February, 2016 marks my 5 month in United States of America as an Atlas Corps fellow serving at Community Options Inc. Interestingly the word Community is not just included in my host org’s name but I have been listening a lot here in the U.S about “community development”. Supporting your own community is very important everywhere. If every person makes a small effort to change or improve the community and surrounding environment … combining these small efforts can one day make this world a better place. Thinking about this gave me a flashback on my life in Bulgaria. I lived in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria for 7 years and I was born and raised in Troyan, my home town. There are many social activists around the world who support and invest in their communities, hometowns and society and I would also love to contribute in the development of my town – because I believe that true change comes from home.
Here are a few words about Troyan. It is located in Central Bulgaria, in the outskirts of the longest mountain Stara Planina also known as Balkan Mountains. In fact… my home town is somehow similar to Princeton, NJ (my host town) where I live and serve now, with the exception that Troyan is hidden in the mountains and we don’t have a worldwide famous university there. Both towns are nice and green, quiet and peaceful.
During the last years of Ottoman rule (1396-1878) Troyan was place for revolution committees and gatherings.
You are welcome to my hometown Troyan where you can visit Troyan Monastery & a lot of archaeological and historical sites, see this traditional Troyan handicraft and pottery and try the famous plumb alcoholic drink called Rakia (like brandy).
I encourage people to read or look at some pictures of their home places, to remember and also find a way to support and improve them.