for what she leaves behind.
AN (NOT) ORDINARY DAY
Unlike Krassimira, Hristo arrives at the Ezerets eco-center for the third consecutive year. “I really like the place itself. The way of life – in a tent, no TV, no phone and internet. I leave the phone aside and don’t use it, and that makes me feel good. I’m glad I can do something good here, to give something of myself “. Hristo Vassilev shares the reasons that push him to return again and again. If you are wondering how a day at Ezerets eco-camp goes, he will simply tell you:
“You wake up in the tent between 7.30 and 8. Someone is already up. They talk, someone makes coffee, someone has breakfast. You brush your teeth. You sit down. You drink coffee. While you are having breakfast, You talk about what work you can do by noon. Then you work a little. Someone is having lunch. You discuss various topics at the table. Avoid the political ones so they don’t get too hot. Then you go down to the amazing Ezerets beach, swim, sunbathe, talk, go back to camp and work until dinner time.
There are always local products on the table. Campers love Bai Dimo’s vegetables which also has a local fish farm. And his fish is mmmmm …, mostly cooked in the earth oven.
This summer, the furniture of the eco-center is enriched with an old log bench with the inscription “Eco-campo” carved. Christiana, agronomist and sommelier, works in wood carving, but here she too discovers new talents. Because in this place everything finds its usefulness. The bark of the trunk supports the fire for the shin, which campers eat for dinner. The long-awaited meal took place in the late hours of last night and acquired the legendary name “Jolan Morning”. We will talk about him, if not until the next camp, at least until the end of those four days that fly away so fast.
Hristo is a construction worker in Germany and it is no coincidence that you will often see him devote himself to construction in the eco-center. This year he is preparing the first layer of plaster for a low wall for sunbathing. For the material mix clay, sand and straw in a ratio of 1: 2: 1. However, before application, the walls must be well moistened and the cracks must be plugged. After the first layer, another fine plaster is made and the sand is sifted very finely, explains Ilian Iliev, who is the heart of the eco-building and the organizer of the eco-field. Petko Kovachev, who comes from Sofia to share the non-standard ecological space, also participates in the preparation of the lime.
OF A BREED
“I like such wild places where you forget about the telephone, the Internet, even the mirror. You have nowhere to see what you look like!” Says Desislava, also in Ezerets for the first time. She likes the “cool” people here. Here you Learn things that you could hardly learn in your daily life about you in Varna. “For example, how to make a trowel. How? -Wood and with many cuts and chips. Or how to make plaster with clay and straw. She says she feels more gratified here.” In Varna I have the feeling that I am wasting my time. When you get up, you are tired. And here – you work and you are not. “She’s surprised the freshman from Medical College and she plans to come back next year, even for two shifts.
“In Varna I usually spend many hours on the phone and computer while here I don’t. I don’t even know what percentage of my phone’s battery is because I don’t use it. I probably won’t need to recharge it for the whole camp. So far I don’t. it happened “. Ivan, a student of the Varna Medical University, smiles. Here I mainly deal with carpentry. He’s helping to create a log bench and sand down the windows, which will be an eye-catcher for beach photos.
In addition to eco-construction, this summer campers have the opportunity to learn about climate change for the first time by testing the climate simulator translated by Apostol Penkov from Varna. They calculate by how many degrees the earth’s average temperature will rise in 2100, changing the performance of various companies around the world. “Any change in the settings corresponds to the increase in temperature. The positive side is that we received several percentage points less than the specialists expected. The optimism was visible,” says Mladen, another regular participant in the eco-camps of Ezerets.
Some people from the “hive” fly to the beach to install the snowboard benches, the photo frame made from old windows and the bookcase built from a discarded refrigerator. The field calms down. Ilian takes the list of products for dinner and heads to Shabla, and Christiana begins to think about starting the fire. As my grandmother would say: “Ikindia is …”.
Another day she flies away from the eco-field – laborious and fruitful, full of love and a sense of satisfaction – as life should always be.
This material was created with the financial support of the European Union within the project Climate action by European citizens delivers for developmentCSO-LA / 2018 / 160048-1 / 23. The sole responsibility for the content lies with the organizers and under no circumstances can it be considered as reflecting the official opinion of the European Union.