European Solidarity Corps – Joy and Meggie in Romania

It now has been already one whole month since our six-month long stay in Romania. During this time we experienced so many great things, which we will always remember. Obviously there were also some hardships, but together with the other volunteers, we were always able to overcome them and I am sure through that our friendships only got closer. Our time in this exciting country is now unfortunately over, but for the last time we want to look back on our stay and tell you more about our adventures in Romania.

Starting with our experience concerning our work with children and Care2Travel. In the first two months, we were able to host several summer camps starting from August till September, with one Autumn Camp in October. We came to one village for a whole week and planned activities for them to improve their English and to have fun with us. To this day, we still have arguments about which camp was the best. Be it Domokos, Bankfalva or Delne, we always enjoyed teaching and being team captains for our children. Especially Meggie, who would always scream over the whole field for the success of her team. Or Maude, a Belgium volunteer, who would always motivate her children with hugs or a high five. But the summer camps weren’t the only things we did. Obviously we also had to complete quite a bit of paper work and built a social media presence for Care2Travel. If I have to be honest we didn’t always enjoy that part of the work, but we also knew it had to be done and we were happy to support Care2Travel, Kultur Aktiv and the European Solidarity Corps, which supported us a great deal, be it through funding, help in the city or emotional support. Besides that, we also took part in several After-school activities. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we drove up to Kapolnos, on Tuesdays and Fridays we tutored children in Bankfalva and on Thursdays we went to Domokos. We played and tutored them and had a lot of fun while doing that. The goodbyes were hard and the thought that we won’t see them again is sad. Some of us were really close to ask for an extension, but obviously new volunteers were already chosen and I am sure, they will do a great job. We will remember the children, Kinga, Peter, Orsi and Niki and wish them the best of luck!

Besides our work as volunteers we had the chance to collect many great memories in our free time as well. All together we lived in a big accommodation and most of us shared a room with another person. At the beginning it was pretty unfamiliar and a little bit inconvenient  for most of us to live together with strangers. But once we got to know each other and became friends it was amazing. I will never forget the nights we opened a bottle of wine, played boardgames and talked until the next morning. Together we visited many Romanian cities, went hiking, got tattooed or had a couple (or too many) shots in the bar near by. My personal highlight was the trip to the dog shelter. All the puppies running around and climbing on my lap is definitely unforgettable. Other than that I always enjoyed our city trips. We have been to Cluj, Braşov, Târgu Mureş, Bucarest and many small villages near by. We liked Braşov so much that we went several times just to see the city again and to hang out with our new friends there. However, we had the best time in Csíkszereda, our “home town”! We had the chance to find friends for life and to experience the Hungarian culture here in Transylvania. We will definitely miss the flower market, the chimney cake factory and of course the langos place next to the accommodation. I have to smile when I think about all the nights when we came back hungry from Olommadar (the local bar) and the langos place saved us.As now our volunteering experience has ended, and we’ve been compiling this article of reflection, on the whole they are a positive look back on the time we had. We honestly couldn’t asked for a better experience in Romania! We have met so many open minded and honest people and every time we went to the bar or to a restaurant we got to know some other locals and had funny conversations. Some of those locals actually became friends after a while.

We are very thankful for the amazing time we had in Csíkszereda! A lot of people welcomed us with open arms and the Care2Travel as well as KulturAktiv always stood by our sides. Thank you for everything and good luck to the new volunteers!