Bulgaria and me - Bruna

Bulgaria and me - Bruna
A tiny step is still a step

Often, people see fashion as a superficial and quite restrictive way of dressing full of codes one must follow and faux pas one must avoid. Not gonna lie, this is true. But these codes are your own, not others’. Fashion is all about how you express yourself. Yeah…I know, that sounds like a Madonna song.
Why am I talking about fashion? Well, because I think clothes represent me. They know me, they own me and vice versa. Clothes are my horoscope sign. It is not about what I want to show or how I want to be seen, but what I want to say. This flamboyant top I am wearing at the moment is one of these multiple narratives entangled in my personal story. And I like jumping from one to another ‘cause I have a giant wardrobe and a vast history (but I guess you got the metaphor!).
Bulgaria is not a top you can put on and take off as you wish, though. Bulgaria is this tiny fashion store at the corner of a street one may feel to skip to go straight to Zara. Yet, I stopped by this little store. And when I entered it, I discovered a true Ali Baba’s cave. All shiny and glittery, provided you dare to push the door.
I flied from Portugal and arrived on a sunny afternoon. I met with my flat mate and the other volunteers. I remember I was chatting a lot, putting on a big smile. Back then, I wanted to make a difference. I was full of energy and enthusiasm.
I remember our first night out in Sofia. We went to impro theater (I played a girl whose secret lover was a potato ! #truestory), then headed to the center for couple of drinks before ending up in front of the Cathedral Saint Aleksandar Nevski, happily and perhaps drunkenly taking pictures of ourselves. As my fellow volunteers would soon discover, I indeed have a strong taste for red wine. But I must tell you: nothing beats Porto wine!
School started, so did our volunteering experience for Can You. I was assigned for some schools for which I would be giving some conversational classes with young kids. Suddenly, everything got super intense. It was challenging.
Kids were amazing. I mean…truly amazing. For them, I was happy to commute. And as soon as I would see their faces, I would forget about my tiredness. Because…yeah…they worth it (no, this blog entry is not sponsored by L’Oréal, ah ah!). A typical class would include us listening to our favorite music and sharing our feelings about pop culture. My heart swelled with love when a little girl told me she was a huge fan of Harry Style!!!
My personal project involved organizing a fashion show for the kids to teach them the importance of inclusivity and body positivity. These are the most wonderful messages you can transmit to these young souls who are so close to their teenage years. As we all know, these years are particularly difficult.
Can you association was incredibly supportive and I thanked them for that. I also would like to thank my fellow volunteers who were kind, understanding and patient with me.
Again, I know. This sounds like an Academy Award Speech an actress would give with teary eyes. My eyes are teary but I am not an actress.
What this experience taught me overall is that a tiny step is still a step. I put all my heart, my faith and my energy in what I did. I loved every minute of my stay in Bulgaria.
Fall 2020

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