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Zambia and Bulgaria are two completely different places with all kinds of differences from climate to social environment. Yet. when it comes to me, share a lot with these two wonderful nations – one where I was born, and the other where I am being nurturedNo matter where you are, love and respect are all you need to feel at home.

-Peter Chikoyi

Almost 30 years ago, when under difficult circumstances I had to leave my hometown in Zambia to live in Bulgaria, I was naturally scared. Initially, it did seem hard to live in a new cultural environment with a different climate and new people. But time usually makes you adaptable and helps you learn from your environment and grow. It teaches you to appreciate the new place and gradually makes a place for you amidst it too. I have learned a lot from this fantastic ‘social symbiosis’ and have come to this deep realization that no matter where you are, love and respect are all you need to feel at home.

Both Zambia and Bulgaria are an indispensable part of who I am today, and I love and cherish them both. Yes, it is true that no matter where you may be, if you learn to live and share the social values of the natives of that place, it becomes part of you. I hardly feel a stranger anymore, for this place has automatically become my home too. Although I was born in an African environment, I have managed to accept the local culture in Europe, and feel very much a part of its society today. As for the people of these two countries, they have a lot more in common than they know. This helps me feel at home and further contribute to the local society in my small ways. Languages may be different, but, in my case, I have managed to blend my language with the local language, and today, I freely think in both languages and life goes on.

The physical distance is the only thing that is hard to bridge, and there has not been a day when I have not missed my motherland. But, I am glad that my own native upbringing still blossoms in my heart and blends so beautifully with my new approaches and sense of being here. From this understanding springs a deep cultural bond, which helps me share my own rich African heritage without hesitation while I absorb the best from Bulgaria’s strengths every day.

In his story, A Poor African Girl and Her Mission, Peter narrates the consequences of child marriage, displacement, fear. The story is about the child’s journey to Spain to look for the only person who had treated her kindly. You can read A Poor African Girl and Her Mission in A Pocketful of Dreams vol. II Europe and Africa.

Buy (for a small fee) and read the amazing stories from the storytellers of The Magic Diary Project. All proceeds from a sale go to Room to Read, and you will support the education of girls in developing countries.

A Pocketful of Dreams vol. I America and Australia

A Pocketful of Dreams vol. II Europe and Africa

A Pocketful of Dreams vol. III South Asia and the Far East (to be launched in May 2017)

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