Monday, 27 April 2015

Ten days

What a week.

The last ten days were exhausting for me and my flatmates; working from early morning 'till dusk in order to accomodate for the thirty or so volunteers that were coming to attend coaching training in our YMCA.
Sure, it was somewhat taxing in the long run, and I often longed for a break, but boy did I love this week. Volunteers came in from twelve different countries and each had his or her story to share, different reasons to come...

I didn't know a thing about coaching when I participated in this training, and I'm still not sure these ten days were enough for the lessons to fully root themselves in my mind, but I know one thing for sure : I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

And, since it is a popular saying that pictures carry more weight than words, here is a picture of what was, for me, the highlight of this event.

It was as pleasant as it looks.

Now, however, the training is over. We'll be back for more, assuredly, but for a time we'l have to go back to our daily routine, or the closest thing there is to it.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Arrival in Romania : first impressions

Hello world !

On the 1st of April, I decided to leave my home country of Nevers, in France, and arrived the same day in the very different town of Baia Mare, Romania. You might be wondering what prodded me towards making such a choice, and you'd be right to. After all, it's quite a drastic change from the homely town I used to live in.

Well, it's not exactly a vacation, though so far I haven't started any activities beyond enjoying myself, the sights, and the local drinks. So I might actually go back and say it's some kind of vacation, but I really am here for the European Voluntary Service (which I will always call EVS for short).

So far, I've been here for about a week, so I haven't had the time to dive into the local culture and establishments yet, nor do I know exactly how I will handle my work here ; the host organization that received me is the YMCA (yes, the same from the song, if that rings any bells) and we are most likely going to work closely with the local schools and with young people, partaking in non-formal education courses and cultural events, hopefully helping to spread ideas such as tolerance, and to give them a taste for what lies beyond their borders.

Of course, I don't expect to have that much of an impact on my own. I have no prior experience in doing that, so it's going to be a fun ride trying to figure out the best way to work closely with Romanian youth while I do not speak more than three words of their language. I do just that tomorrow.

To summarize everything ? Wait and see. So far, Romania's looking like a great place to both improve myself and enjoy the surroundings (I don't think I have mentioned the gorgeous landscape of mountains that I can't wait to take a hike on.) , and I can only hope I'll be able to produce something of value in return.

Oh, and  if you ever go to Romania, don't leave until you've tried the local Palinca. It's quite something.

Peace out,