Hallo, dear followers! Are you excited to see who is going to be the first person sharing his story for my blog? Well, I am not going to keep the secret anymore- Ivan Hristov.
Ivan is a sophomore at AUBG. He is double majoring in Business Administration and Political Science and he is also doing a Minor in Fine Arts. This summer was his first chance to try the Work and Travel program and he did not miss this opportunity. For a destination, Ivan chose Southampton, located on Long Island, New York. He spent there his whole summer (from May until the beginning of September). He was working as a bus guy in two restaurants. However, the interesting part of his summer was not directly connected to his jobs.
Everything happened from the day he arrived – May 10. He and his Bulgarian friends landed in New York and the man who was responsible for their housing and jobs took them with his minivan. Here came the first issue,although not a big deal- the van was for six people but they were 13 all together. “I felt something was wrong“, Ivan said. Not a long after they headed to New York, the man lighted some weed and he even offered them. “Of course- we refused“, Ivan immediately made it clear! But the surprises for the day did not come to an end- when they arrived at the place there were not two house for 20 people but just one that is designed to suit 10. Tired and not having any other option, the students slept in one room, which according to Ivan, was with the size of a Scapto room. The next five days the Bulgarians spent in six different hotels, which was neither a pleasant nor a cheap option, but they did not have any other. Yet, this was not the worst thing- the owners of the restaurants did not know that they are coming and it seemed that the contracts they had were all fake! On the sixth day, however, there was some light in the tunnel- the guy that brought them from New York found them a new house. Perfect end, you might think… but the most interesting part is to come!
Ivan noticed some police signs around the house and he decided to google it. What he found was unbelievable- the previous owners of the house were drug dealers and pimps. Then, when Ivan went to check his room he found some objects like diapers, cut women hair , which were obviously not the things you expect to find in your room when you go on such a program! Doesn’t it look like a story from a movie?! Well, wait to see what is about to come…
Ivan and the other Bulgarians became friends with another man who was promising to help them. The climax of the problems came one night when the man who was taking care of them and the new guy they met had a fight. And… this was not just a regular fight- they started shooting each other in front the students. Thanks God- no one got hurt!
Three weeks after his arrival, Ivan felt it was high time do something. As a member of the Rotary Club, Ivan had the genius idea to go on one of their meetings. He was kindly welcomed and the vice president let him speak in front everybody. Using his public speaking skills and having in mind that he was emotional about the things that were happening, he managed to touch the hearts of all the people there.
“I explained them everything, I explained how I spent all my life helping people by this organization and now it’s time this organization to help me“, Ivan remembered.
And the salvation came- members of the club found a new house and jobs for the students, and gave them money which Ivan used to cover some expenses for all of them. Ivan told me that he saved around $300 which he will invest in a project for the Rotary Club here in Bulgaria. “So if it wasn’t for this Rotary Club I don’t know what would happen with us!“, Ivan shared. After the help of the club, everything changed for the better! According to Ivan- if you are part of an organization, you are never alone.
After the worst moments during his summer, it is high time to mention Ivan’s best ones. He went to New York City three times and made his dream become true! On one of his visits he attended a Yankees game and felt the spirit of a typical American sports fan! Moreover, since the restaurant he was working at was a fancy one, Ivan had a chance to meet VIPs like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Johnny Depp, Jon Bon Jovy and Alec Baldwin…
After all, Ivan shared that this was definitely his most emotional summer and he will not miss the chance to come back there not only because the things that happened made him more mature but also because of all the good memories he had after the not so happy beginning. Ivan is advising all students who are on a doubt whether to go or no not to miss this opportunity!
I hope the summer story of Ivan Hristov was interesting for you, dear followers. Remember that in even the hardest situation there is hope that things will get better and you should never give up! Do not be scared of what Ivan shared. Some troubles in our lives happen as a reminder to us that we often take the most important things for granted! Never stop dreaming; never stop thanking for each day! See you next week with another Work and Travel story!