Discoveries in Romania.Learning process.The last days of the EVS experience.By Nastia

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My EVS project in Oltenita, Romania is about to end and I am glad that I made this decision to come here to be a European volunteer from Russia in the Association Dunare.EDU. I have never been to Romania before, I was very curious about this country, Romanian culture and people. On top of that, I really liked the idea of the project, the idea to work with young people to promote a healthy lifestyle and to get involved into a local community. I believe, I made a significant contribution into the project along with my EVS team.  It is thrilling to know that you can make a change in a rural area and that what you do is valuable for a local community, that it is needed. By choosing Romania as a country for an EVS project, all of us, volunteers, proved that we do not follow the mainstream and not look for easy ways, that we are trying to be independent from the opinions of others and that we are brave people who are not afraid of any challenges.

What have I learnt here? That is a very good question, it is difficult to estimate it, but I am sure that, overall, my new experience that I gained in Romania is great and that it will help me in the future and it is helping me now, too. I have learnt to be more confident, to rely mostly only on myself, to manage my time better. In Romania I lived a new life, I made very good friends here, I traveled around the country, I supported local homeless dogs, I enjoyed Romanian food and drinks, I can speak some Romanian now!

First of all, I found out a lot about non-formal education, about the programs of Youth-in-Action and Grundvig and I had a chance to put some ideas into practice. For example, in the schools of Oltenita we initiated the non-formal education method- Forum Theatre, where we tried to find the solutions to the problem of discrimination together with the teenagers. I am very happy that people here expressed a big interest in my country, our culture and lifestyles. Cultural expression was a huge part of my EVS project- I showed presentations about Russia and my republic, organized the Russian classes, discussions, debates, where I improved my public-speaking skills. Besides, I discovered a lot about the history, habits and traditions of Romania, as well as Spain, as every day we exchange information about our countries, we experienced mutual enrichment.

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Also, I realize that I am a more mature person now, I understand people better, I see that each person has its good and bad sides and that to every action, word there must be some reason, which maybe no so obvious. People are not perfect and their actions tell more than actually their words. I learnt how to understand the emotions of other people, how to react and control, thanks to the training “Emotional Intelligence”, organized in the office of Dunare.EDU.

To be honest, on the one hand, I really enjoyed this feeling of being in a center of attention, because I was the only representative from Russia, a Russian pioneer all this time. On the other hand, it was challenging too, because it was a huge responsibility, as I was trying to create a positive image of my country, also it was frustrating sometimes when I couldn’t follow the conversations in Spanish or Romanian, I felt being in a minority.

I believe, I made progress in being a more patient person now, when I do not like something or when I do not agree with something I try to sound reasonable to express my point of view, trying to listen to others. I experienced dealing with paper bureaucracy, when I had to come back to Russia to make a new visa, as well as with waiting for my residential permit from Calarash. Now I know that reality can be different from original plans and that, unfortunately, we depend a lot on authorities. Now I know that in Romania “everything is possible” because plans here can be easily changed in the very last moment, that is why I have learnt to be more flexible and now I can adapt easily to any kind of situation.

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Speaking about my future plans, I am going to continue cooperation with Dunare.EDU; I will look for possibilities to start being a trainer at youth seminars and trainings, I am willing to continue working with youth and continue sharing the possibilities of “Youth in Action” programs, I wish more Russian people could participate. In the nearest future, I will work as an interpreter and as a teacher.  Also, I will again be involved as a volunteer in several NGOs from Russia: “SFERA”, International Youth Club “Solveig”, and “Karelian regional center of volunteering”. In the summer 2013 I am going to be a volunteer in “Universiada in Kazan 2013” and a volunteer in Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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“Despedida” / “Farewell” (Part 2) by Manuel Sobrino

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Otros de los valores que he debido promocionar es el de la igualdad, la no discriminación, la tolerancia y el compañerismo. En concreto, el proyecto en el que me he embarcado pretendía “fomentar estilos de vida saludable”. Para ello, teníamos –mis otros tres compañeros EVS y yo– que ser líderes entre los jóvenes locales, motivarles, hacerles reflexionar sobre la importancia o no del voluntariado, empoderarles, hacerles partícipes de las tomas de decisión en su sociedad, hacerles ver que el futuro está en sus manos y que cada día tienen la oportunidad de agarrarlo con fuerza o dejarlo escapar como si fuese arena.

Debería irme satisfecho si pudiera afirmar que al menos hemos conseguido remover algo en la mente de estos jóvenes, que les hemos marcado de alguna manera y que al menos pensaron sobre los valores que les intentamos transmitir; incluso me daría por conforme si los hubieran rechazado porque eso significaría que al menos han reflexionado sobre el asunto.

En ocasiones he sentido la tristeza de ver como algunos de ellos sentían desilusión, cansancio o impotencia a la hora de hablar de los problemas que perciben en su país o ciudad. Quizás sea a causa de su edad, pero no lo creo porque me parece algo que también está presente en los adultos. Existen problemas en todos los lugares del mundo, sin embargo, lo triste viene del hecho de que no se haga nada para solucionarlos. Convencernos de que somos “motores de cambio” resulta algo fundamental. Creo que en Rumanía hay potencial para que la juventud de hoy haga de su país del mañana un lugar mejor.

Las personas que formamos parte de Dunare.EDU estamos convencidos de ello. Esta pequeña ONG nació para promover la cooperación internacional entre jóvenes y para involucrarlos en las actividades de desarrollo local. Son objetivos “modestos”, pero con una gran importancia para construir ese futuro mejor. Al menos yo así lo creo, y por ello valoro mucho el trabajo de las personas que desde su creación y a lo largo de estos años se han esforzado para conseguirlo. Varias han sido las discusiones que he tenido durante estos meses con algunas de ellas debido a que he considerado que estábamos perdiendo de vista esos objetivos o porque algunos problemas administrativos estaban enturbiando nuestro trabajo. Expresar con respeto nuestras opiniones siempre es provechoso, con lo que considero, con humildad, que la organización va a salir reforzada tras nuestro paso por ella.

Considero que otro de los aprendizajes que me llevo de mi estancia en Rumanía es conocer de cerca una pequeña ONG. Ya había colaborado antes en otras, incluso trabajé durante casi dos años en Amnistía Internacional. Sin embargo, lo que he aprendido aquí ha sido muy distinto. Ha sido durante el tiempo que he pasado en Olțenita cuando me he dado cuenta cuánto me gusta trabajar con niños, niñas y jóvenes. Llevar a cabo cualquier tipo de actividad con los más pequeños me ha resultado infinitamente enriquecedor, no sé si han aprendido más ellos de mí que yo de ellos.

Pero mi tiempo como EVS se acaba en poco más de dos semanas y ahora toca pensar en la nueva etapa de mi vida. Regresaré a España a principios de diciembre para intentar volver a mi vida anterior, aunque creo que ni yo seré el mismo ni mi ciudad lo será. Durante estos meses, mi padre ha perdido su trabajo, pero ha tenido la suerte de encontrar rápido uno nuevo. Varios de mis amigos y amigas han cumplido su sueño de comprarse una vivienda, aunque otros también están asustados porque no saben si podrán seguir pagando la que ya tienen. La situación en España es complicada, somos el país de la Unión Europea con más porcentaje de personas sin trabajo, lo que afecta principalmente a los y las jóvenes, donde se alcanza el 50% de paro. A pesar de todo, no quiero caer en el pesimismo.

Creo que regresaré a España con energías renovadas y con nuevas ilusiones. Estoy aprendiendo a escribir proyectos y quizás intente formar mi propia ONG. Tengo muchas ideas que me gustaría poner en marcha, aunque no será un camino fácil. Pase lo que pase, intentaré seguir para adelante, como siempre lo he hecho, y si ahora es más difícil, yo también estoy más preparado. Supondrá un nuevo reto, y sin retos yo no sé vivir.

Soy un EVS viejo y finalmente una persona adulta. La juventud y yo estamos despidiéndonos, pero no lo considero ningún drama. He vivido y sigo viviendo con intensidad cada minuto de mi vida y sé que lo que ahora me toca puede ser igual o más emocionante: formar una familia, tener una estabilidad laboral, seguir ilusionándome con nuevos proyectos, valorar más aun lo que tengo y no preocuparme tanto por lo que me falta. En definitiva: seguir luchando siempre con una sonrisa.

România, mulțumesc mult și la revedere!

Other values ​​that I should have promoted are equality, non-discrimination, tolerance and fellowship. Specifically, my project aims “to promote healthy lifestyles”. In order to get it, we –my three colleagues EVS and I– have been trying to be leaders among the local youth, motivating them, making them think about if it is importance to be a volunteer, empowering them, involving them in decision making in their society, showing them that the future is in their hands and every day they have a chance to grip it tightly or let it go as if it were sand.

I should feel satisfied if I could say that at least we achieved to arouse something in the minds of these young people, if we have marked them in some way and at least they thought about the values that we have been trying to spread; even I would feel satisfied if they had been rejected those values because it would mean that at least they have reflected on the matter.

Sometimes I have felt the sadness of seeing how some of them were disappointed, tired or powerless when they speak about the problems that they perceive in their country or city. Perhaps it is because of their age but I do not think so because it seems to me something that is also in the mind of the adult people. There are problems in all places of the world; however, the sad point comes from the fact that we will do nothing to solve them. Being convinced about that we are “incentive for change” is something essential. I think that in Romania there is potential to achieve that youth people of today build a better country of tomorrow.

People who are part of Dunare.EDU are convinced of this. This small NGO was set up to promote international cooperation among young people and to involve them in local development activities. Goals are “modest” but are very importance to build that better future. At least I think so and therefore I greatly appreciate the work of people who have worked hard to achieve this since its creation and throughout these years. Several have been the discussions that I have had during these months with some of them because I felt that we were losing of sight these objectives or because of some administrative problems were muddling our work. Expressing our opinions with respect always is helpful and that it is the reason because I think, with humility, that the organization will go reinforced after our passage through it.

I think other of the lessons that I have taken from my stay in Romania is to learn about a small NGO. He had helped before to others ones, even I worked for nearly two years at Amnesty International. However, what I have learned here has been very different. It has been during the time I spent in Oltenita when I realized how much I enjoy working with children and young people. Carrying out activities with kids I have been infinitely rewarding, I do not know if they have learned more about me than I of them.

But my time as EVS will finish in just over two weeks and now I am thinking about the new phase of my life. I will return to Spain in early December to try to take up again my previous life, but I think neither I will be the same nor my city will be. During these months, my father has lost his job but has been lucky enough to find a new one quickly. Several of my friends have fulfilled their dream of buying a home, but others are also scared because they do not know if they can continue to pay what already have. The situation in Spain is complicated; we are the country of the European Union with the highest percentage of people out of work, which mainly affects young people, it reaches 50% unemployment. Nevertheless, I will not give in to pessimism.

I think I will be back to Spain with new energy and new hopes. I am been learning to write projects and perhaps I will try to set up my own NGO. I have many ideas that I would like to start, but it will not be an easy road. Whatever happens, I will try to go forward, as I have always done, and if it is harder now, I am also more prepared. It will be a new challenge and I do not know to live without challenges.

I am an old EVS and finally an adult. Youth and I are saying goodbye but I do not consider it any drama. I have lived and continue to live with intensity every minute of my life and I know that now I can be the same or even more exciting time: to start a family, have a stable job, continue getting excited about any new projects and even to appreciate more what I have and not worry so much about what I am missing. In short: keep fighting always with a smile.

România, mulțumesc mult și la revedere!

“Despedida” / “Farewell” (Part 1) by Manuel Sobrino

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Soy un EVS viejo. Llegué a Rumanía hace más de seis meses, cuando ya tenía 27 años. La juventud y yo nos conocíamos desde hace mucho tiempo. Juntos hemos compartido numerosas experiencias: empecé y terminé la carrera de Periodismo; me hice un piercing en la ceja; abandoné el catolicismo y me hice ateo; me emborraché y me engañé a mi mismo prometiéndome una y mil veces que ya no volvería a beber; me teñí el pelo de rojo; estudié inglés, francés, latín, árabe e italiano; me manifesté contra la guerra de Irak, contra los atentados en Madrid el 11-M, contra la pobreza, por los derechos del colectivo LGTB o contra la reducción de derechos civiles en España y Europa; hice prácticas en un periódico, en una televisión y en varias agencias de comunicación; me saqué el carné de conducir; trabajé fregando platos en Inglaterra y en Irlanda; estudié un máster de Relaciones Internacionales; probé la marihuana y el hachís; hice un voluntariado en los campamentos de refugiados saharauis; recibí mi primer sueldo digno; me quedé en paro varias veces; viajé por cuatro continentes; fui operado de miopía; me enamoré; me hice un tatuaje; reí; lloré; me equivoqué; me caí; me levanté; y seguí caminando, peleando, soñando, descubriendo, confiando y aprendiendo.

Y en ese momento, aterricé en Rumanía. Me encontraba lleno de incertidumbres, pero ilusionado de nuevo porque estaba convencido de que los meses que iba a pasar en este país iban a ser inolvidables. Llegué para ser voluntario en una ONG del sur del país, en la pequeña ciudad de Olțenita, que, como podréis imaginar, no sabía de su existencia hasta que llegué aquí. Allí, un grupo de gente de diferentes edades estaba esperándome con los brazos abiertos; sabían que desde ese momento iba a formar parte de sus vidas.

A pesar de que no era la primera vez que vivía fuera de Madrid, mi ciudad natal, seguía teniendo las mismas incertidumbres de otras ocasiones: ¿me adaptaré bien? ¿Me sentiré cómodo? ¿Echaré de menos a mi familia, amigos y amigas? ¿Tendré problemas para comunicarme? ¿Merecerá la pena pasar aquí siete meses de mi vida?

Las dudas se fueron disipando al mismo tiempo que iba descubriendo poco a poco el país y su gente. Empecé a estudiar el idioma y pude pronunciar mis primeras frases; al mismo tiempo que aprendí algo del pasado de Rumanía, de la colonización romana, de Dacia, de la unificación del país, de la dictadura de Ceaucescu, de la revolución, de la democracia, de la entrada en la OTAN, en la UE, del mito de Drácula… También he tenido la suerte de poder viajar mucho durante los últimos meses: he navegado en canoa por el delta del Danubio, me he bañado en el mar Negro, he andado sin rumbo por las calles de Bucarest, he disfrutado con los paisajes de los montes Cárpatos, he contemplado las iglesias pintadas de Bucovina o las de madera de Maramures, he conducido por carreteras imposibles, he imaginado cómo sería el pasado en la ciudad medieval de Sighisoara o en los castillos de Bran, Rașnov, Peleș, Poienari…

Creo que las personas necesitamos viajar para llegar a conocernos mejor, o al menos eso es lo que me pase a mí. Hablar con personas de otros lugares nos ayuda a mirarnos con perspectiva y a poner nuestra propia identidad en un contexto diferente. Durante mi estancia en Rumanía, he tenido la suerte de hablar con jóvenes de países en los que nunca he estado: Rusia, Turquía, Escocia, Letonia, Lituania, Bielorrusia o Polonia, entre otros. Gracias a ello, he aprendido sobre sus respectivas culturas y he podido compararlas con la mía. ¿Nos parecemos en algo? ¿Qué tenemos en común? ¿Existe una identidad europea que compartimos?

Si soy sincero, no tengo respuesta para esta última pregunta. He sido un voluntario europeo en Rumanía, no un voluntario madrileño, español, mediterráneo o latino. Lo que ha matizado mi servicio de voluntariado ha sido esa procedencia. ¿Le ha dado ello un valor añadido? ¿Le ha hecho diferente a otro tipo de voluntariado? Se supone que parte de nuestro trabajo aquí es fomentar el concepto de ciudadanía europea… ¿Es algo que he hecho? No lo sé, creo que es demasiado pronto para valorarlo.

(Continuará…)

I am an old EVS. I arrived in Romania more than six months ago, when I was already 27 years old. Youth and I knew each other since long time. Together we have shared numerous experiences: I started and finished the career of Journalism; I got an eyebrow piercing; I gave up Catholicism and became an atheist; I got drunk and misled myself promising me a thousand times that I would not drink anymore; I dyed my hair red; I studied English, French, Latin, Arabic and Italian; I demonstrated against the war in Iraq, against the attacks in Madrid 11-M, against poverty, for the rights of the LGBT community or against the reduction of civil rights in Spain and Europe; I did internship in a newspaper, a television and several communications agencies; I got my driving license; I worked as a kitchen porter in England and Ireland; I studied a masters degree in International Relations; I tried marijuana and hashish; I was a volunteer in the Saharawi refugee camps; I received my first decent salary; I was unemployed several times; I traveled on four continents; I was operated for myopia; I fell in love; I got a tattoo; I laughed; I cried; I made mistakes; I fell down; I woke up; and I kept walking, fighting, dreaming, discovering, trusting and learning.

And at that time, I landed in Romania. I was full of uncertainties, but excited again because I was sure that the months that I was going to spend in that country will be unforgettable. I came to become a volunteer at an NGO in the south of Romania, in the small town of Oltenita, which, as you can imagine, I did not know of its existence until I arrived here. In that town, a group of people of different ages was waiting for me with open arms; they knew that I was going to be part of their lives.

Although it was not the first time I lived out of Madrid, my hometown, I still had the same doubt of other occasions: Will I adapt myself? Will I feel comfortable? Will I miss my family, my friends? Will I have any communication problem? Will it worth spending here seven months of my life?

Those questions were dispelled while I was going slowly discovering the country and its people. I began to study the language and could pronounce my first sentences, in the meantime I learned something about the past of Romania, the Roman colonization, Dacia, the unification of the country, the Ceaușescu’s dictatorship, the revolution, the democracy, the entry into NATO, the EU, the myth of Dracula … I’ve also been quite lucky to travel a lot during the last months: I have navigated by canoe along the Danube delta, I have swum in the Black sea, I have walked aimlessly through the streets of Bucharest, I have enjoyed gazing up Carpathian Mountains’ landscape, I have contemplated the painted churches of Bucovina and wood churches of Maramures, I have driven on impossible roads, I have imagined how the past time might be in medieval city of Sighisoara or in the castles of Bran, Rașnov, Peleș, Poienari…

I think that people need to travel to know themselves better or at least that is what happens to me. Talking with people from other places helps ourselves to look at us with perspective and put our own identity in a different context. During my stay in Romania, I was lucky to talk to young people from countries where I have never been: Russia, Turkey, Scotland, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland, among others. As a result, I have learned about their respective cultures and I have been able to compare them with mine. Are we similar in something? What we have in common? Is there a European identity that we share?

Being honest, I have no answer to this last question. I have been a European volunteer in Romania, not a Spanish, Mediterranean or Latin volunteer. My volunteer service has been set for that provenance. Have it made ​​any added value? Has it been different from another type of volunteer work? It supposed that part of our duties here is to promote the concept of European citizenship… Is it something I have done? I don not know, I think that it is too soon to assess it.

(To be continued…)

EVS in Romania. No regrets/ EVS в Румынии. Без сожалений by Nastia

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Hello, everyone!

I have already less than two months to spend as an EVS volunteer and I am trying to look for occupation for my future. If you have any ideas or suggestions for me, please let me know. I am very glad that we have a strong EVS team, responsible and serious people. We learn from each other every day and share news from our countries, from our families; we talk about traditions and habits, we travel together. Traveling is an important part of our EVS experience. Seeing different places, discovering and analyzing, meeting local people and other EVS, trying various traditional foods, we can notice differences between parts of Romania. Romania is a wonderful, very beautiful country! Most of all, I liked the amazing Maramures area, Bukovina and Transilvania! So to future EVS volunteers I definitely recommend to travel in your free time! 

 As part of our EVS activities we go to the schools in Oltenita, we talk about Spain and Russia, about common European values; we share our impressions about Romania with the young people. Many of them were surprised and kept asking why we chose Romania, but not Germany or France. It is sad that many teenagers want to leave from the country later to look for better job possibilities in EU. We are trying to show them the reasons to stay in Romania by organizing conversations and debates and showing that there is no ideal place in this world, that each country has its good and bad sides.

Why did we choose Romania? Honestly, I had no prejudices about Romania; I was open for any European country and I did not know much about Romania. One of my friends from Petrozavodsk was going to do EVS in Romania with me, but her parents were against this choice. Personally, I wanted to see this part of Europe and I am glad that I decided to come here, my family supported me. One of my American friends called me “so brave”!

I hope the rest of my time here we will have even more fun and we invite you for our activities in Dunare.EDU, at 16 on Friday for Leisure Club, for English classes on Monday and  Tuesday at 15 in the office, and for Spanish and Russian classes at 14 in the library of Basarab High School!  

 

EVS в Румынии.  Без сожалений.

Всем привет! Менее,чем через 2 месяца закончится мой проект в Румынии в качестве волонтера EVS, и я пытаюсь придумать,чем заняться в будущем. Если у вас есть идеи или предложения для меня, пожалуйста, сообщите мне. Я очень рада, что у нас сильная и дружная команда EVS, ответственные и серьезные волонтеры. Мы учимся друг у друга каждый день и делимся новостями из наших стран,  о наших семеях, мы говорим о традициях и привычках, мы путешествуем вместе.

Путешествия являются важной частью нашего опыта в качестве волонтеров Европейской Волонтерской Службы. Бывая в разных местах, встречая местных жителей, пробуя различные традиционные блюда, открывая для себя что-то новое, мы анализируем информацию, мы видим более полную картину.. Румыния- замечательная, очень красивая страна! Больше всего мне понравились удивительная область Марамуреш, прекрасная Буковина и головокружительная Трансильвании! Всем будущим волонтерам Европейской Волонтерской Службы я определенно рекомендую путешествовать в свободное время! 

 В рамках нашей деятельности мы ходим в разные школы в Олтенице, рассказываем об Испании и России,  делимся своими впечатлениями о Румынии с молодежью. Многие из них были удивлены и спрашивали нас, почему мы выбрали Румынию, а  не Германию или Францию, например. Печально, что многие подростки хотят уехать из страны после школы, чтобы искать лучшую работу в других странах Европейского Союза. Мы проводим беседы и дискуссии с ними, пытаемся показать, что не существует идеального места в этом мире, что каждая страна имеет свои хорошие и плохие стороны. Итак, почему же мы выбрали Румынии? Честно говоря, у меня не было каких-либо предрассудков в отношении Румынии, я была открыта для любой европейской стране, и я знала не так много о Румынии. Моя подруга из Петрозаводска собиралась поехать по  EVS в Румынию со мной, но ее родители были против этого выбора. Я не жалею о своей выборе, зная,что EVS возможно лишь раз в жизни, и моя семья поддерживает меня- это самое важное. Моя американская подруга сказала мне,что я очень смелая. Я надеюсь, что оставшееся время я проведу весело и с пользой!

Мы приглашаем вас принять участие в наших мероприятиях в Dunare.EDU, в 16 часов  в пятницу “Leisure Club”, для уроков английского языка в понедельник и вторник на 15 часов в офисе, на занятия по испанскому и русскому языкам  в 14 часов в библиотеке средней школы Басараб. 

“Proceso de aprendizaje” / “Learning process” by Manuel Sobrino

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Siento que ya estoy muy cerca del final de mi proyecto. En poco más de un mes estaré haciendo las maletas para regresar a Madrid. No sé si es bueno que piense ahora mucho en ello, pero creo que el ser consciente de que me queda poco tiempo en Rumanía me hace valorar más cada día.

Hace unas semanas tuve la suerte de volver a Predeal, esta vez para la segunda y última formación que debemos recibir los participantes del Servicio de Voluntariado Europeo. Allí estuvieron enseñándonos herramientas para recuperar la ilusión perdida (esto es algo que suele pasar), para mejorar nuestros respectivos proyectos y para empezar a pensar en qué hemos aprendido y cómo nos servirá cuando regresemos a nuestros países de origen.

Pensar en el futuro me da miedo. Dejé mi vida en España en mayo para vivir una experiencia inolvidable en Rumanía. Ahora tengo la impresión de que vuelvo al pasado, a continuar mi vida en la noche del 5 de mayo de 2012 como si los últimos siete meses hubieran sido tan solo un sueño. Suelo decir que este tiempo en Oltenita para mí está siendo como vivir en una burbuja y que cuando se explote volveré a la vida real: buscar trabajo, ganar dinero, pensar en un futuro a largo plazo, etc. Ahora me he acomodado a disfrutar de cada día, a aprovechar cada momento sin pensar en qué vendrá después, al mismo tiempo que intento absorber, cual bebé, toda la información que me llega.

Estoy aprendiendo tanto y tan rápido que a veces no soy consciente. Mi nivel de rumano cada vez es mejor, aunque sigo sin poder mantener conversaciones fluidas. En las actividades con los más pequeños me siento más y más cómodo, y con los adolescentes el entendimiento va a mejor, aunque sigo lamentando su actitud. Son críticos con lo que les preocupa, pero no se ven con el convencimiento y apoyo necesario para intentar hacer algo para cambiarlo.

He percibido en numerosas ocasiones esa actitud y a veces pienso que en Rumanía todavía es difícil protestar, manifestarse, exigir lo que cada uno considere justo. He escuchado en numerosas ocasiones frases como “no va a cambiar nada”, “a la gente sólo le importa ganar dinero”  o “no tenemos tiempo para eso”. Nosotros nos empeñamos en decirles que hay que ser insistentes, que juntos son más fuertes y que si trabajamos unidos podemos conseguir lo que consideremos que es justo. No hay que rendirse, chicos, chicas, y menos ahora que los momentos son difíciles en toda Europa.

Yo intento no renunciar a lo que considero justo, aunque a veces también se apodera de mí la apatía o el pesimismo. Pese a ello, sigo esforzándome por no olvidar que con asertividad, empatía y siendo consecuente con nuestros valores se puede defender y exigir cualquier cosa. Sin ir más lejos, en nuestro propio proyecto tenemos discrepancias con las responsables de él, pero no renunciamos al diálogo para hacernos entender y comprendernos mejor los unos a los otros. Creemos que tenemos derecho a cosas que se nos están negando y no vamos a parar hasta conseguir lo que consideramos justo, utilizando todas las vías que tenemos para ello. Ejercemos con firmeza nuestro derecho a la libertad de expresión porque no hacemos de las discusiones algo personal.

Estamos intentando dejar nuestro pequeño grano de arena en Rumanía, con modestia, pero con el convencimiento de que la única manera de conseguir un lugar mejor es siendo sinceros y no rindiéndonos porque otros digan que no merece la pena intentarlo. Yo he experimentado que trabajando juntos somos más fuertes, y por ello mi objetivo aquí es hacer que la juventud de esta pequeña zona de Rumanía tome conciencia de que no están solos.

En poco más de un mes estaré haciendo las maletas para regresar a Madrid. Por ello, lo más fácil para mí sería empezar a pensar en ese futuro próximo, pero no quiero, no todavía. Lo que necesito en este momento es seguir luchando para mejorar este proyecto, la organización en la que estoy trabajando y la situación de las personas a las que estamos dedicando nuestros esfuerzos. Espero estar haciéndolo bien, pero si no es así estaré dispuesto a rectificar.

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I feel that I am very near the end of my project. In little more than one month I will be packing my stuff to return to Madrid. I do not know if it is good that I think now much about it but I think that being aware of I have little time in Romania makes me appreciate more each day.

A few weeks ago I was lucky to return to Predeal, that time for the second and last training course that we must receive as participants in the European Voluntary Service. We were learning tools to recover the lost illusion (this is something that often happens), to improve our respective projects and to start thinking about what we have learned and how we will apply it when we return to our countries of origin.

I am afraid to think in the future. I left my life in Spain in May to live an unforgettable experience in Romania. Nowadays I get the impression that I return to the past, to continue my life on the night of May 5 as if the past seven months had been just a dream. I use to say that this time in Oltenita for me is still like living in a bubble and that when it explodes I will be again in the real life: finding a job, earning money, thinking about the future, etc. I have now adapted to the routine, to seize every single moment without thinking about what will come next, at the same time as I try to absorb, like baby, all information that comes to me.

I am learning so much and so fast that sometimes I do not realize. My level of Romanian is increasingly better, but I cannot still maintain fluent talks. I feel more and more comfortable in the activities with children, and I now understand better what the teenagers think and need, although I’m still regretting their attitude. They are critical concerns but are not with the belief and support they need to try to do something to change what they do not like.

I have noticed many times that attitude and sometimes I think that in Romania is still difficult to protest, to demonstrate, to demand that each considers fair. I have heard on numerous occasions phrases such as “it isn’t going to change anything”, “people only cares make money” or “we don’t have time for that”. We strive to tell them that they have to be persistent, that together they are stronger and that if we work as one we can achieve what we consider that it is fair. No surrender, guys, and less now those times are difficult in Europe.

I try to not give up what I consider fair, although sometimes also apathy or pessimism overwhelm me. However, I am still trying to not forget that with assertiveness, empathy and being consistent with our values we can defend and demand anything. Without going further, we have discrepancies in our own project with the heads of it, but we do not renounce to the dialogue to make us understand each other better. We believe that we are entitled to things are being denied to us and we will not stop till we get what we consider fair, using all the ways that we have. We exercise our right to freedom of speech firmly because we do not transfer the discussions in a personal scope.

We are trying to contribute our grain of salt in Romania, with modesty, but with the conviction that the only way to get a better place is to be sincere and not giving up because others say that it is not worth to try. I have experienced that working together we are stronger, and because of that my objective here is to get that the youth of this small area of Romania realize that they are not alone.

In little more than one month I will be packing my stuff to return to Madrid. Therefore, the easiest attitude for me would be to start thinking in my near future, but I am not doing it, not yet. What I do need at this time is to continue the fight to improve this project, the organization that I’m working on and the situation of people to whom we are dedicating our efforts. I hope to be doing well but if it does not I will be willing to rectify.

“Nada es imposible” / “Nothing is impossible” by Saúl De Toro

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Nada es imposible

Como yo comenté en mi último post, esta experiencia me esta ayudando a mejorar personalmente y adquirir competencias que antes no tenía. Hablé sobre el hecho de que no se nos ponga una lavadora, de cómo estoy mejorando mi inglés y controlando la necesidad de tener todo controlado.

Ahora, yo voy a escribir sobre dos actividades que hemos realizado y como éstas me han ayudado para ser más positivo.

El 7 de octubre, participé en la Maratón Internacional de Bucarest. El primer día que la organizadora de mi ONG me lo propuso dije que no me veía preparado para correr 10,5 kilómetros, ya que es una maratón entre cuatro personas. Una vez que me insistieron, salí a correr para probarme y sentí que podía correr esta distancia.

Una vez en Bucarest, en el ambiente de la maratón mis nervios y mi felicidad aumentaron. En la zona de salida solo pensaba: ¿¡por qué habré aceptado este reto!?, ¿¡Por qué habré aceptado este reto!? Durante la carrera me sentí bastante cómodo ya que al mismo tiempo que corría podía disfrutar de los increíbles edificios y monumentos que tiene Bucarest. Y no tengo palabras para redactar lo orgulloso y satisfecho que me sentí cuando cruce la meta.

Otro reto que se me ha planteado en las últimas semanas era participar en una gala que se realiza en Oltenita para elegir un Mister entre un grupo de chicos que han comenzado este año el instituto, Mister Boboc. Nosotros tuvimos que cantar y bailar una canción en español y otra en ruso.

Al igual que con la maratón, cuando se acercaba el día de la gala pensaba: ¿¡por qué habré aceptado!?, ¿¡Por qué habré aceptado!?

Finalmente la gala salió perfecta, nuestra actuación estuvo muy bien y volví a sentirme orgullo y satisfecho.

Creo que si nos lo esforzamos podemos superar cualquier reto que nos propongamos. En estos dos ejemplos era muy negativo al principio y ahora tengo unos recuerdos que nunca olvidaré. ¡Nunca digas no puedo!

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Nothing is impossible

As I mentioned in my last post, this experience is helping me to improve personally and has acquired skills that I did not have before. I talked about not having a washing machine, how I am improving my English and the need to have everything under control.

Now, I am going to write about two activities that we have done and how they have helped me to be more positive.

On 7th October, I participated in the Bucharest International Marathon. When the coordinator of my NGO proposed to me this challenge I said I did not feel ready to run 10.5 kilometers, because it is a marathon four people. Once they insisted, I went running to prove myself and I felt I could run this distance.

In Bucharest, in the atmosphere of the marathon, my nerves and my happiness increased. In the starting area I just thought: why have I accepted this challenge!?, why have I accepted this challenge!? During the race I felt pretty comfortable because while running could enjoy the incredible buildings and monuments that there are in Bucharest. And I have no words to write how proud and happy I felt when I was crossing the finish line.

Another challenge that I have been raised in recent weeks was to participate in a gala to be held in Oltenita to choose a Mister among a group of guys who have started school this year, Mister Boboc. We had to dance and sing a song in Spanish and another one in Russian.

As with the marathon, when approaching the day of the performance I thought: why have I accepted!?, Why have I accepted!?

Finally the show was perfect, our performance was very good and I again felt proud and satisfied.

I think if we want to we can overcome any challenge we set. In these two examples I was very negative at first moment and now I have some memories I will never forget. Never say you can not do it!

Шоу должно продолжаться … The show must go on by Anastasia Moskvina

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Шоу должно продолжаться …

Мы, EVS волонтеры в Олтенице, находимся на последней стадии нашего проекта, и кажется, что время бежит слишком быстро. Я и Мануэль побывали на отличном Мид-Терм тренинге в Предеале, мы узнали много нового о ключевых компетенциях ИВС волнтера , о форум-театре, о планировании жизни после программы Европейского Волонтерства. Кроме того, мы встретили много других волонтеров, наших хороших друзей, с которыми мы познакомились на первом тренинге для волонтеров. В Олтенице мы провели ряд мероприятий «Дни неформального образования» и «Неделю спорта”, мы сумели применить  некоторые игры и идеи с  предыдущих тренингов. Больше всего мне понравилось проводить мастер-класс по аэробике с детьми и  волонтерами, а также  большой кросс, потому что очень много ребят приняло участие. Мы наслаждались “бабьим летом” здесь, в начале октября было очень тепло.

Я понимаю, что наслаждаться каждым моментом жизни, а также максимально полезно проводить время- очень важно. Например, когда мы едем в автобусе в Улмень каждый вторник, мы разговариваем с людьми в автобусе, делясь своим опытом волонтерства и вызывая их неподдельный интерес. Кроме того, с Янирой, новым волонтером из Испании, мы встретили учеников с летнего лагеря в автобусе, и это привело нас на мысль продложить мероприятия  в школе № 3. Так здорово иметь возможность общаться с молодежью,рассказывать им о жизни в России,учить их английскому, да и просто вместе смеяться. В прошлый раз мы были приятно удивлены, получив целую корзину фруктов от учеников и учителей в школе №1.

Я горжусь собой, я определенно понимаю румынский язык гораздо лучше, и это настоящая награда, когдая могу ответить на вопросы местных жителей, когда мои соседи улыбаются и говорят: “О, ты понимаешь и говоришь по-румынски”. Приятно, когда  Евгений Ионеску благодарит нас за проведенные мероприятия в школе : “Сегодня вы, ребята, провели классные беседы! Поздравляю, ваш  румынский заметно улучшился».

Начиная с этой пятницы, 26 октября, мы организуем “Leisure Club” в оранжевом доме Dunare.EDU в большой парк для всех. Если вы хотите научиться играть в шахматы, или вы хотите знать язык жестов, или хотите смотреть русские, испанские, английские мультфильмы, хотите научиться танцевать, добро пожаловать! Каждую неделю мы собираем идеи, о том, что интересно для молодых людей в Олтенице в Facebook Группе “ Leisure Club: Как насчет следующей пятницы?” Не стесняйтесь добавлять свои идеи и присоединяйтесь к нам!

                      The show must go on…

We, the EVS volunteers in Oltenita, are in the last stage of our project and it seems like the time is running too fast. Me and Manu went for the Mid-Term training in Predeal, which was great, we learned a lot about Key Competences, Forum Theatre, about planning life after the EVS. Also, we met many other EVS volunteers, our good friends, who we have known since the On-arrival training. In Oltenita, we held several activities “Days of Non-Formal Education” and “Sport week”, where we could apply some games and ideas from Predeal`s training. Most of all, I enjoyed doing aerobics with the children, our volunteers and organizing the big cross in the park, because we managed to get many participants. We were enjoying the “Indian summer” period here, when it was so warm in the beginning of October.

I realize, that it is important to enjoy every moment of the life here and make the most of the time here. For example, when we go to Ulmeni every Tuesday we speak with people in the bus, sharing our EVS experience and learning for them, too. Also, with a new volunteer from Spain Yanira we met the students from the summer camp in the bus and it gave us the idea to come back to the school №3. It is fun to meet children in the schools № 3 and 1 and teach them English and play with them, show them videos and just laugh together. Last time we were surprised to receive a whole basket of fruits from the students!

I am proud of myself, I definitely understand the Romanian language better and it is a real reward, when I can reply to local people, when my neighbors smile and say: “Oh, now you can speak so well!” or when Ionescu Eugen gives us a feedback after our activities in Basarab High School: “ Today’s activities were excellent! Congratulations for your progress in the Romanian language.”

Starting from this Friday, October 26th, we are organizing “Leisure Club” in the orange house of Dunare.EDU in the big park for everyone. If you want to learn playing chess, or you want to know the sign language, or want to watch Russian, English, Spanish cartoons, want to learn to dance, you are welcome! Every week, we collect ideas of what is interesting for young people in Oltenita in Facebook Group Leisure Club: What about next Friday? Feel free to add your ideas and join us!