After three flights for me and five flights for Bessie, we finally landed on Bulgarian soil. We collected our six fairly large, very heavy boxes of instruments to donate, and met Steve and Brigitte. Steve is an American missionary from Minnesota, and Brigitte is a mom of four, two with Downs Syndrome, from Iowa. We drove through a section of Sofia, Bulgaria that was distinctly ‘communist.’ Large cement apartment buildings that are dilapidated stand 15 stories tall. One building reminded me of a pez dispenser- that’s how multi-colored the building was. Apartments are typically owned and not rented, so owners have the option of adding insulation to their apartment and then painting the exterior whatever color they choose.

Once Bessie and I took showers for the first time in what seemed like A VERY LONG TIME, I feel asleep, so I don’t know what Bessie did.

Before we left for dinner, we began to divide the plethora of instruments so as to create gift bags for the conference attendees.

Dinner was at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant called “Vecelo Selo” (that’s transliterated) meaning happy village. The food was delicious and plentiful! The entertainment was entertaining (see video on previous blog post). I enjoyed the evening immensely, but Valentina (my favorite Bulgarian) suggested that we leave the restaurant before 10pm because that’s when the entertainment starts dancing on the tables.

Bessie and I packed 60 gift bags when we returned to the hotel and went to bed well past 1:00 AM.