Aloha*

If there is a fiery woman, it is Lyudmila Abadjieva.
Finesse and laughter are the words that describe her best. We find her in Hawaii where she manages the entire catering of the officers’ club in United Pearl Harbor Base and Hickam.

Bulgarian greetings from 12,831 kilometers.
By Lyudmila Abadjieva

When I found out I was going to be a grandma for the second time, I made a decision and finally moved to Honolulu to join my children. It was not easy, either emotionally or financially. I left behind my memories and my work, relatives and friends, I left my father to grow old. I have raised two granddaughters and one grandson, different in nature and remarkable in interest. Then the time came to think about how, as a 55 year old lady, I could re-join the work force. I was afraid of this new beginning, but it was worth opening the door even though I didn’t know what awaited me. I thought I closed my eyes for a moment but in fact seven years have elapsed. I passed this time enjoying tropical sunrises, sunsets, and double rainbows. I enjoyed the orchids of bizarre colour and shape, the powerful ocean waves of the Pacific, swallowing the surfers streaming in them, or perched atop their sparkling crests.
The family (OHANA) comes first for everybody who lives in Hawaii. No matter where you come from, here you can have the feeling you have a large family of various races, customs and cultures. In 1999, there were about 65 Bulgarians and today the community of children, students, visitors and permanent residents counts 300 Bulgarians. When there are holidays everybody participates. We gather in the park for Christmas and New Year, Easter and May 24th. Dressed with martenitsi, we break bread and taste double baked Rakia, which has flown thousands of kilometers to get here. Living with good, to give good to all, this here is called PONO.

Skyline of Honolulu, Hawaii and the surrounding area including the hotels and buildings on Waikiki Beach

Although small in number, the Bulgarian community has hard working doctors and nurses in the best hospitals in Hawaii. Bulgarian builders have embedded the map of Bulgaria in the tiles of one of the world’s largest shopping malls – Ala Moana. There are Bulgarian lecturers and athletes in the two major universities. A Bulgarian is the director of “Computer Science and Technology “ at the Hawaii Pacific University. A Bulgarian participates in managing the security and order of the island. Bulgarians work in Hawaiian radio and television. Bulgarians work in leadership roles in a vending company. A Bulgarian trains toddlers to swim. Bulgarians also work in several units of the historically famous naval and air force base Pearl Harbor and Hickam. Extremely enthusiastic and dedicated, several Bulgarian women created a Bulgarian children’s school. And every rehearsal of the International School of Folk Dancers Hawaii begins with a Bulgarian horo.

* ALOHA is love, sympathy, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, charity, generosity. Everything desired with ALOHA is noble and blessed.

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