It's interesting how much your perspective will change on things when they are taken away for a time, and you have to fight to get them back. My first few months in Bulgaria, I struggled with finding my drive and passion to do my job here. I prayed for a clear vision on my purpose here. Just when I found my confidence and footing in my role as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with intense racial segregation, I found myself on an airplane back to the United States with a badly broken leg, facing months of grim healing reports from my doctor.
For a long time, I struggled to see the purpose in my accident. I was bitter at God for taking something I loved away from me (and doing it in a rather painful fashion!). It wasn't until months later that I learned that he took my dream away only to push me to fight for it, and earn it back, so that I had more of an ownership in my experiences. The perspective I received after this whole ordeal has better equipped me to serve these kids, be an advocate for them, and fight for their own plight in life, while pushing forward in my own.
This summer, Association Svetlina in Samokov will be holding our annual summer camp at the Black Sea in Kiten, Bulgaria. Many of you back home and around the world have asked how you can support me in my mission here, and I would invite you to check out this website giving an overview of our camp mission, and consider being a part of our quest to unify Roma youth with their Bulgarian peers. Most of these children have never seen the sea (and may never have the chance again), but the location also provides the perfect neutral territory to facilitate trust and understanding among the participants.
Please check out our website: http://sn.im/SummerOfDreams
And let me know if you have any questions or you would like to know about our plans!
In advance, and on behalf of my colleagues and some amazing kids here in Samokov, THANK YOU!