Who are we?
Oksana and Michele
The Village Of Madjare
When we look out of our windows in the morning, we see the houses of the village of Madjare, neatly nestled at the foot of the Rila Mountains. Here, 70 km from the capital of Sofia and only 10 km from the town of Samokov, we have found our home.
We make our homemade pasta with the eggs from our hens, we bake our bread and take care of a small vegetable garden. We make jams from the wild berries we pick in the forests of the Rila Mountains. We want to eat local produce as much as possible and that is what we try to offer to our guests too.
The Donkey - returning to childhood and slow living
Today we need to reimagine the donkey as it was in our memories and our grandmother’s tales. Once, two out of three families used to have a donkey. The donkey and his owner used to head for the fields before sunrise and came back loaded with firewood or hay late in the evening. Children were eagerly waiting for the donkey to ride it or play with it.
With their slow, careful steps, donkeys have stamped main roads and donkey trails for centuries.
Donkeys are friendly. They are curious to meet people and love any act of love. They eat slowly, they are patient (although they may sometimes be stubborn), they work long and hard, they don’t gallop, they don’t hurry. This might be the reason why they live for so long (over 40 years).
We want to return the past glow of donkeys and to give them a new role in our contemporary world. Data from the Thracian University of Stara Zagora shows that in 1985, there were 350 000 donkeys in Bulgaria. Today, they are around 20 000 and the number is quickly decreasing. Once loyal friends and helpers of the people living in the villages, today they are considered outdated and useless since more and more people use modern technologies and farm machinery. Our project is a way of saving the donkeys from extinction and oblivion. We want to make them count again, this time in the tourism sector.