We can't explain in words why we love Bulgaria so much other than to say that God dropped His great, unfailing, and precious love for the people here into our hearts. It is such an interesting place that is changing in many ways, but in so many other ways, they are very tied to how they have always done things.
Across the cultural divide between young and old there is much difference. The older generation only knew communism and the old ways of thinking, the iron fist of leadership says not to have ideals different from how the government/leadership says it should be. They still turn their yards into gardens for their livelihood and jar and can what they have grown for the winter and live very simply. 90% of the housing is old block housing and individual homes that need lots of attention.
The younger generation love to watch American movies and MTV and believe all of America dresses and acts like that. Therefore, they emulate the things they see. It has become a young generation strongly desiring western culture and materialism. This stark contrast in the social generations is also reflected in the architecture. In the capital you can find modern buildings and malls with Starbucks and Gap, but most of the country's buildings look like the ones pictured above. It is an exciting time to be a part of the changes happening here in Bulgaria. Holding onto culture, but embracing new ways of thinking.
One of my favorite quotes from a movie titled "Sweet Home Alabama" is: "You can have roots and wings." It is great to remember your culture and ancestry, but also to have wings to soar into new ideals and growth.