Hey there! Today Carmen and Bea are going to tell you about our exciting, wholesome and cozy December month.
We started the month in Timisoara, travelling in a cold but christmas atmosphere and discovering that beautiful city that we wanted to visit since the beginning of the year. We (Gabi, Bea and Carmen) enjoyed the walk alongside the Begej river, the Christmas market in Piata Libertatii, the green areas of the city and the hot wine that helped us to spend more time walking around in the streets. I love just hanging out with my friends through the city without destination or time, and taking pictures of them. We also had the opportunity to learn about the recent history of this country. We were amazed by the 1989 happenings in Timisoara. We discovered them in the Revolution Memorial Association and we could also explore a communist house setting in the Muzeul Consumatorului Comunist. It was a lovely winter trip.
During the first half of the month we needed to conclude our ESC videos! We finished recording and editing our ideas into .mov. During the process we helped each other with our individual videos and we did our best to finish them with a satisfactory result. And with this, I (Carmen) realised I really enjoy the filming, directing and editing processes. I think it’s an opportunity to discover a potentially new passion and learn about making videos.
The 6 of us recording a video with Gabi Chelcea behind the camera
The last Intercultural Evening was the Romanian Evening. For this gathering, Mada (the coordinator) and some local volunteers took care of preparing it. It was a lovely and funny night in which we could taste typical Romanian food such as Varză a la Cluj, some sweets and typical drinks such as Palinca, Visinata and homemade wine. We also had a lot of fun trying some traditional group dances with folk music. The night was really complete and also included a quiz game to challenge our knowledge about Romanian culture. I (Bea) have to recognize that I need to study more… hahaha. Aaand the winner between the non-romanian people was Kitty, who received a little prize. Also in the gathering some people dressed up with traditional clothes. And of course, we ended the night with a lot of dance and laughs.
Two of our dear romanian volunteers offering us Palinka and bread with salt for starting our Romanian evening experience
For Christmas, we were invited to spend the weekend in Mada´s parent house (our coordinator) and fully experience the Romanian traditions during this period. So we travelled from Cluj to the village of Meseșenii, near Zalau. We started the 24th evening exchanging some gifts between volunteers and Mada with the Secret Santa. After this, we started the Christmas dinner that finally lasted all night. For dinner, there was a big table full of delicious food such as Sarmale, Salata Boeuf, Ciorba, Cascaval and delicious sweets such as Cozonac, Cornulete, and all kinds of Prăjituri (cakes). And the most impressive, everything was homemade, with local products and there was a vegan version of the typical meals, a total paradise for Carmen and me.
And now some singularities from the night. Something that specially called our attention was that during the whole night, relatives and friends passed by to visit and spend some time together, with a lot of food and drinks of course. Also it was lovely to experience that during the night, people from the village pass by the house to sing some carols next to the tree. We also got in the Christmas spirit and Carmen, Gabi and me (Bea) sang a Spanish carol called “Ay del Chiquirritín”. Each year, a group of young boys from the village go home by home representing a typical dance and followed by different instruments. We even had the opportunity to join them and learn a few steps. A full night that passed really fast.
The rest of the time we just relaxed after such full weeks of work. Playing cards, singing some carols, a lot of delicious food, talks around the table about traditions in our countries, relaxing walks around the village, in general, resting and having precious time together.
Evenings spending time together in Christmas in Meseșenii
Well, not everything is joy and for the sake of a balanced and healthy mind, we need to talk about the close future and next decisions. This month has been pretty much a closure, not only of 2021, but also of the Art of Mental Health Project. We finished with the workshops, personal projects and videos (almost!!!). We are about to buy the flight tickets… so there’s an ending feeling around our souls.
But there’s also a new beginning coming, which is at the same time scary, exciting and challenging. Is time to face a new reality, a road full of decisions to take. Anyhow, we are super grateful for this year, because we had the time to uncover new faces, perspectives and dreams. We are also thankful for the people, the place, the challenges, the knowledge and the inspiration around us. And now let’s go for 2022. Good luck you all ❤️
La multi ani!!!!!