Osogovo Mountain & Ravda Seaside

OSI-Bulgaria (Kyustendil)

August 2016

Bulgaria is blessed with beautiful mountains and beautiful seaside, which our special-needs kids rarely have the opportunity to experience.  This year some caring donors have made this possible!  But as some of the kids had a preference, and while it's also difficult to take all of them at the same time, the staff had the brilliant idea to let each child choose, -and to take one group to the seaside and the other to the mountains.  For those children who had no preference, and for those with no concept of either the seaside or the mountains, the staff helped them decide with descriptions and photos.  The elder youth mostly chose the seaside, while the younger ones were more interested in the mountain scenery.

Osogovo Mountain

August 16-20
Osogovo Mountain rises west of Kyustendil, peaking on the border with Macedonia.  About half-way up the mountain, just 20km from Kyustendil, is "Trite Buki" ("Three Beech Trees") lodge, where 14 of our children spent 5 memorable days.  Leaving their home on one of the hottest days in August, they were dismayed to feel the temperature drop as their bus climbed up the mountain.  At Trite Buki, they spent their days on beautiful mountain walks, collecting flower bouquets, and riding horses; and their evenings playing football, singing and dancing, and sitting around the campfire.

Ravda Seaside

August 29 - September 4
Seven mostly elder youth traveled a long day and the breadth of Bulgaria to reach Ravda at the seaside where they lodged in cabanas right near the beach.  With great joy they spent their mornings playing in the water, their afternoons exploring the nearby sights, and the evenings dancing and singing.  A highlight day was their visit to the historical town of Nesebar nearby.

Acknowledgements

These two trips were provided in large part by OSI's dear friend and donor, Dr. Jasmine Nabi (USA)  We are rarely able to provide such substantial trips for these kids, and yet such trips are very much a cultural tradition in Bulgaria, -virtually every family spends a summer week in the mountains or at the seaside, enjoying the fruits their country has to offer.  So we are grateful for this recreational opportunity and cultural experience, and most of all once again for creating more fantastic memories for these deserving kids!  And as we all experience in our own lives, we likewise see a very different side to these kids when they are "free" of life's cares, enjoying their holiday.  Thank you Dr. Nabi!
...and thanks also to the incredible staff of the Kyustendil homes for super-human patience and kindness!
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