Carel Translations recently had the exciting opportunity to participate in an international educational workshop, as the event’s official provider of interpreting services. The workshop was held between 6th – 13th June in Varna, Bulgaria.
The project was organized by “Agency for Social Inclusion” (Varna), and funded by the European Commission Lifelong Learning programme Grundtvig. Participants in the workshop, titled “To add years to life and life to the years”, were representatives of 10 EU-member countries (including Bulgaria), and one candidate country – Turkey.
The workshop program comprised lecture and practical materials on caring for the elderly, creating conditions for graceful aging and the prevention of social exclusion of the elderly. Lectures included various topics on the subject – such as Physiology of aging, Healthy nutrition for the elderly, European policies against social exclusion, Social support programs for the disadvantaged elderly, Dental and other topics. Participants also had the chance to visit local homes and hospices for elderly people, and get a close-up look at the quality of living conditions and care for the elderly and disabled elderly in Bulgaria.
Sightseeing tours around Varna’s most prominent places to see, were of course also part of the workshop’s schedule.
Providing consecutive interpretation for such an event was an extremely dynamic challenge – due to the variety of scheduled topics and also the spontaneous discussions that were prompted every day by the participants, who were very active and interested to know more or share their own and their countries’ experience and knowledge on the subject.
It was also a very exciting and interesting, not to mention a very responsible task for me as an interpreter to be the main link between so many people speaking different languages – our foreign guests on the one hand, who had come to the workshop wishing to acquire new knowledge and skills, and on the other – the people who presented the relevant theoretical and practical materials to them – various Bulgarian professionals such as doctors, social workers, dentists, representatives of Varna Municipality and Non-governmental organizations.
If I had to summarize the event’s week, I’d point out 3 main things:
1) I met many new friends – and despite the short period of time we spent together, we all found it difficult to say good-bye in the end…
2) Along with the participants, I had the opportunity myself to enrich my own knowledge on the workshop’s subject.
3) And last but not least – at the end of this successful and productive working week I enjoyed the most rewarding feeling any professional can have – namely, the satisfaction of a job well done. On the last day of the workshop, many of the participants, as well as the organizers came to thank me personally for my efforts and input in making them understand each other better.