luni, 4 ianuarie 2016

My EVS life in Romania

I lived in Romania for the last six months. During this period I had a lot of activities. One of these activities implied going to a psychiatric hospital together with my colleague Cassy. The first time I went there it was hard for me, because it brought back bad memories, but after I got used to all this it was really great, because we could share, talk and play with the children. In general, we don’t work with the same children every week, but sometimes, when we have children with several disabilities, they stay longer and we can see their evolution, and that’s quite awesome! I remember there was a boy, about 15 years old, and at the beginning he was silent, but after a few days he started to talk and smile.

A second activity implied helping to organize an event about psychology. Just a few days after we arrived in Romania, we were able to help organize an event about lifestyle. It was really great, because the group asked me to help them create posters. Also, this event was very interesting. But now it’s just to help to organize the accommodation and the event it’s in Romanian so I don’t understand anything.

The third activity was to create a video about mental health. It was interesting, but rather difficult. We had to choose the good scene, the music, to record the voices and to use the Windows Movie Maker program and it wasn’t that easy to use this software. We also had to create a poster to promote the video and next month we start the promotion.

I also organized some activities based on my personal projects. The first was related to music therapy. I organized some activities in the psychiatric hospital, where I concentrated on the therapeutic effect of music and musical instruments. It didn’t go too well because, in my opinion, it didn’t have the effect I expected and sometimes it’s really hard to motivate the children. The second project implies the scouts here in Cluj. We meet every week for activities and discussions. For example, last week, we had a debate about sexual education. I also organize every month, for my scout colleagues, a movie evening followed by a discussion on a preset psychological topic. The third project was about how to act in first aid situations. Together with Cassy we initiated some people of Minte Forte into how to react in different first aid situations (discomfort, unconscious but breathing victim, unconscious and not breathing victim, burnt victim, cuts). And my last personal project was to organize a discussion in French, a sort of informal language learning activity.

During my stay in Romania I had two trainings. The first was an after arriving training, where there were twelve different nationalities involved. During the day we had the trainings about the EVS, and in the evening we shared some good moments in a club where we could dance, talk and have some drinks. Also, we had a cultural night to discover different cultures. It was awesome! But there were fifty-six persons and it was really hard for me to share with them and at times I felt lost and alone. The second training was quite better for me because we were only twenty-four persons and we were a closed group, so it was easier for me to share with the others. I met really good people and I kept good relations. For example, next week a friend from Arad will come and visit me.

But my life it’s not only about activities and training. Sometimes I’m going to town in Cluj to have a beer and discuss about subjects such as politics or society.  Or I meet with my mentor, with Cassy or other friends. Sometimes I go with Cassy to the city centre just for a walk or to shopping. But my favorite activity is just chilling in my room and watching tv-series on my computer. I’m not an energetic person!

Now we’re in December. When I arrived I felt very motivated, but after a few months the life was beginning to get hard. It was hard to share my space with other people and to handle different problems, like when I lost my wallet twice in the same weekend. But when I started the meetings with the scouts I begun to feel more motivated and I smiled again. The Sinaia trip where I got to meet the other volunteers and make friends contributed as well to my motivation. In November, there was a terrorist attack in France and now the situation is really bad. Our government decided to ignore human rights just to preserve the security, so I started to ask myself if it wouldn’t be better to stay in Romania after my EVS. But I miss my friends and my family, so I think I will go back to France in the end.



After one year since my first visit to Romania, I came back. This time I came to Cluj and I must confess I was very excited to visit this city and begin my activities. Although at first the language was a barrier for me, in time I got used with the language and now everything’s quite OK. I realized that I learned Romanian without giving it too much thought, while working and hanging out with my Romanian friends. It was a faster way of learning and this method, namely learning while having fun, works best for me!

But, apart from that, I keep a notebook for English and Romanian words for whenever I need help. Plus, when I learn a new word, I try to write it down in my notebook. I find this to be a very good reminder method. I realize that I’m making a progress when people talk to me in Romanian and I can understand the questions and I am able to answer or speak more easily. But I think I like it best when someone else tells me about my progress. It is such a nice thing to hear! During the last 7 months, I worked in a psychiatric hospital with children and teenagers. Together with my colleague, I prepared various activities for them, such as drawing, painting and different games. Each moment I get to spend with them is perfect and I’m very happy to help them and share my happiness. I love it!

I also got to work with children with disabilities in a very nice day care center. I did several activities with them and they are very nice! The children are so patient and they are very motivated and happy! I love to work with them for my personal project and I find all this to be quite perfect for me!

Sinaia! I went to Sinaia for my first training. We were 60 volunteers from 12 different countries who met there. It was such a big group! Nonetheless, everyone was talking to everyone, there were no small groups because all those present wanted to talk and get to know the other volunteers. This was a really interesting experience for me. 

Everything during that training was so nice! The trainers, all the volunteers, the party, the discussions…! For the training have been divided into two groups because it was easier for the trainers and for the volunteers to learn was needed. But, during the breaks it was like in school: the bell rang and you got to go and meet with your friends. We were sixty friends with something to say all the time. There were a lot of jokes! During the 1st week, I met some amazing people, I had an amazing time and everything was in fact amazing! 

The 1st week after that training there was the UNTOLD festival in Cluj, so I decided to go together with some friends whom I met in Sinaia. I went with four of my friends. We were five friends from three different nationalities enjoying the long nights of this big festival! It was a crazy weekend. So of course I decided I will come back next year for the UNTOLD! How I can miss it?

The conclusion is that my work here was nice. I'm so happy about my personal project, Rubicklub (the activities at the psychiatric hospital), the unforgettable encounters with children, and all the other amazing moments that I got to enjoy while doing my work here! It's a shame SEV volunteering is not a full time job! 2015 is almost at an end and we are in December and I saw snow only once! What are you doing snow? I’m waiting for you!