Time flies so fast. It´s unbelievable. 2 months ago I left Romania after amazing almost 11 months. It gave me a lot, it took me a lot. I´m glad that I could have been a part of this EVS project. Did I change? Yes! I think I became more open-minded and brave. I didn´t really have any cultural shock in Romania, but I was so afraid to come back to Slovakia. Of course I was looking forward to meet my family and friends, but I felt I´m not the same version of myself anymore. But at the end I didn´t have any time for real cultural shock. I spent less than 3 weeks in Slovakia and I stepped into my new life adventure – 8000 km from my home, in second biggest country in the world, alone…in small town in the mountains (yes I love small towns in the mountains). Canmore in Canada became my new home at least for next few months. I fall in love with this town. It´s enought small that I can walk everywhere, but still enought big to meet new people and  to attend some events.

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I came here to make my dream come true. And I think I´m on the good way. So far I don´t have so much work, but I hope it will change soon. We need more snow, because my new job is a musher / dogsledding guide. I already spent few days with dogs and also on the sled and it´s amazing. My “office” is in the national park surrounded by mountains. It wasn´t easy on the beginning but I didn´t give up and now I´m member of Howling Dog Tours team.

I want to share with you my feelings. Currently I feel so free. I think I can do almost everything. In worst case I will buy flight ticket home. I plan to stay here at least one year, but I already know that it´s such a short time for this country. I came here alone, but I don´t feel lonely. Canadians are really nice so far. They seem some of the most friendly people which I´ve ever met. And I´ve met also people from lots of different countries (nobody from Slovakia so far haha). It´s always interesting to listen to their stories. And everyone loves mountains and sports. It´s awesome, but on the other hand I feel like a lazy person here. You know I like challenges so I started to climb – so far just on the wall in the gym. Hopefully I will get better and in the summer I will start rock climbing. I found some friends, so I´m proud of me. I´m becoming more social. It was my promise from our Training for nature. I think it´s easier to meet people when you have some hobbies. And I have. I love the mountains and the dogs. Actually I live with one even it´s not mine. Her name is Skye and sometimes we go to the dog park together.

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I´m trying to be more yes girl, so I decided to say yes also for partying. Probably I should explore this part of  the life as well. I just regret that I didn´t start in Romania. There would be cheaper. But don´t worry I will come back 😉

It´s my last blog post. It´s time to leave the space for new volunteers. I´m looking forward for your stories guys. I hope you will share a lot! 🙂 Thank you for everything! Romania, Baile Tusnad, Youth center and especially people here will have a room in my heart forever. Big hugs for everyone!

 

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The feeling of going home after 10 months

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This week I had to return to Germany for official university issues. My flight was on the 7th of August and I would return to Romania on 11th. At the airport I started to have mixed feelings about going home after 10 months of staying in Baile Tusnad, because at the beginning of the project I swore to myself to not go home during my time here and now I didn’t have another option. Tusnad became like a second home to me and it felt really weird leaving it behind, although only for a short time.

When I arrived at the airport in Nürnberg, my mum picked me up and we drove through the city to our home. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw everything again, was:

‘Oh my god, everything is so in order. I can basically feel all the rules and regulations!’

Well yeah…when you return to Germany after 10 months of Romania, these thoughts are coming quite naturally. 🙂

I didn’t tell my grandparents that I would come home, so they couldn’t believe, that it was me showing up on our doorstep. I was also more than happy to finally see them again after such a long time and it was a very emotional reunion. The rest of the day we spent together and of course my family started reminiscing about their childhood in Romania, by telling stories and singing Romanian songs. 🙂 Back in my room I actually felt a bit lonely without a roommate, because I got so used to always having Ziviles presence around me, that it felt strangely sad to not have somebody to annoy with my loud eating and disturbing alarm clock. ;D

On the second day I met with one of my friends and we obviously talked about a lot of things that happened while I was away. I had the feeling, that it would be a bit weird after such a long time, but when we were together, it felt like I had never been away at all.

On the third day I had to go to my university for a test I had to undergo, in order to get accepted to one of the study courses I applied for. I was a bit nervous, because I couldn’t prepare myself so well for this test, but there were other people who felt the same way, so it was quite reassuring. The test itself was not easy, but also not super hard and in the end I received quite a good result. Moreover, I made a couple of new acquaintances, who are going to study with me from the middle of October.

On my last day, I spent some time with my mum as well as my grandparents and on Friday the 11th, I already had to leave again. At the airport there were some problems at the security check and the whole area had to be closed for approximately half an hour. Because of this incident, my plane left half an hour later and arrived in Bucharest one hour later than originally planned. Arriving at the train station, I had to wait an eternity to get a ticket and consequently missed the train I originally wanted to take. So, I had to take a train to Brasov at 22.00 and arrived there at 1.00. Then, I had to wait 4 hours for my train to Tusnad…I spent my time strolling around Brasov during the night until my train came. In the end I arrived at 6 in the morning. Me and Romanian trains just don’t fit together…apparently, there is no chemistry between us. 🙂

These four days at home were really nice, but strange at the same time, because at some points I really felt like a stranger in my own country. I think I will need at least one or two months to get used to everything again. But these four days in Germany defintitely helped me with making my permanent return in September easier.

Probably when we will leave, we will be remembered as “volunteers, who did a lot of challenges”. But really there were so many – book challenge (sorry that there were no follow up on that…let’s just say reading ebooks is not as fun, as physical books), no drinking challenge, hitchhiking challenge, learning to juggle challenge…you get the picture. So, no surprise, that when I was half-jokingly telling Lenka that I wouldn’t survive a week being vegan, she replied “let’s make a challenge!”. And who am I to say no… So, welcome to my experience after being VEGAN FOR A MONTH.

I will split my experience into three parts – before, during and after, so it would be easier for you to follow how my attitude towards veganism changed. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a loooooong post, so if you’re lazy to read about my ups and downs, just scroll down to read the conclusions.

BEFORE

First of all, let me tell you that I am very open minded about vegan diet. I’ve been vegetarian for a couple of years, then went back to eating meat, but never felt great, so I was planning to go back vegetarian again. I saw some movies about veganism, though they didn’t convert me to vegan overnight. Let’s say I am somewhere in the middle grounds – I don’t believe that we all are lions, our teeth are meant to rip animals flesh apart and our stomachs are the same as other meat-eating carnivores. On the other hand, plant based diet for me always seemed a bit extreme from the health point of view – I mean, I always agreed that it is a way for more ecological life, leaving a smaller negative impact on Earth than other diets, but I thought that being vegetarian is the best balance between being eco-friendly and healthy at the same time.

Talking about my eating habits prior this challenge (or, should I call it an experiment?), they weren’t the worst, but weren’t great either. I was having some problems with my stomach, weird pains, bloating, so I tried to have balanced diet to make it better. While in Romania I was drinking milk only on very rare occasions, maybe once in a couple of months (back in Lithuania I also don’t drink it), wasn’t eating cheese (honestly, no offense, but Lithuanian cheese is so much better than Romanian, that I didn’t even want to buy any…), never cooking meat and eating it only when I am out somewhere.

To be honest, my biggest dietary problem was sweets.

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Yup, this photo represents me quite well…if it has chocolate in it, I love it!

So, I wasn’t quite ready to say “bye” so all amazing non-vegan sweets, but I was trusting Lenka and hoping, that I will survive the challenge…

DURING

1st week – I AM HUNGRY

Let’s start with the fact, that my challenge started when we had a training. So, imagine coffee breaks – everyone is eating waffers and cookies, and here I am, chewing on an apple…hard life! But the hardest part was when we had intercultural night and there were fancy foods from all over the Europe, which I couldn’t eat! Good that I prepared some vegan sweets, in the training there were a couple of vegans as well and they brought vegan chocolate, some foods were “accidentaly vegan”, for example amazing peach jam with bread. So, in the end I wasn’t so sad and hungry as I thought I will be, still I was secretly thinking about that Portuguese cheese on the table…

The week of the training we were being outdoors quite a lot, and in general days and nights were busy. This week probably was the hardest for me – we didn’t have so much time to prepare food, I didn’t knew so many recipes to start with, and I was constantly feeling hungry. Really, I was always nagging “Lenkaaaa, I feel hungry! What should I do?” And, the fact that my friend sent me one of my favorite milk chocolates and I couldn’t eat it didn’t help at all.

Another thing that I noticed on the first week was that I always needed to ask “is this vegan?” and most of the times I had to rephrase it to “does this contain any milk products, meat or eggs?”, because for some people being vegan equals not eating meat. I felt better that I was not the only one asking that, but in everyday life I think that would be quite a hassle (but maybe that would be a good exercise for my social skills?)

2nd week – PLEASE, BE SUPPORTIVE

The second week I realised, how important is to have a good support system when you are trying to change your diet, either it’s going vegan or just trying to eat healthier (imagine your friend munching on a pizza while everything you have is only a salad). If it wasn’t enought that on the first week we had training, second week Tusványos was happening in Baile Tusnad! Imagine, big festival, full of amazing food: pancakes, ice cream, langos, milkshakes… But my heart skipped a beat when I saw my absolutely favorite dessert – kurtos kalacs, filled with Nutella and ice cream, topped with whipped cream and strawberries… “Lenka, I am not sure if I can do it! It’s NUTELLA!” But Lenka was super suportive and was saying that we will make something at home. Lisa, on the other hand… “Oh, you know what I will buy tomorrow in the evening? Kurtos kalacs…” It wasn’t just want time joke, next day it was repeated with “Do you know what will happen today? I will eat it in the evening… You will be sooo jealous…” So, it was just evil! Probably I would have given up then, but Lenka was really motivating and we came up with some ideas how to make our own “festival food” (and to sneak it in the festival, of course!)

Vegn burgers with chickpeas and mushrooms were amazing, I also made some sweets (energy bards from oats, dates and peanut butter), and we found out that even in the festival there is a possibility to find some vegan things – cotton candy and sweet corn. I survived! In the beginning we agreed that challenge will be only for two weeks, but I decided, that it wasn’t THAT hard (ok, only saying no to that kurtos kalacs), and that I should try at least a month before making conclusions if I like it or not.

3rd week – BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS

One of my goals for doing this challenge was to learn some new recipes from Lenka. Some of them she cooked for me (cabbage and peanut butter stew…sounds incredibly weird, but actually was pretty good!), some we cooked together (coconut and chickpeas curry, banana ice cream with peanut butter, vegan pancakes and many more). I was also trying to read about vegan diet on the internet, google some recipes myself, discover new ways to cook (who knew that beans can be a base of an amazing burger!).

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On 3rd week we were travelling to Vama Veche, but now when I think of it, I don’t remeber any problems about being vegan on a trip, and probably because I prepared well – I had at least three different dishes packed for the trip, so I never felt hungry or found myself in a moment where I want to eat but I can’t find anything vegan. So, bringing my own snacks made being vegan so much easier.

One of the funny things that happened on the 3rd week – when we arrived to Constata, me and Lenka went to shop for food. I was waiting outside with Smiley while Lenka was shopping and then we planned to change. When she came out of the shop, expression on her face was telling, that she found something good. “I bought vegan chocolate! For 3 lei!!!” That really sounds amazing, because usually vegan chocolates are aroud 15-20lei (ok, the only exception is black chocolate but…who likes it anyway?) When I asked how many of them she bought, the answer surprised nme (and remember, I told you, I am obsessed with chocolate!) Lenka had 5 big chocolates in her bag! So, we spent that weekend enjoying vegan chocolate with rice milk. Honestly, even though the ingredients were way better than the ones of chocolate I usually prefer (Milk is the best…and yes, I know there is more sugar than the actual chocolate!), the taste was just ok. It wasn’t bad, but nothing even close to what I would call “great”.

4th week – THERE’S OTHER FOODS THAN TOFU

In the 4th week I was falling into a routine – oat porridge or cereal with oat milk for the breakfast, pasta or rice with some protein for the lunch, a lot of fruits for the dinner… And, the problem is, that the biggest part of my protein intake was from soya. Grilled tofu, fried tofu, marinated tofu… It tastes amazing, fills me up well and I feel good and not too “heavy” afterwards. But all of us know, that the best way to have a healthy diet is to have more variety. So, i tried exploring different dishes, added more legumes to my diet, but I can’t say that I found the perfect balance just yet.

AFTER

What did I do on the first day after my vegan challenge ended? You guessed it right, ate a chocolate. All of it. 100 grams of sugar, fat and a tiny bit of actual cocoa. Was it nice? Yes. Did I want to repeat it? To my surprise, not so much. It’s been 4 days after my challenge ended and since then I ate 1 pizza (after it my stomach was super upset and it hurt all evening), 1 chocolate, 1 langos (actually, before my challenge ended Lenka made me a vegan version…surprisingly, I liked it more than the original!) and a pack of Belgian waffles.

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(Just showing off vegan langos. Ain’t it pretty?)

Everything else I ate was still vegan. Am I going to stay vegan? Most likely, not. Did this challenge showed me that vegan life doesn’t have to be sad and boring? Definitely yes.

CONCLUSIONS

I don’t want to make a list of pros and cons – after all, I am not a dietary specialist, so I can speak only from my experience. That’s why I want to share the main points I discovered during this month.

  • It’s easier to vegan when others are supporting you.
  • It’s important to always have snacks – when you know that you have tasty and healthy bar in your bag it’s easier to say no to this tempting discount for Snickers.
  • Cooking at home is the key. This way food is always tasty, you know what you are eating, and you’re spending less.
  • Meeting other vegans feels great. Especially when you can share food with each other.
  • Eating too many fruits can be a thing. Lenka doesn’t agree with me on that, but I noticed that I am eating SO MANY fruits to compensate the craving for something sweet. If I would be staying vegan, I would definitely try to use more vegetables than fruits.
  • Grains+greens+protein is a perfect combination. This way you can create endless simple dishes and eat more or less balanced meal.
  • It’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating, if needed – use some supplements. Again, if I were to go vegan for long term, I would probably consult my doctor or go to dietitian – just to make sure that I am getting everything that I need with my food.
  • Best thing about being vegan – no worries about the cake being not baked well – it doesn’t have any eggs, so no problem! Also you can taste everything before cooking, when it doesn’t have any meat products or eggs, there are no problems about eating it raw.
  • If in the party there are normal snacks and vegan snacks, everyone (including meat eaters) will eat vegan ones!

It’s been an interesting journey, huge thanks for Lenka for guiding me through this, I am really happy I learned a lot of things that will be useful for me even though if in the end I will choose a different lifestyle.

When me and Lenka were in Dakini, everyone kept telling us, that we should visit Vama Veche and that is one of the nicest places in Romania’s seaside – everyone seemed to have some nostalgic memories about it – going there as a child with the family, later in teenage years going with friends, finding first love or having first heartbreak, later after some years coming back with their own kids… So it seems to be a pretty special place for a lot of Romanians! When we got a chance, me, Lenka and Lisa decided to travel to the seaside, together with our friend Mihai (I told you, friendships from the training do last!). Instead of taking the train we decided to hitchhike, as usual. Our plan was to get to Bucharest, meet Mihai and next day go together to the seaside. To make things more difficult, we were carrying a tent, our bags and Smiley. So, not so many chances that a car would stop for us, but defying all the odds we had a great trip – some wonderful people stopped for us and it took only 2 cars to get to Bucharest!

In Bucharest we planned to meet Mihai, but accidentaly got lost in a biiig park, and the storm started…we were lucky because some lovely people from a fancy restaurant invited us, although we couldn’t enter inside with a dog, they took chairs for us outside, let us sit under the roof where there is no rain, offered us drinks and even water for Smiley…I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Romanian hospitality!

And we got to experience more of that, because when we finally met Mihai and reached his home, we were greeting by his grandmother who offered us food, and Mihai made us feel like at home. And, he has two cutest cats in the world, so I felt like in cat heaven!

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I have to add, that Smiley also enjoyed the company of cats…though I don’t know if the feelings were mutual.

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So, we spent one night in Bucharest and in the morning we were ready to continue our journey to the seaside. Of course, us being us, we can’t do anything just like that, we need to create crazy challenges and funny things… So, we decided to split into two teams – me with Lenka (+Smiley) and Lisa with Mihai, and have a challenge – whoever first reaches seaside wins, and the loosers have to build the tent and prepare dinner… So, the night before trip we spent creating our team names and strategies. Me, Lenka and Smiley were Freedom Shamans and our plan was to go to a really good hitchhiking place, but far away from where we were staying, Lisa and Mihai called themselves Kookaburras and decided to sleep longer and choose hitchiking spot closer to home.

I won’t go too much into the details, but basically, me and Lenka won! We thought that having Smiley will be a disadvantage, but we met some fun people, who like dogs, so we got very lucky! And we enjoyed an interesting conversation, in which we learned some crazy facts that you could hear only from locals (for example, than in a cemetery in Ploiesti there is a gravestone which looks like a huge dick…apparently, some man wasn’t happy with his wife sleeping around when she was alive, and he decided to give her that gravestone after she died…weird!), and the best places in Vama Veche to buy hippie pants… So, the trip was lovely! Although, Lisa and Mihai arrived so late, that they didn’t get their “punishment” and me and Lenka build the tent…though, I am still hoping for dinner someday!

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The seaside was absolutely lovely, we embraced hippie atmoshpere, slept in the tent, went to party, swam, danced… So, it was amazing 🙂 And on the way home we got incredibly lucky and it took us only one car to get straight to Bucharest (the driver was a great guy who travels a lot, so again, nice conversations, and he even let me to pick the music 🙂 hitchhiking in Romania is awesome, I am going to miss that!). In Bucharest we stayed with couchsurfing, we split and Lenka together with Smiley went to some nice lady, and me and Lisa went to Lithuanian guy, who is doing his internship in Romania, so I even got to speak my mother tongue a bit!

Way home was a little less succesful, we got to Brasov and from there…we just waited, waited and waited. My tip – never hitchhike from Brasov to Baile Tusnad, it’s just a waste of time! We tried that multiple times and always ended up just taking the train, no exception this time as well. So, tired but happy we reached home and now we have our Romanian seaside adventure to remember!

All photos used in this blogpost were taken by Lenka

One thing that we kept hearing since we came here – the most awesome event in Baile Tusnad is Tusványos – music festival, then streets fill with young people, music is so loud that you can’t sleep and party lasts all night long.

We sometimes are joking, that we are the most quiet volunteers in the history of EVS. Really, we don’t drink, we don’t party hard (ok, maybe Anita sometimes does :)) So even though we were waiting for the festival, we imagined it to be pretty quiet. Well, it wasn’t craaazy, but let me tell you, we did party and I have photos as a proof!

First day we went together with our couchsurfer (woohoo, we had first official couchsurfer), she’s Romanian and she was sooo surprised tht no one in the festival spoke Romanian (even at the entrance, where they sell tickets) and she had to use English to communicate (so, if you’re coming to Tusványos next year prepare and learn some Hungarian phrases).

received_323492801435123.jpegOk, so this might be not the best photo, but, strangely enough, we took almost no photos during the festival (probably because we were having great time and chose to rather enjoy it than take photos).

During the days in the festival there were a lot of different activities and workshops. Of course, most of them were in Hungarian as well, but we found some where we could join and me and Lenka spent a couple of days painting…

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Good that official photographers caught us on camera, so I can share a couple of decent pictures:

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And in the evenings we were dancing and enjoying concerts, so not so many pictures of that… Well anyways, i want to share some random moments/thoughts from this year’s festival (I really hope that’s not the last time I visited it!):

  • If you have the right attitude, everything is fun! Me and Lenka really wanted to go to the first row in some random concert. Random, because, anyways we didn’t knew the bands, nor understood the lyrics… But it was so much fun! We were joking that we must’ve seemed like the biggest fans of the group, we were dancing like crazy, clapping, shouting…It was great a time!
  • Everywhere is good, but in the Mezo is the best! Everyone who lives in Baile Tusnad knows, that Mezo is a great place. So no wonder that even in the festival, where there was a lot of different bars, every evening we still ended up in Mezo!
  • If you’re open for a chat, you can meet interesting people! I left for a second, when I came back I found Lenka talking with some random guy. He asked me where I am from, when I replied, that from Lithuania, he unbuttoned his jacket and showed that he’s wearing a tshirt with Lithuania’s flag  – apparently he has been living there for some time and we had an interesting chat about my country. Or, I met some guys that had a tent in our backyard… so, random conversations are fun!
  • It’s possible to party alone and it’s not as sad as it may sound! So it happened that one day no one was feeling like staying longer and I just wanted to dance… So I had two options – go home with everyone, or stay alone. As I mentioned, I am not super social, so staying alone in a festival sounds a little bit intimidated, but I though I might try. And it was pretty fun, I had a lot of conversations, danced and had a great time!
  • If you want to be in the center of attention, buy sugar cotton! I found out that totally by accident, I bought sugar cotton and suddenly everyone started talking to me, asked to take picture together, it was sooo funny and crazy 😀

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So this is my impression about the festival, make sure to visit it next year!

Sometimes when you don’t expect much, great things happen.

Peti told us, that there will be an Erasmus+ training in Baile Tusnad and if we are interested, we can take part in it. Of course we all were interested – meeting new people and learning something new is always great.

Maybe 5 years ago I participated in Youth in action training in Czech Republic, I have some good memories regarding the people I met, but training itself was a bit hectic, so I was expecting something similar – a bit unorganised but fun week with lots of new people. Imagine my surprise, when training turned out to be not only fun, but incredibly motivating and useful! So, let me share what we did and what are my feelings after the training.

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The training was facilitated by two amazing girls from organisation Art Fusion, and there were participants from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Romania, Lithuania and Germany. So, me and Lisa got the chance to speak in our mother tongues, Lenka and Anita were the only ones representing Slovakia and Hungary, so they had to continue speaking in English…:)

All the days of the training had different topics, we started with meeting each other, having teambuilding in the nature.

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We continued to discovering our surroundings (well, me and the girls were already familiar with Baile Tusnad, obviously, so we had some different tasks to help others to see different parts of our beautiful town).

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We learned about some practical tools – how to plan activities, how to use earning through experience, etc.

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Later on we used this information in creating our own mini-workshops in the topic of nature.

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The days of the training went by incredibly fast and it was time to part our ways, but I am sure that each of us has learned something. I want to share with you the things that I am taking away from this project.

Practical things

  • Experiential learning cycle: Experience -> Reflection -> Generalisation -> Application. In my opinion this is one of the most useful methods that could be applied to a lot of situations.
  • Teambuilding is a crucial part of working with groups. In this training there was a lot of time and attention for teambuilding and later on group of people from different parts of Europe, with different attitudes and experiences, who met just a couple of days ago, managed to work together and achieve great results (and, not only work, but build friendships, who, hopefully will also last after training). I am sure these great results were partly due to teambuilding acivities.
  • Facilitator is not a lecturer. Of course, I knew that before, but in this training I felt it very strongly – facilitators weren’t “teaching” us about nature, ecology, etc – they were using different methods to create a platform for us, where we can feel free to share our different experiences and learn from each other. I have educational background and I feel that sometimes I fall into this “trap” of wanting to “teach” too actively, so this was a great reminder that sometimes instead of providing all the information for pupils we should challenge them, create such tasks that will motivate them to discover new things by themselves and that will make them more immersed in the subject, than just being passive listeners.

Emotions

  • I was incredibly happy to meet all people who were participating in a project and I felt that I have so much to learn from each and every of them. I hope that our paths will cross again someday.
  • Socializing in free time is as importnt as the training itself. I know I am a teeny tiny bit socially awkward, my perfect evening is watching movies with friends, not going out to a pub with strangers… But, the thing is, that sometimes if you do go out with people that you don’t know that well and genuinely try to get to know them, they might become friends…so, worth the risk! 🙂

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The Training for Nature project is organized by A.R.T. Fusion Associatio Romania and made possible by involvement of the partners as well:
IDA Croatia, Asociacion Prorise partners as Spain, Förderverein Offene Bildung Umwelt Kultur e.V. Germany, Nous Italy, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu Portugal, Asociacija Apkabink Europa Lithuania.

The Training for Nature project is organized with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Photos used in the blog post were taken by Anita Demeter & girls from Art Fusion.

 

This July in Baile Tusnad there was an annual event – triathlon. We had a chance to see it, be useful by giving water and snacks to participants and enjoy the day! I won’t talk much – I am the opposite of “sporty” person, so the only thing I can say is that I admire all those people who managed to do all three tasks, either in team, or alone! Some moments from the sunny day:

LENKA: When we stop using hair brush.

LENKA: When we use just cold water to shower.

LENKA: When I use the towel in 100 ways.

LENKA: When I used my T-shirt instead of the hat.

LENKA: When we stop using the bra (with or without T-shirt).

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ŽIVILĖ: When the only thing that stops me from joining all the naked hippie people sunbathing in the beach is the thought, that my sunburn can get worse.

LENKA: When we wear as many colors as possible.

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ŽIVILĖ: When I wake up and Lenka has glitter all over her face and she’s like ‘I danced at the psychotrance stage! And I liked it!”

ŽIVILĖ: When we fall asleep in the hammock right next to the dj, who’s blasting chill music. Sleep is chill, right?

LENKA: When the sun rises at 5.25, I don’t hear my alarm clock and wake up at 5.32 and I take a picture of aaaalmost sunrise. And when I do wake up on the time, it’s fog everywhere!

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BOTH: When both are so little money that we have shared budget. (Don´t take it. 2 lei is too expensive!)

LENKA: When we accept everyone.

LENKA: When we eat our watermelon next the toilet shop.

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LENKA: When we cook pasta in the middle of the park in Bucharest.

BOTH: When we find our hippie dog, she follows us around for a bit and we’re seriously considering calling her Dakini (at least for a surname) and adopting her.

ŽIVILĖ: When we meet other hitchhikers, going the same direction and we exchange friendly waves and drivers that are passing us are showing thumbs up. 

BOTH: When hitchhiking got boring, we started playing ukulele and some nice people stopped, apparently they had a guitar, so music connected us!

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ŽIVILĖ: When we drag 5l of water for 3 km because it’s a couple of lei cheaper.

LENKA: When we go to buy the lemonade, spend half an hour choosing the best and cheapest and on the end we don`t buy any, because it is too luxurious.

ŽIVILĖ: When we look so poor that lovely people who stops to give us a lift offers us food and to buy us tickets home.

BOTH: When we try to organise EVS volunteers party at the festival and make nice colorful poster, but end up just having a normal conversation.

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ŽIVILĖ: When I am so chill, that I fall asleep in the middle of yoga lesson and keep sleeping there. Basically, when I can fall asleep anytime and anywhere.

ŽIVILĖ: When clean socks are the most valued thing of all. When oat flakes, jam and water is officially classified as breakfast.

ŽIVILĖ: When the questions is not “do I smell?” but “how bad do I smell?”

LENKA: When we are running barefoot on the beach.

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ŽIVILĖ: When I am collecting beautiful stones and plan to make jewelry from them. 

LENKA: When we live in the moment.

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Trip to the moon

“Lisa, do you want to go somewhere tomorrow?”
“Let´s go Vulcanii Noroioși (Mud Vulcanoes).”
“How? Of course by hitchhiking.”

So we had to start our trip early morning. We left home at 6:45 and started hitchhiking. We catched first car soon. They took us to Chilieni, after we went to Ozun and after in the middle of nowhere we stopped the bus to Întorsura Buzăului. Nothing special happend. In Întorsura Buzăului we stayed longer (for a while we doubted if we hitchhike in good diraction). But finally it was good direction (we asked in the shop to be sure) and one nice man with his cute little daughter took us to small village Crasna. Lisa could practice her romanian. On the map it looked like a bigger village, but in real it was a little bit different. We were almost in the middle of nowhere again. But we were successful and one of few cars stopped and took us. The driver spoke a little bit English and he showed us a nice lake Siriu. He stopped so we could take some photos 🙂 . In Nehoiu Lisa´s stomach started to be bad, so we had a small break. I saw the tourist informations so we went there because I wanted to ask for the map (I didn´t know exactly where vulcano should have been). There was really kind woman. We talked a little bit, she gave us a lot of maps and information what we should visit (I hope that we will use it later and we will visit this region again). From Nehoiu to Berca we were taken by the big car and we had our authentic romanian experience (yes, the driver wanted to find a husband for us and for Lisa´s sister as well). Poor Lisa, she had to talk with him all the time. I was lucky because he didn´t speak English. Next car took us directly to the vulcano. We did it! 🙂 It was nice and landscape reminded the moon. We enjoyed it. I took a lot of pictures and we went back home. For a while it seemed that it will be harder to hitchhike back. So we decided to walk to next village. In the middle of the road we met some people with the car and we asked them to take us to Berca. They agreed 🙂 . From Berca to Nehoiu we took the bus (yes it was the esiest way, but we could sleep there and it was nice as well). In Nehoiu we started to hitchhike again. Lisa complained that she don´t want truck driver…so of course we were taken by truck driver 😀 But this experience was really nice (I think one of the best hitchhike in Romania). He spoke English, he bought water for us, gave us the CD with romanian songs and explained how to go to Tusnad. We are really grateful. We hitchhiked 3 other cars, but nothing special heppened. Lisa went first time by real truck first time! I think it was really beautiful trip even it was without hiking. I´m looking forward to our next hitchhiking trip 🙂 .