Welcome to the March issue of the IWC newsletter. Hopefully you are all wearing your martinitsi having wished all your friends, family and acquaintances ‘Chestita Baba Marta’ on the 1st of March, banishing winter and welcoming what we hope will be an early and warm spring! This is a tradition that our family have come to embrace since we have been in Bulgaria. We have nothing like it in the UK with its rather reserved population but I remember my husband being astonished that his male colleagues were just as enthusiastic as his female ones at wishing him ‘Happy Grandma March Day’ and tying bracelets of red and white thread around his wrist and giving him a bear hug! This is something that we will miss when we eventually move away from Bulgaria.

I do hope you will help us with another tradition this month and that is celebrating International Women’s Day by joining us for a lunch on 12th March in the beautiful surroundings of Restaurant Regina in “Ul. Han Krum”. They are offering us a special menu to include a glass of wine, the cost of which the IWC will subsidise, so you the members will only pay 20lv a head and the club will pay the balance. The last time we did this over 40 members enjoyed a lunch together, celebrating the power, compassion and vision of women across the globe. We hope that you will want to do the same. Please make sure that you give your name and have paid the cost of the lunch to Maria Naslednikova by the 10th of March at the latest.

The nomination committee are now busy finding candidates to stand for the positions on the executive board. You should have all received the letter from the committee explaining the posts on the board and the descriptions of the tasks involved with each job. I hope that many of you will carefully consider standing and serving the club. It would be lovely to have new ideas and enthusiasm and energy from different members willing to give something back to the club and charity. Some of the criticisms often levelled at the board are that it is always the same faces that are in charge of the organisation or that the board do not offer what the members want. If you feel this way now is your opportunity to make a difference and make changes for the better by being part of the managing body of the club. Elections will take place at the AGM which is held during the April coffee morning which this year is a little later in April on the 14th because of Easter. Please make sure you attend as this is your opportunity to vote in the ladies who will run the club and charity foundation for the next year.

Finally, we hope you will take part in the events organised for March. As well as the lunch on the 12th, the chef of the restaurant Aubergine will give a demonstration in the home of Maria Naslednikova and there will be an opportunity to tour some of the antique shops in Sofia with Lyuba.

Enjoy March!