Peshtera Summer 2015 was a service project in Peshtera, Bulgaria, during 19-26 June 2015. Our friends from GVF in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, came to Peshtera for the second year in a row.
This year the team took on the major project constructing an outdoor classroom at the Patriarch Evtimii School. This was a special request from the Principal of the school, who had dreamed for years of having an outdoor space where teachers could take their classes for a change of scene in good weather. She told us every year she proposed it for inclusion in the municipal budget, but it never made the final cut. We were glad the group came to make her wish come true, providing both manpower and funding to turn the dream of an outdoor classroom into reality for the children of Peshtera.
Peshtera Summer 2015 Construction Efforts
The focus of the work week was construction of an outdoor classroom at the Patriarch Evtimii School. Located close to the school entrance, the group cleared an area and installed the necessary furniture and equipment to make it a perfect place for classes to meet outdoors in pleasant weather.
The basic design included four picnic tables grouped together facing an innovative removable whiteboard holder designed for teacher use. The wooden holder allowed individual whiteboards to slide in and out so that they could be taken inside the school for safekeeping and protection from inclement weather. We left multiple whiteboards with the school.
The team built a gazebo at the end of the class complex where small groups could meet for discussion or to socialize outside of class hours.
With a lot of sweat and hard work, the whole construction project was finished in just five days. That was a tremendous job well done by the team!
Crafts for Kids at the Patriarch Evtimii School
While many of the volunteers concentrated on sawing, drilling, digging and painting, the rest of the group was equally engaged in crafts with kids inside the school building. The group brought with them a lot of supplies for jewelry making and other kinds of handicrafts.
Baseball Fun with Peshtera Summer 2015
The first volunteer team from GVF brought with them baseball equipment to share the great American pastime with kids in Peshtera, and this year there was considerable desire to pick up the sport once again. Every day the volunteers organized teams and played a pick up game or two. It was great to see how kids who just a year before were introduced to playing for the first time once again got out there, this time bigger, stronger, and eager to compete.
Of course there were many newcomers this year as well, and the kids with more experience helped them out by showing them how to grip and swing a bat, explaining the basics of base running, and warning them to fill holes in the field when feared sluggers came up to bat.
Leaving a Mark at the Patriarch Evtemii School
One thing is certain about Peshtera Summer 2015: This project left a visible mark in the schoolyard at the Patriarch Evtimii School. The outdoor classroom is an exciting, innovative addition to the school campus, and will contribute hopefully to a better educational environment for the local community.
More important, the time spent together with teachers and staff of the school has helped us to understand more about what we can do to help them in the future.
You Can Help Too!
Anyone can volunteer to take part in a project like Peshtera Summer 2015. Contact us for information about other Worker Bee Tours volunteer service opportunities or to find out how we can organize a meaningful volunteer trip for you and your group. You can browse our upcoming events online, or inquire about custom designed trips to meet your personal or group needs.