ESC: May Experiences

May started cheerfully with Orthodox Easter celebrations. For this longer weekend our international group headed outside Cluj-Napoca for the very first time. The destination for this adventure was romantic and cozy Sibiu. The morning started with rain and delay due to our intended train being full of travelers. Two hours later we boarded the next train with anticipation and excitement. The many hours of travel passed more or less comfortably and the weather got sunny. We arrived to Sibiu in the evening with just enough time to make ourselves feel at home in our accommodation and to see around the center of Sibiu with guidance of Tero’s mentor in the project, Iulia, who is local of the city. Next days we looked around more, enjoyed time in local parks, ate Romanian foods like Sarmale and tasted home-made Palinka, Visinata and wine, we spent time in Iulia’s parents’ home (our first visit in a Romanian home!), celebrated and participated in the ceremony of Orthdox Easter with candlelight. 

And we fell in love by the “eyes of Sibiu”, these tiny windows at the roof of the houses. They really looks like eyes all around.

For our work in May we worked more with Izibac. We had seven more online workshops for the community. Some of them were with local volunteers and were about mental health and well-being and some of them were artistic workshops facilitated by just us international volunteers. There was a workshop called “Draw out your heart” that combined drawing and emotions. “Learn how to Learn” about learning styles and methods. “Communication: What to do when it is not working?” about communication and how to manage its challenges. Artistic workshops were “Experimenting with photography”, “Let’s paintigami” which was about painting, folding origami and composition of those elements. “Seeking creativity” about how to connect with one’s own creativity and “Do you know what Screendance is?” about the possibilities of combining video and dance in creation.

Besides this, during this month the curfew was over, which brought us much more freedom to be outside until later. By this moment, almost all of us already had the vaccine, at least the first dose. About this, we have a funny story to tell you! We had a first try to have the vaccine, but did not succeed in three different places. We discovered that we went on the wrong day, so some days after it we tried again. When we (Tero and Gabi) got there with Kitty, we found out that it was only for drive-in. Since we were already there but we didn’t have a car, we decided to take a taxi! So, thanks to our creativity, everything worked well and finally we got the vaccine!

With the easing of the curfew, at the end of the month some of us also got the opportunity to do face-to-face workshops for the first time within this project. Many of us were a little nervous about this, since we only have had online workshops and it would be a very different situation. We found the online experience very challenging because it asked for our creativity in finding new solutions. But, adapting again for the face to face classes also brought difficulties. Anyway, we are getting good at dealing with changes! Finally, the ones that already had the face-to-face classes, are very enthusiastic because there is nothing like the physical experience of sharing space and energy with the students. Unfortunately, we’ll have only one more week with them. But, other adventures will come!

May was also another month of many birthdays! Now was time for celebrating Tero, Iulian, Carmen and Diana´s turns around the sun. At Tero’s birthday we went to the Botanical Garden, and enjoyed a bit of nature. At Carmen’s we had a cozy party at her place, with the most delicious vegan cake.

And finally we want to leave you with one last sweet moment. Last weekend of May we (Tero and Gabi) went with Kitty for a walk trying to find something different in the city. We found a magical abandoned place close to a lake, and we spent some hours before the sunset there drawing and painting together. Afterwards we ended up at Iulius mall parc for a coffee in the street market that was happening that evening. With music and yellow lights, and people. The three of us felt fulfilled and happy with this announcement of what life can be in the next months of summer. Here some of our draws from that day:

Hugs and kisses from Tero and Gabi!!