ESC: August Experiences

Buna seara! Here is Carmen today to tell you a bit about our month of August in the project The Art of Mental Health and out of it as well 😜

We have been working during this month but also enjoying the summer in Cluj ❤️ To put things in order, I will talk about it more or less chronologically:

On one hand, Gabi, Bea and I kept collaborating with Pata-Rât´s Romany community for the entire month, trying to offer some support and help to the facilitators and kids as goodl as we could. It has been a different experience from the rest of the project, but we got the chance to just spend time playing games with the kids, doing some science and musical experiments with Paula (one of the facilitators of the organization) and letting the kids teach us some Romanian words. And for the closing day of our collaboration we went with some of the kids to the cinema to watch the Disney movie Luca.

Kids running at Iulius Park before the cinema session


At the same time, the first week of August we started a new collaboration with Casa de Copii Casuta Bucuriei, a non-profit organization which offers an alternative to the state care system, providing a family and home environment to 10 children. All of us are happy and excited with this collaboration. With them we do varied activities, depending on who of us are going and how we organize ourselves each day. So far, we have made activities like painting, origami, making animals with plasticine, playing more sporty games like the musical chair or the traffic-light race, singing in group… we have even played Uno with them. The environment is pretty relaxed and fun and we will continue going there for some months more.

Drawing activity in Casuta Bucuriei

Animal plasticine activity in Casuta Bucuriei


In the middle of the month Garance and Tero took some holidays and travelled around Romania and to other countries as well and had the chance to take a break from the project. Kitty, Gabi and I kept working in Cluj but it was also nice because the Electric Castle Festival was happening all around the city and we had the opportunity to go to some concerts. Some of us had the opportunity to listen to Subcarpati on live, which was like a plus to the Romanian experience. Apart from that, it was so nice to see the city full of life for some days after all this time with COVID restrictions… it was a lovely and warm feeling to see Cluj blooming.

IAMDDB on live at Electric Castle Festival


To disconnect a bit from work and take advantage of the nice summer weather, Gabi, Bea and I visited Oradea for a weekend. It was pretty chill and lovely, the City Center was so beautiful and we were enchanted by some of the buildings with restored facades which make them look like cute cakes >.<. We made a lot of picnics by the river and we even had the opportunity to take a bath in it! Mmmmm it felt so good.

Our picnic spot in Oradea


The week after that we spent some time preparing the intercultural evening for Spain, the country that Bea and I come from. We chose the fair topic because in Andalucía, the region of the south of the country, all the villages have a fair with very similar features. So for this party we prepared paella and garrapiñá to eat and we tried to do some version of the drink that we always have in fairs: the rebujito. Also, we made some paper fans and in site, Bea gave an origami workshop to create flowers and we taught the people how to dance the first part of Sevillanas. It was a very cozy and lovely night in which we could listen to nice spanish music in the forest with a very pleasant weather.

Spain Intercultural Evening at Faget Forest


Aaaaand the challenges kept coming… We climbed rocks! Yes, we did! To prepare ourselves for the Climbing Camp we are about to facilitate for teenagers in September, Minte Forte members organized a climbing camp just for the six of us (international volunteers). The aim of this was to know how it is the experience of climbing for the first time, so we can support and understand the adolescents when we offer this experience to them. It was all a challenging experience, not only the climbing but also walking through some tough paths in nature… but actually I discovered a potential future hobby to explore 🙂 Climbing is hard, but it’s also so interesting and as our pro-climber facilitator said to us, the rocks are there just inert and they work as a mirror because when you are up there you face yourself, you see yourself in them. In my case, my instincts appeared more clear and raw to me, and I could see the decision-making process I have in life just deciding (or not doing it) which step to do next. I hope I can do it again in the future.

climbing folks

resting folks

Gabi and I connecting with the rocks


Aaand after that, I went on a holiday adventure with Bea, Gabi and another friend to Istanbul!!!! We were dreaming about this for quite some time and we finally did it… We went and came back by trains and buses and it took some time but it totally worthed it. For me was such a different place from the cities I had visited so far, there is a big cultural difference from what I know. I felt in love with the Mosks, the charming people and how they occupy the public space, how people spend so much time in the streets because the weather allows them to do so. I have to come back to continue getting to know the city, because as you may know, it is insanely huge.


some Istanbul pics

Okay okay… that’s enough! This is how August looked like for some of us! An amazing month full of activities and so lively… oh I’m grateful! Now back to work again and to keep enjoying this city, this project and these great people ☺️


Sending love to all of you!

❤️ cheers