Irina has lived in many countries but discovered her permanent home in Bulgaria. Her two children are also migrants; they have traveled and resided in various countries all over the world and speak a few languages each. Currently, Irina works as a cultural mediator for the Russian diaspora in Bulgaria.
“My parents are from Russia and Belarus, I lived for some time in Belarus but I’m Russian. I moved to Bulgaria because I fell in love with a Bulgarian man when I was a student. During the 70s many people from the Soviet Union came to Bulgaria to study at the universities here. My professional life in Bulgaria developed very well.
The year after I arrived, I started working as a chemistry teacher in a Russian language high school. I was able to teach my favorite subject in my own language. Some of my students obtained PhDs and others became scientists; I am very proud that I was part of their education.
During this period of my life, I was involved in a UNESCO project teaching chemistry to children in Morocco, in French. Back then there were not that many possibilities to find Arabic-speaking teachers so they recruited French-speaking professors that wanted to teach in their field of expertise. This is why I moved to Morocco for eight years. I was able to travel during summer vacations and visited many places in Europe.
Thanks to Bulgaria I had the option to visit other countries. I don’t feel too far away from Russia because the Russian Cultural Center in Sofia organizes many events. Like in Russia, nature in Bulgaria is very beautiful. There are so many unknown places here,it is very different from any other place I have been to.”