In parts of Bulgaria, people are still trying to come to terms with devastating weather conditions. It has been a catastrophic year. Apart from spiralling temperatures higher than what we experienced here in the UK, there have been destructive floods and chronic rainfall. Roads flooded, mud slides, rock falls, damaged houses, drowned livestock and even people lost in the overflow of water.
One week after I departed from a mountainous region in Bulgaria, the town I had visited was totally cut off by thick mud and falling rock from the mountains. Storms were often accompanied not by hailstones, but hail balls the size of chicken eggs. Cars were damaged and crops completely destroyed resulting in food prices shooting up. The unnatural weather conditions affected projects in the small town of Chirpan where we have our school and feeding centre for the elderly and children.
During these catastrophic weather conditions, we realised the value of our feeding programme. Every week, over 30 poor, ghetto children in our school receive meat with bread, butter, juice and sometimes cheese patties. I prize and value the moving experience of seeing these children gathering to receive their portion of food. Even in the most miserable conditions they have glowing smiles on their faces. I wish you could see them. Unlike children in our own country, they have no comparisons, no choices to choose from. They just happily take what they are given. This is amazing when one considers the background they come from.