Rila Monastery

OSI-Bulgaria (Kyustendil)

29 May 2018

Dating back to the 10th century, Rila Monastery is perhaps the most iconic site representing to Bulgarian's their very identity.  It's bucolic and remote environment belie it's important role in Bulgaria's history and the preservation of it's culture.  OSI sponsors and donors have provided the means for our Kyustendil youth to explore their culture and environment, something many of them truly grasp and all appreciate.  And of course they always love a day in the outdoors!

Our Day

A scenic two-hour drive took us through freshly-planted fields and then up the long winding forest road to Rila Monastery.  We spent an hour or so exploring the colourful monastery, wandering it's cobbled courtyard, and taking in it's spectacular position on the mountainside.  Afterwards, we boarded our bus and proceeded another 45 minutes up the winding road to Kirilova Polyana, a broad grassy meadow where we played games, danced, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

Acknowledgements

Our trip to Rila Monastery was due primariliy to the generosity of long-time OSI supporter and dear friend Kathleen Malony, as well as from each of the kids' individual sponsors.  Our trip is just the latest kindness that Kate has provided for OSI children over the course of many years.  Oh, and she's Yordanka's sponsor too :-)  Thanks Kate, for yet again providing a lifelong memory for our kids!  And thanks to our Kyustendil kids' sponsors too! 
And finally, thanks to Iva and the truly incredible home staff who coordinated all, accompanied the children, took care of every need, and made it so enjoyable for them!  They are truly an inspiration!
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