Deaflympics 2013 Sofia, Bulgaria

Dobre Den! Sorry it has been a few days since our last blog, but we have been busy, getting home late and being just plain worn out when we got home! We arrived to Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday the 23rd, after a 30 hour train ride! It turned out Daniel and I didn’t get roommates 🙂 whoo hoo! Upon arrival, we were picked up by Johnny, an assistant at the church, who brought us to the hotel where the American Deaf Olympic Team was staying. There I met Debbie! A short history… Daniel’s dad, Roy, went to college with her back in the day. She fell in love with a man in Bulgaria, Plamon, who pastors a church. So, she moved to Bulgaria and has lived here ever since! Even better, she is an interpreter! Here she is in the picture below!

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Once at the hotel, we volunteered to interpret whatever was needed; checking people in, asking questions, tours, etc. Pretty busy day! To get to Debbie’s house we get to take the metro! It is REALLY nice compared to the metros we have been using this last month! It was air conditioned, practically brand new! And only cost 55 cents per ride! (busy, busy)

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We had the opportunity to interpret a “free Sofia tour” (walking) for a few Deafies that we thought was only going to be any hour… turns out it was 3.. but the experience and information was great! While on the tour, a group of 5 British Deaf joined in. If you don’t already know, sign language is NOT universal and even people in Britain have a different sign language than we do in America. Needless to say, it was fun trying to interpret for them as well, picking up some of their signs as we went. Sofia is BEAUTIFUL! A very tourist friendly place!Image

 

Below you can see bells from all over the world! Daniel did a great job at editing this picture! He took a walk with Josiah, their 10 year old son, and toured the nearby country side. Image

 

Here is a picture from the first games we watched… USA vs. Slovenia men’s basketball. WE WON!Image

 

The guards at the president’s office…

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And finally… Tonight. Tonight was the opening ceremonies! There are more than 100 countries represented. Moldova has 1 participant in wrestling! Sadly, the ceremony was a bit disorganized. For being a Deaf event it was not accessible to the vast majority that were there. The interpreter on the screen was in the small box in the left corner… really hard to see and some of the time he wasn’t even signing. Then, they waited until the end to do any of the ‘entertainment’ which consisted of drum playing, bells and bag pipes…. REALLY boring for someone who can’t hear. By the time everyone had left they FINALLY had visual entertainment with acrobatics and river dancing, but at that point half the stadium was gone. We were a little disappointed to say the least. On a positive note, we were able to be the same room with people from all over the world! I’ll be honest, a few countries I didn’t even know existed! We ended up sitting with the British Deaf that we met 2 days before. Nice, NICE people!Image

USA! USA! USA!Image

 

We have had the opportunity to share our testimonies with a few people, which is such  God thing! He always brings people into your life at the right time. Only four more days until our travels are over… looking forward to more Deaf people, games and God talk.

#goingwithGod

-thewoodalls

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