Thursday, 30 June 2011
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Dora has recently joined the group of "godmothers" and decided to be responsible for the school needs of Eveline and Verónica.
Eveline (left) and Verónica (right)
Mena has also got herself a "godmother" (Silvia), who will equally provide for her school needs. I will have Sílvia's photo downloaded as soon as I get it.
I couldn't be happier ... because with such a group of "godparents" we might be able to make a difference in the community of Calheta. I have already been noticing some huge differences, not only regarding the children's self esteem but the progress they have been making at school.
What a difference having a "godparent" makes !!! ...
I have just been sent a photo of Eduardo reading the card his "godmother" (Maria João) sent him recently and according to Sibylle, who has taken his photo, he was absolutely fascinated by it ...
I have also been sent a photo of the five girls who stopped over at Lisbon airport, after having participated in the Bern "Frauenlauf" on their way back to Cape Verde, with their mothers. The ladies came around to "thank" me (through Sibylle) for having been with their "girls" in Portugal and helped them with the airport formalities.
From left to right: Vânia, Eveline, Ertemisa, Ludmila and Anícia
A card ... a "gesture" ... and recognition on people's facial expressions ...
This is what life should be about ... "gestures" (gestures of affection and love for the others) ...
I have just been sent some photos taken to some of the girls of Calheta moments after having received the presents their "godmothers" sent for their birthdays (Carla and Leinira having been the exception, as they were given books Rosário together with her family and I sent for them respectively).
Marline wearing her birthday outfit and holding the extra birthday presents sent by her "godmother" Charlotte.
These may just be moments ... but they are certainly moments of happiness for both the girls and us all ... The happiness associated with the act of receiving is as almost important as the one of giving ...
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
The traditional wooden houses of Nessebar (impressive beyond any doubt) did contrast with the modern part of the city the guide insisted we should stroll along and which none of us seemed to have any particular interest on, once it resembled any European touristic seaside resort area.
Different views of traditional houses in the old city of Nessebar
Though the hotel facilities were the best we could have possibly expected ... we all seemed to miss the "genuine" Bulgaria we all had came for.
Different views from the hotel room
We travelled back westwards the following morning on our way to Kazanlak to visit a Tracian Tomb and be again immersed in the Bulgarian history ...
Monday, 27 June 2011
I shall soon be sending some birthday presents to the girls in Calheta, whose birthdays will be in late July, August and September. I have bee lucky, as Bd sport active director Beat shall be stoping over at Lisbon airport (on the 8th of July) before flying to Cape Verde, so I won't need to use the postal service this time.
The birthday presents for Ineida bought by me (left) and those for Mena bought on behalf of her "godmother" Silvia (right).
The birthday presents for Juliza bought on behalf of her "godmother" Isabel Mégre (left) and those for Claudina on behalf of her "godmother" Mafalda (right).
The birthday presents for Jussara bought on behalf of her "godmother" Cristina (left) and those for Eveline on behalf of het "godmother" Dora (right).
I am sure the girls will be thrilled with their presents, but so will the "godmothers" once they see their faces of happiness. Sibylle will once more take photos of the girls as they are handed the presents.
Note: the notebooks for Ineida, Juliza, Jussara and Eveline have been provided by Lurdes with the rings and bracelets for Claudina and Mena having been offered by Surama.
Our second day was spent travelling eastwards, so as to be able to visit Nessebar. I must confess I was impressed to see huge stretches of cultivated land, as well as farmers selling their vegetables and fruit on both sides of the road all the way there.
Often referred to in several books as being "the pearl of the Black Sea", Nessebar bears clear evidence of having been occupied by a wide variety of different civilizations (reinforced by historical accounts) and is said to be the town with the highest number of churches per capita.
We were shown quite a few of these old churches whilst wandering about the town, though we didn't visit the interior of any (which some of us felt might have been interesting). Amongst these were the 13th - 14th century Church of Christ Pantocrator, which was designed in late Byzantine cross-in-square style. Constructed from stones and brickwork (known as opus mixtum construction) it has amazing decorations in its exterior walls.
After Koprivtshitsa we headed towards Veliko Tarnovo, having stopped at Arbanassi's oldest temple, the Nativity Church, with St. John Baptist Chapel amazingly beautiful mural paintings (painted from 1597 to 1681), showing around 5,000 faces, which we were fortunate enough to see, though understandably not allowed to photograph.