Language Coffee in Sofia (Volume I)

After a successful Language Coffee event that we organised in Sandanski, the next step was to present the same idea to the people living in Sofia.

Since Language Coffee is BYF tradition, and we all follow traditions, it went without saying that the location was a part of that tradition, too. Therefore, this first volume of our Language Coffee was located in an awesomely artistic-looking place, in the bar of one of the well-known hostels in Sofia, the Art-Hostel, on November 12th.

The whole process in creating the Language Coffee took a lot of planning, and a lot of steps. From putting ideas on the table, browsing through them, trying to pick up the best and the most suitable ones; to using the blank papers stuck on the wall for brainstorming. while having regular meetings at the office of BYF; to writing the plan and the program for the event; to choosing the helpers, photographers, speakers; to creating the event on Facebook and advertising it; to visiting the language school Big Ben and talking to the principle, inviting them to join us; to buying all necessary things we needed to make our event more entertaining and welcoming; to setting up the date for the event with the Art Hostel Event Manager Yana Cekova;  to finally going to the bar of the hostel and preparing everything, with the help of the barmen working there. It was an adventure!

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Our regular meetings discussing Language Coffee
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Pres, our mentor, writing the plan on the paper

We did not expect so many people to join us. Even though the bar was filled with young people eager to meet new people, practice languages, and see what we had to offer, we managed to talk to some of them, welcoming them to our event. Thus, we found out that not only did we have our EVS volunteers supporting our event, but also there were Erasmus + exchange students from Spain, youngsters from high-schools in Sofia, young and older people living and working in Sofia, and many people coming from different towns of Bulgaria – just for our event! Our hearts were filled with joy and immense happiness.

Me and Aniol, the hosts of the event, opened this awesome event with a brief introduction in Bulgarian, in a theatrical manner. We thanked everyone for showing up at the event, bringing their positive vibes and lots of support.

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Maja and Aniol opening the event

Soon, Aniol and me invited one of the volunteers from Spain, called Damian, doing his EVS in the town of Tryanva, Bulgaria, to step forward. The main reason for this was his birthday. BYF organisation, alongside the Bulgarian National Agency, had provided a small gift for him.

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Damian showing one of his gifts – BYF t-shirt

The hosts asked the helpers, and the mentors, alongside the photographers forward, in front of the audience. Ina, Pres, Boyana, little Yana, Edyta and Daniel, said a few words about themselves and their connection to EVS and BYF, if any.

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Our helper Yana
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Mentors: Ina, Pres and Boyana
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Photographers: Edyta and Daniel

However, our main birthday was not Damian’s. It was the celebration of the 20 years of EVS program.

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The director of our BYF organisation – Emilia Marinova (left)

Thus, our hosts prepared a very brief, but interesting presentation about EVS for all those interested in volunteering. Aniol presented, while Yana and me walked among the crowd and presented them with candies. Forty of all the candies had small papers on them, which later we used to group people in two groups for the main game.
Only the lucky ones that picked up the candy with the paper taped on it, had a chance to play the game._dsc1150

The next game was a game in which the participants would come forward in front of the table with words connected to EVS. Their task was to find their home country on the list, and to translate one of the three words given, into their mother tongue. Lots of young people gave their contribution to our event in this way.

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What awaited our guests next, was a similar game, in which they have to pin-point their country on the map of Europe, and write the word ‘volunteer’ in their mother tongue, underneath the map.

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Last, but not the least, we played the game that everyone waited for. The lucky forty people from the crowd were divided in two groups, provided an envelope with the European Map cut in pieces. Their task was to assemble the map as soon as possible. The winner got the prize.

To the surprise of all the people at the event, both groups finished at exactly the same time, so we all shared the prize – the BYF cake.

We thanked everyone again for being a part of this awesome event, a part of the BYF tradition, with a nice group photo.

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For more info about the event, follow the link.

For more photos from the photos, follow the link.

 

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