This weekend has a plethora of events around the country and particularly in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. There's really too many to keep track but definitely check the Peace Corps Association website for detailed event information. Yours truly randomly won a ticket to attend the Promise of the Peace Corps Gala this Saturday and shortly after considering sitting on a bus for 5 hours from New York, decided it could be a great opportunity to meet some RPCVs outside of my Bulgaria circle. Let me know if you'll be attending the Gala or any other events this weekend! In that vein, a Bulgaria RPCV group will be meeting for dinner on Saturday, September 24th at Slaviya Cafe, an Eastern European restaurant. Email for more information. If you can't join in all the big events in DC, consider getting together with local RPCVs.

In other news, not sure if you received the email from the current BG Peace Corps Director, Mikel Herrington via Tedi Kamenova in the Sofia office, but I have pasted the letter below for your information. Surely, a bittersweet time for the office there. If you're still in contact with office staff, definitely show your support. And on that note, this is just one reason to support the Friends of Bulgaria website, to stay connected and make certain a legacy of Peace Corps Bulgaria stays alive even after the Peace Corps Office in Sofia closes. The email below:

Dear Peace Corps Bulgaria friends, former staff and RPCVs,
As you know, 2011 is a very special year for Peace Corps Bulgaria as we are celebrating two important anniversaries – The 50th anniversary of Peace Corps and the 20th anniversary of Peace Corps Bulgaria. This important year we also acknowledge and celebrate the last group of Peace Corps Volunteers to be assigned to Bulgaria. This legacy group arrived in March of this year and will complete their service in June 2013.

For the past two decades, we are proud to say that our collaboration has been extraordinarily successful with more than 1,300 Volunteers who have lived and worked in over 300 Bulgarian communities. Over these 20 years Bulgaria changed a lot and created solid foundations of the market economy and democratic society. We acknowledge the progress and success of Bulgaria and its ascension to the EU. Peace Corps is honored to have played a role in that success, working hand-in-hand with our Bulgarian partners.

After a careful analysis of this improvement and the relative position of Bulgaria to the rest of Peace Corps countries, a decision was made that in June 2013 Peace Corps will conclude its program in Bulgaria, grateful for the opportunity to have served Bulgaria for a total of 22 years.

We are announcing this decision with bitter-sweet feelings. On the one hand, it is an assessment of the positive impact of the hard work and enthusiasm of thousands of Volunteers and their local partners. On the other hand, we realize that it will leave some space in your hearts that will be difficult to fill.

We are committed to ensuring all of our programs will remain strong and will continue to serve the people and communities of Bulgaria through Peace Corps’ transition. It is important to fully utilize the remaining two years of our partnership – to work on the institutionalization of our successful projects, to focus on the skills transfer and experience sharing goals, and to celebrate our successes.

Closing the program is not the end of the Peace Corps connection, the strongest link being between Volunteers and their host families, colleagues and friends. These friendships will remain in the upcoming years and will be part of our legacy.

We will keep you informed and welcome any guidance to ensure a smooth transition and completion.

Last, but not least, please find enclosed the latest issue of the PCV Newsletter that will help you stay current with Peace Corps Bulgaria activities, events and issues.

Respectfully yours,
Mikel Herrington
Country Director
Peace Corps Bulgaria

web page:

Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.- Sargent Shriver

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