(22 May) Regular Meeting at SPARK Fitness & SPA

Rotary Club SOfia International SPARK Fitness & SPARotary Club Sofia International have once again held its regular meeting at a different venue. On 15 May we met at SPARK Fitness & SPA, situated at Residential Park, Sofia. The club would like to express gratitude to Mrs. Vessela Toncheva-Schenk who had put all elements of the night together for us.

Our visit started with a site visit through the premises of SPARK Fitness & SPA. We explored the spacious, bright and sunny sports hall, the salt water swimming pool, the modern SPA and massages area, the gym, the secluded garden.

After the tour the members and guests of Rotary Club Sofia International had 1 hour lesson in three different types of Bulgarian folkdance – “horo” – Standard, Haskovo, and Rhodopian. The lesson was accompanied by a live back pipe performance.

After we burnt some calories and learned to play the horo, we continued with a well-deserved healthy meal in the garden.

We all had fun and enjoyed the evening having friendly talks at the informal atmosphere of club’s garden.

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(21 May) The Ambassadors of Sofia Owls – Sitting Volleyball Club – Visit Rotary Club Sofia Serdika (+GAL)

Sofia Owls Rotary Club Sofia International visited Rotary Club Sofia Serdika On 21 May 2019, Ms. Ani Hristova, Mr. Enrico Repouz and Mr. Plamen Kertev from Rotary Club Sofia International visited the Regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia Serdika in Arena di Serdica hotel, Sofia.

It was special day for two members of the host club – our Assistant District Governor – Mr. Konstantin Yanakiev and Mrs. Elena Boyanova, as the Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks 21 May as the day of St. St. Konstantin and Elena.

The meeting was opened with the bell by the President of the Rotary Club Sofia Serdika – Mr. Kristin Gaydarov. After the official ceremony, he gave the floor to Ms. Hristova, Mr. Repouz and Mr. Kertev to introduce themselves. Mr. Gaydarov, then updated the attendees with the latest news concerning the project of the club for Community Center in Fakulteta neighborhood, which will be operated by the Rotary Community Corps. Later on Mr. Gaydarov gave the floor to Mr. Repouz, who explained about our project for the first sitting volleyball club in Bulgaria – “Sofia Owls” – for athletes with disabilities. During the presentation of Mr. Repouz, there was a lively discussion and a lot of interest in the project by our hosts.

Mr. Gaydarov closed the official part and the fellowship continued.

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(17-19 May) Members of Rotary Club Sofia International at the XII Annual Conference of District 2482 Bulgaria in Pomorie (+GAL)

District Conference Rotary BulgariaMs. Ani Hristova, Past President pf Rotary Club Sofia International and Chair of Subcommittee for Donations and Recognitions, Mr. Plamen Kertev, President Elect, Mr. Michail Sougarev, member of the District Team of Subcommittee for Donation and Recognitions attended the XII Annual Conference of Rotary District 2482 Bulgaria in Pomorie on 18 and 19 May 2019.

The conference started on Saturday morning, with the bell and the anthems of Bulgaria and of Rotary Bulgaria. The District Governor Mr. Vesselin Dimitrov opened the seminar. Mr. Nikolay Yanakiev, President of Rotary Club Pomorie and Mr. Ivan Alexiev, Mayor of Pomorie also welcomed the guests. Later on Mr. Peter King, Representative of the President of Rotary International Mr. Barry Rasin conveyed a special message to the participants and all Rotarians in Bulgaria form the Rotary International President. The program continued with the annual report of Mr. Dimitrov, District Governor 2018/2019 of District 2482 Bulgaria.

After the lunch break Mr. Dimitrov continued with the topic “People in Action – our Inspiration” followed by awarding of the distinguished Rotarians and Rotary Clubs throughout his year as a District Governor. Rotary Club Sofia International also received an award, for a consecutive year. The conference wаs closed by the next District Governor, Mr. Mitko Minev.

This year the organizers had also thought about promoting the businesses of Rotarians by setting up a “House of Friendship”, where the Rotarians had the opportunity to presente their companies.

In the evening we enjoyed a wonderful dinner reception, where for the good mood of the guests cared the singers Mrs. Toni Dimitrova and Mr. Rosen Senkovski.

On Sunday the General Assembly of Rotary Bulgaria was held, where the budget and the new statutes of the District were adopted.

Photo credits: Mr. Plamen Ilarionov (Rotary Club Gabrovo) and private archive.

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(15 May) Authentic Chinese Cuisine at Great Harvest

Rotary Club Sofia International DinnerThanks to our Chinese Rotary Club Sofia International member Mrs. Dessy Tian we held our regular meeting on 15 May at a hidden gem in the culinary scene of Sofia – the authentic Chinese Restaurant Great Harvest. Our friend Dessy Tian put a special and colorful menu together for us to try. The dinner was a treat – two full tables for altogether 24 people, including eight guests – Mr. Anthony Ivagnes, Mrs. Olga Ivagnes, Mr. Skinner, Mr. Danchev, Mr. Fridtjof Schenk, Mr. Brandur Haukson, Mrs. Irina Repouz, and a friend of Ms. Dessy Tian. All present had the chance to sample form 15 different and authentic dishes plus soup as desert to fill the small gaps remaining in our stomachs.

Interesting things that were noticed:
1. Menu for Chinese customers is only 3 pages long vs menu for none Chinese customers 30 pages;
2. Dishes ordered form the menu in Chinese for Chinese are generally more expensive, because of the higher quality ingredients. None Chinese are served lesser quality foods;
3. Chinese eat only two types of rice: plain and/or with eggs and it is always served separately;
4. Chinese are very aware of food quality and treasure costly products such
as rare vegetables, fish and meats.

Ms. Hristova and Mr. Repouz have shared their experience as Ambassadors of “Sofia Owls” and the sport of sitting volleyball. They are visiting Rotary clubs to spread the word on Rotary Club Sofia International’s initiative. RC Sofia Triadisa was their first stop and the presentation was very well received. You can find the summary of the visit here.

Everyone is welcome to help spreading the word of “Sofia Owls” and to join the Ambassadors team.

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(13 May) The Ambassadors of Sofia Owls – Sitting Volleyball Club – Visit Rotary Club Sofia Triaditsa (+GAL)

Sofia Owls PresentationOn 13 May 2019, Ms. Ani Hristova and Mr. Enrico Repouz from Rotary Club Sofia International visited the Regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia Triaditsa in Marinela hotel, Sofia. They were warmly welcomed by all present members and guests of the club.

Ms. Boiana Bankova, President of Rotary Club Sofia Triaditsa updated the attendees with the latest initiatives of the club and the upcoming events they are organizing. One of the projects of Rotary Club Sofia Triaditsa is “Prevention of Ambiliopia” in Lozenetz Hospital – a free eye screening for kids with Refractometer, an apparatus purchased by the club. Another project they have realized is the “Academy of Talented Children II”, for scholarships to talented kids, realized together with together with Lions Club Pleven, Lions Club Sofia Capital and with the Association for child support.

Later on Ms. Bankova gave the floor to Mr. Repouz, who explained about our project “Sofia Owls” – a Sitting Volleyball club for athletes with disabilities. Those wishing to compete professionally in a league and on international level are eligible to do so if they have one of the following disabilities: amputation, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, brain injury, stroke, others.

The meeting then continued with a presentation by Mrs. Gergana Rakovska, President of the Foundation for Education Business and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC Bulgaria). She has significant experience in strategy development, project management, training, gained in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Commission.

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(08 May) Rotary Club Sofia International Resumes Regular Meetings after Easter (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International Regular MeetingRotary Club Sofia International resumed works after the Easter Holidays on 8 May 2019 at Hilton Sofia with a regular meeting. We welcome as guests Mr. Anthony Ivagnes, Mr. Brandur Haukson and Mr. Geert Laeremens.

Rotary Club Sofia International honored our dear member Wolfgang Jahn, who passed away on 15 April 2019 in Berlin, with laying a wreath at his funeral services. The ribbon read: “What you have deep in your heart you cannot lose by death” .

Our dear friends Inna and Claude have once again together with RC Ferney-Voltaire sold second hand books to help a local foundation assisting children with problems to be able to learn to read. Result of the fundraiser is EUR 1,626.

Mr. Jörg Schenk sheared his experience from his participation in a joint meeting of a traditional Rotary Club in Northern Germany – Rotary Club Travemünde  and Inner Wheel. Jörg gave a very colorful account of his experience sighting ideas for the development of our club and suggesting ideas for future events and how to set them up.

After the meeting the fellowship continued in the lobby bar of the hotel.

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(24 Apr) King’s Day and 110th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between the Netherlands and Bulgaria (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International at King's DayOn 24 April 2019 our dear member and friend H.E. Bea ten Tusscher the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and her spouse Mr. Rien van Wier invited Ms. Ani Hristova, Past President of Rotary Club Sofia International and Mr. Enrico Repouz – President of the club for the current Rotarian year to celebrate together the King’s Day and the 110th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kingdom of the Netherlands and Republic of Bulgaria at a reception in Lozenets Residence. The dress code for the event was orange, in respect to the king his last name is “van Oranje” (Orange).

Koningsdag (in Dutch) or King’s Day is a National holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April, the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. More information here.

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(17 Apr) Presentation of Unique Bulgarian Products (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International’s meeting on 17 April 2019 did not sweep without news on our permanent topic – the sitting Volleyball club – “Sofia Owls”. Mr. Repouz circulated a leaflet with info on sitting Volleyball. The draft-brochure and the request for further commends and idea of improvement is still on and members were requested to respond and say what we do and what we don’t like. The training facility is found. Location Universiada Hall, downtown Sofia, same location as Volleyball team of VC Levski Sofia. Room is 250 m2 in size and has 6 m height ceilings. “Sofia Owls” has received a special price for training sessions. The management of Universiada Hall is behind our cause and will facilitate any help in the future incl. organization of bigger events.

The organization on Oktoberfest is still in progress. Our member Mrs. Malchevska has some leads at the Sofia Municipality. Volunteers are needed during summer period to help Hilton to organize the event which a planned for the first half of October 2019.

The meeting ended up with a presentation by our president Mr. Enrico Repouz on unique Bulgarian products, facts & trivia. Products presented: Chushkopek, Tesla, Gumshoes, Beekeepers tool, Samardela, The Bulgarian Bag, Cyrillic Alphabet, Bezir, Martenica, Troyan Pottery, Rose Oil. The presentation was very interesting not only for our foreign members, but also for our Bulgarian members.

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(10 Apr) Dine in the Dark (+GAL)

Sometimes we need darkness to see the light. On 10 April 2019 the regular meeting of rotary Club Sofia International was held in the theme Restaurant – “Tenebris” on 65 “Han Asparuh” Str., Sofia, where we all had dinner in the dark.

All club members and our guests: Mr. Atanas Andreev, Mr. Brandur Haukson, Mrs. Vessela Schenk, Mrs. Irina Repouz, were immersed in a world of dark, where vision is not present and other senses are let to take over. In an environment of pitch black darkness when the main sensatory channel – sight is no longer a source of perception you let your other senses take predominance. Our understandings for food, taste, aroma and texture were redefined, while we experienced an unforgettable culinary journey.

Another essential part of the “dine in the dark” experience was the human interaction. We had the chance to understand the word “timeless” and to get known ourselves and our company in a disparate way. We are thankful to the staff with impaired vision for introducing us to their dark-bright world full of sense, touch, emotion, sound and flavor. It was a nice experience for a better understanding of people with impaired vison and yourself.

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(03 Apr) Presentation About Cognac by the President Nominee, Mr. Marc Bouzy (+GAL)

The regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International on 3 April 2019 in Hilton Sofia was marked by the vivid and colorful presentation about Cognac by our dear firend and member Mr. Marc Bouzy. All present had the pleasure to listen to the rich in content lesson, while slowly sipping cognac and savoring the flavors.

Our guests were Mr. Atanas Andreev, Mr. Brandur Haukson, Mr. Christoph Glaser, and Mr. Thomas Metz.

The big mystery of Cognac was unveiled and lessons were learned:
1st: “Never get high on your own supply”. Cognac is chiefly an export spirit. 98.8% of all “tasteless” white wine spirit produced in the region and city of Cognac is for export.
2nd: French drink Armagnac (most of it stays within the country).
3rd: The theory of evaporation is wrong. Angels decent from heaven to steal Cognac while it is stored in oak barrels.
4th: Cognac is a mix of at least 3 differently aged bad white-wine distillates.
5th: The most popular distilleries are of British decent.
Thank you Marc for your very interesting presentation, we all loved it.

Further focus was set on the organizational issues for our traditional Whiskey Night Event which will be held on 30 May 2019.

We are also planning an Octoberfest, which will take place in the first week of October. Hilton Sofia has confirmed interest to do this event and is reassuring the team set up with our club. The locations of both events are still to be confirmed.

After the meeting the fellowship, as usual, continued in the lobby bar of the hotel.

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During the summer break informal meetings take place at Pod Lipite Restaurant every Wednesday at 19:00.

more here

Upcoming Events

  1. (Jul 24) Informal Meeting

    July 24 @ 19:00 - 22:00
  2. (Jul 31) Informal Meeting

    July 31 @ 19:00 - 22:00

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