Vanya is an ethnologist. Yes, I don’t really know what this is either. Google it, it’s interesting. But she’s not just the degree she has. She’s one of the most violently positive people I know and I mean violently! She has no truck with any kind of hypocrisy whatsoever, and as if this is no reason enough to admire her, she is also a great cook and an excellent teacher. A children’s teacher, no less. say what you will, I firmly believe these things take a very special talent and since I don’t have it and never will, I admire the ones who do.
In a few words, what exactly do you do?
I am an ethnologist. I explore people and their way of living. Some days I have only paperwork on the administration of projects and sometimes it’s really boring. But the interesting part of the job is fieldwork when I have а questionnaire and I have to meet unknown people to ask them about their lives and thoughts.
Why do you love your job?
Now I work in a non-governmental organization aimed to improve health awareness among disadvantaged ethnic minorities and also to improve the healthcare and social services in Bulgaria. I love my job, because in general I think that healthcare is one of the most important issues in our society and I’m contributing to solving it. I love my job because I travel and meet a lot of different people. Plus, I’m very interested in the Romany culture and this job is a great opportunity to learn more about them. I also learn a lot about other minorities not only in Bulgaria.
Is there anything you’d rather do?
No. But I could be a teacher, a good teacher.
What’s your most terrible work experience?
I hate speaking in front of many people, but sometimes it is obligatory. I’ve played the flute and now I dance in front of many people, but when I have to say something I always turn red and forget what I wanted to say two minutes ago. I dislike writing and speaking in English and every time when it is necessary I feel worried and embarrassed*. Even the most difficult interviews are a great work experience compared with speaking in English.
And you dream about?
I don’t know really. I want simple things — more sunny mornings, more smiling people on the streets (yes, I know that this is the wildest, most impossible dream), more respect among people… Oh I just realized something while I was writing! I want to be a great cook also. I adore homemade food, but I’m still not good enough in the kitchen**.
*I’m so flattered she made an exception.
** Not true. Not true at all! You should see some of the buns she makes and the best Easter cake recipe I have is from her.