This weekend I went to the small village Gela, in the Rodope Mountains in Bulgaria. There was a bagpipe festival. All good.
At the top of the hill however was a small chapel. I am not religious so I rarely go in, but this past week a member of my extended family passed out, and I decided to light a candle. When I went, this whiteboard attracted my attention:
Basically, on the left it lists all the people that helped the renovation and how many days they worked. On the right are all the people and companies/institutions that donated money and the respective amounts.
Looking at this, you immediately get an incredible sense of community, drive to make it, creativity in organizing it.
It is exactly what my project www.touchsofia.bg is meant to facilitate online – finding people with common interest and donating their time, energy and money towards achieving a goal.
I asked around about this story and it turned out, the man behind it was right next to me, so I happily stole a few minutes from his time and got the following story:
His name is Nikola Beevski [Никола Беевски]. Here is an image of him in the chapel, that I stole from his portfolio page:
His dad and him decided to renovate this chapel named “st. Ilia” [св. Илия]. There was no one to paint it and draw all the saints on the walls, so Nikola taught himself for 3 years how to do that. He read every book from every library from around on how to draw saints on church walls and icons. During the 6 years of drawing (before that was full renovation, foundations, roof etc) he would check the paint quality by testing it on weather conditions. If he wasn’t satisfied, he would ditch the crappy paint and get another one. He drew and redrew everything until he was happy with the results. Eventually it was done. Wonderful, pretty. I asked him, “Do the people around know about it?”, “Yes, all the villages and cities around know about St. Ilia”
I thought there was something extraordinary in this one man setting on a goal with no knowledge, competences, or money and achieving this full-scale renovation of a Chapel.
I mentioned to him that I was doing a web project that aims just at that – organize volunteer work and money to get a job done. I am not sure if he really understood it, but the one sentence that came out of his mouth was,
If you started it, you will make it. [ Ако си го почнал, ще го направиш. ]