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Happy Saint George’s Day!



Gergiovden is the 6th of May, the day of Saint George, patron saint of shepherds and also the Bulgarian Army. Bulgarians celebrate this day with a feast of roast lamb, and many locations stage military parades.

Гергьовден е празник, на който православната църква в България почита паметта на Свети Георги Победоносец, който е и патрон на Българската армия. Чества се и като главен празник на овчаря, като на много места се пече цяло агне и се приготват традиционни ястия с агнешко месо.

New Sofia Parking Regulations


The Sofia municipality has enacted a new, two toned parking scheme for central Sofia. If you drive in Sofia, you will want to know how this works and how much it costs. Falling outside the rules can be a costly and time consuming mistake!

Learn more on BULSTACK


USA Absentee Voting Instructions


Attention US citizens! The following is an announcement sent out from the US Embassy – Sofia regarding registration and information for absentee voting in 2012. Read carefully and follow instructions to exercise your right to vote!


Be an active voter. Start thinking about your participation in the U.S. 2012 elections today!

The Consular Section staff at U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria is ready to assist with completing your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) — the form you need to complete this year to participate in the 2012 elections as an overseas absentee voter. Our purpose is to inform and educate you about your voting rights, to ensure you are able to exercise your right to participate in elections for federal offices (President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative), and to assist you with voting in state or local elections, if allowed by your state.

New absentee voting laws are in effect for the 2012 elections. You will no longer automatically receive ballots based on a previous absentee ballot request. All U.S. citizens outside the United States who want to vote by absentee ballot in the 2012 primary and general elections must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) every year if they wish to vote from abroad. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election. No matter what state you vote in, you can now ask your local election officials to provide your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery on-line. Be sure to include your email address on the form to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. This is the fastest and most reliable way to receive your ballot on time, and we strongly recommend every overseas voter take advantage of it. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website

Beginning in January 2012, presidential primaries will be held in the states of New Hampshire (January 10), South Carolina (January 21), Florida (January 31), Missouri (February 7), Wisconsin (February 21),
Arizona (February 28), and Michigan (February 28). Other states will follow throughout the spring and summer. Voter registration deadlines for primaries are as early as January 3, 2012. Note: Participation in party presidential caucuses by overseas voters is not protected by federal law and requires in-person attendance in most cases. If the party you are affiliated with selects presidential nominees by caucus in
your state contact state party officials for further information.

You can obtain a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP’s website . The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year. An online wizard will help you complete the form. Depending on your state’s voting requirements, you then either send in the FPCA electronically or mail it to your local election officials. To mail it, print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. If you bring in your forms or ballots to us we will mail them back home for you without you having to pay for international mail. If it’s easier for you to use Bulgaria’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.

You may submit forms and ballots to the Consular section any business day from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Please be advised that it might take about two-three weeks for the forms and ballots to be returned to the U.S. via pouch.

Even if your state does not have a presidential primary in the early months of 2012, it is important that you submit a new Federal Post Card Application this and every January to receive all absentee ballots for which you are eligible. By applying early, you also allow enough time for election officials to contact you and resolve any questions or problems with your registration/ballot request. Remember that your vote counts, and that many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it’s valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Be an Educated Voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain via numerous websites such as Project Smart Voter . You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the Internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts
( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter .

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria’s at tel.: 02-937 5100, or at e-mail address:

WTB Lends a Hand in Tran


One of our corporate goals is to forge public/private partnerships to promote life transformation in local municipalities. As it turns out, the Tran municipality applied for and won EU funding for a community center for at risk families. They called on us for help implementing the programs on offer through the center. We were happy to help!

EU Grant for Tran Municipality

There are three major parts to the EU grant in Tran. The first part is for physical renovation of a former school building to be used as the community center. This is an important investment and simply would not have been possible without outside help.

The second part is for organization and staffing of the community center, with funding for about 10 months of operations. Again, this just wouldn’t be possible without third party funding. Unemployment is high here, and the funding boost has given the municipality an opportunity to get something started which otherwise never could have gotten off the ground.

The third part is for programs which may be paid or unpaid. The center has a pretty long list of activities and courses in its schedule. Some will stick, others won’t. One of the most important things to accomplish over the next 6 months is to determine what mix of activities will be popular, useful and sustainable. Having the EU grant gives them the flexibility to try things they might not otherwise be able to put forth, some of which might very well become long term activities offered through the center.
When we met with the director she told us that as soon as she found out she had gotten the job, she made a note to call us to see how we could be involved.

During the week of our Rockin’ English day camp, we also spent time each day helping out at the community center. It helps that we already knows many of the staff through long term involvement in the community. Beni organized materials for crafts and participated with the kids. Bobby took some of the kids outside to teach them how to throw a Frisbee, in anticipation of starting a Frisbee club in the fall.

Three months ago we only dreamed of having more regular, organized contact with the kids in Tran. Now we have more opportunities than we can handle!

We will continue to help at the center into the school year, and hope to develop ongoing programs in partnership with the municipality to improve the lives of families and children at risk.