11 months of volunteering in Romania

August was my eleventh month of my EVS here in Romania. We did a lot of activities again. The only difference was that I spent my time with a new group of volunteers, who came to Iași for a month. They were here for the “Sports Activator” short-term EVS. So with other 15 volunteers from Greece, Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey, we did a lot of activities to help them become sports leaders and to promote healthy lifestyle and off course, Erasmus+ and Erasmus + Sport. Our coordinator, Mihaela, wrote this project while she was also an EVS volunteer in Slovenia and I am sure she feels very proud that it was approved and it was a success.

The schedule was full every day with activities, workshops that we created and from other facilitators who were successful on their fields like my mentor, Dragoș, and Victor Popa. They helped us a lot with some ideas to create our workshops. We were divided in 4 teams. The nutrition, the healthy lifestyle, sports games and Erasmus + sports. Every time we created new teams with these topics. So until the end we worked with everyone in the group.

We visited a lot of places, some of them I saw for the first time. The people who hosted us were very polite and very helpful. We visited places like Ruginoasa, Pașcani, Târgu Frumos, Cucuteni, Butea, Oțeleni, Crucea, Zmeu etc.

Unforgettable will be the “Folcloristica Festival” in Butea. It was a traditional contest with folk dances, songs and a lot of food. During the festival I was part of the jury. It was very hard the decision for the winners, the level of every participant was very high. But at the end everyone was winner in different categories.

During the month, most of the days we stayed in the dormitories of the Cuza university in Iași. Everything was great but unfortunately after the middle of the month they stop the hot water without informing us before. There was only a paper on the main door in Romanian, posted in the day that they stopped the hot water. But as a team at the end we made jokes about the situation because we couldn’t do anything and we felt lucky it is summer and we didn’t need that much hot water.

Every night at the 5th floor of the dormitories we had cultural events. We danced and we ate a lot of food. I also learnt to cook a traditional dish from Spain called "crochetas". With the Greek team we did a typical Greek wedding for the cultural event. We sent to everyone invitations and the wedding was between a girl from the Turkish team and a boy from the Spanish team. I was the mother of the groom. And everyone from the Greek team had a role in the wedding. We did all the funny stereotypes that happen at the weddings and we laughed a lot.

The last visit we had as a team was in a village called Ciurbeşti. We had a bit of challenge on this village because we didn’t have any local volunteers to help us with the translation, only our coordinator Mihaela. But this didn’t hold us down because we had done a lot of activities together and we had experience. We did more activities using the body language and not verbal. So at the end we didn’t even notice that we didn’t had the translators and we enjoyed more the activities with the students.

This month passed very fast. I think so far it was the month that I learned so many new things together. The volunteers left at the end of the month but we keep in touch with some of them and we are planning to spent the Christmas vacations together. Next month it will be my last month as an EVS volunteer in Asirys. But I made my decision to stay more in Romania and to continue to be a volunteer for the organization and this makes me happier because in this way I will learn and share more things.

By Nikolia Papadopoulou

Building Bridges is a project funded by Erasmus+, a programme of the European Union. The content of this article is the exclusive responsibility of the authors, and the National Agency and the European Union are not responsible for how the content of the information will be used.


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