Development Support for Transylvania: Volume 6 – Aire Randalu – 6 Months Volunteering in Romania
Name of the project: Development Support for Transylvania: Volume 6
Date: 01.10.2019 – 29.03.2020
City/Country: Cristuru Secuiesc, Romania
MY ESC EXPERIENCE IN ROMANIA
My volunteering project took place in a small town called Cristuru Secuiesc somewhere in north Romania. Why did I choose Romania? Because I wanted to go somewhere I have never been, somewhere which isn’t people’s number one place to visit and it was so worth it. There is so much magic in places that we seem to ignore. Also of course the project itself was of interest for me J
The 6 months went by fast, yet left me so many precious memories and people I will cherish forever, but still it is hard to put all that into words. From day one i started to like the little quirky things about the country – crazy driving, horse carriages in the countryside, sheperds and their huts and dogs and donkeys, danger of bears, cats and dogs running free everywhere and the constant beauty of nature. Then the experience that is living with nine other people in a big house. It was not as scary as I expected, but made me a lot less introverted. 😀 It also taught me a lot about other cultures and how to work together.
My main activities were teaching kids upcycling and doing puppet shows with two other volunteers. We worked with children of different ages and backgrounds. We were doing puppet shows in local schools and also visited nearby village schools and kindergartens. Even though sometimes the situation of the kids and the schools were not the best, the kids were always happy to see us and we felt appreciated. They listened to us, they were actively taking part in our games and crafts and in the end we really saw that we could bring some difference in their lives even for just awhile. From this I gained the ability to organize my own schedule and projects, be much more creative and use non-formal educational methods to teach them about recycling and other environmental topics.
My free time was spent hiking in the mountains and hillsides, hitchhiking to discover other cities, partying and just enjoying the weather and other people. I was also able to learn two languages – romanian and hungarian. Because of history in our town the population consisted mainly of hungarians so it was necessary for me to know more hungarian and it is not an easy language! It was interesting to see two cultures that live together and are by nature very different yet their cultural habits are similar.
This experience gave me a lot more confidence and skills to go and try new directions in my life. If anyone is still deciding if to go or not I say Definitely go!
This Project was financed by European Commission’s Eurpean Solidarity Corps Programme