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Veronika Koleva from the Czech Republic: I have many dreams for Bulgaria

Photo: private library

It is a wonderful experience coming to Bulgaria, I am proud to be in this marvellous place. Your country is my second home, my heart is in Bulgaria - this is the level of enthusiasm that a girl from the Czech Republic has for our country. Her name is Veronika and she chose to bind her fate forever with Bulgaria about 10 years ago. Her husband is Bulgarian, they met when they were students at the Karlovski University in Prague. They were raising their three children there but eventually decided 5 years ago to permanently settle in Bulgaria. Veronika’s dreams are related to our country. Apart from aiming at perfecting her language skills and wanting her children to speak Bulgarian as their mother tongue, she has multiple ideas on how to help hardworking Bulgarians. Veronika believes that everything is a matter of personal choice and if a person really wants something to happen, he or she will find a way to make it happen.

“Bulgaria is a foreign country where one can see it all - seaside, mountains, friendly people with big open hearts,” shares Veronika.

“I created a blog in Czech, in which I present Bulgaria through my eyes. I am writing about the Bulgarian Black sea coast and various places which are worth visiting. I have many followers and friends who regularly check on the information that I provide in my blog. I was also asked to write a few articles for The Czech National Radio about Bulgaria. People there know about the resorts, but are unaware of all the other marvellous places and details about Bulgaria. I want to show the people of the Czech Republic that they and Bulgarians have many common traits and that we are not only close in terms of language and history, but also our temperaments are very similar. What connects us are our predecessors in ninth and tenth-century Moravia (where the brothers Cyril and Methodius spread the Slavic writing system). I like that Bulgarians are very warm-welcoming towards foreigners, this is what impressed me initially when I came here.  If we only slightly show that we can get along with Bulgarians, they are ready to help us in different situations. This is another reason to be proud of this nation.”

“In the Czech Republic, post-graduates often come back to their birth towns and villages. They then start their own small businesses in private farming or other activities, and all of these businesses are interlinked. There is nothing out of the ordinary for Czech people in working from a young age as a farmer. For this reason, we - my family and I, want to help hardworking Bulgarians as well, so that they can continue to put their efforts and develop the agricultural sector,” says Veronika.

“The occupation is related to essential oils and floral waters, and our idea is to assist the small family businesses of Bulgaria. We intend to export Bulgarian production in the Czech Republic and in other countries, where clean agricultural production is valued. We will only export natural raw materials and partner particularly with producing companies that value and are looking for Bulgarian produce for its high quality. They require certificates and analyses which we will supply. There is no progress if only profit is sought out, without working for and with honest producers. We do not expect any state subsidies and rely on ourselves. Help is only needed for people like farmers who have suffered due to this year’s drought. They have incurred substantial loses and need help in order to survive.”

“When a person manages on his or her own, he or she sets an example for others,” Veronika states decidedly and adds that with her work, she makes a dream come true. “I know the qualities of Bulgarian products from essential oils, and for that reason it’s been my desire for a long time to popularize them in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These products deserve to be where their high quality is valued, and with this, I want to help hard-working producers as well”, she says.

Photos: private library

English version Boris Totchev