November and its fresh air of new experiences!
Yeah, November was the month of new beginnings, new things, new activities and new people for us!
…Yes, ok, October surely was a month full of “new stuff” as well… but what should I have written? “Octnewber” ? “Newctober”? No, “Newvember” sounds way better, let’s leave it like that! And I’ll prove to you that it does make sense!
So, what are all this “new” things I am babbling on about? Follow the article to get to know about them!
As the month began, we started working in Horea School. The project consists of 8 1-hour workshops which are done once a week in the same class (6th and 7th grade) by 2 facilitators (one of us and one of the Romanian volunteers). With some classes more challenging than others, we are all having a good learning experience through these workshop. The main interesting points about it are: to learn to work in a team, to get comfortable with meetings and planning as well as facilitating, and of course, to work with groups of kids who don’t necessarily speak English (which not only is the only language we use here, but also it is not our mother tongue, and not all of us are always so comfortable with it). Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
And then, we’ve got the Aksza Children’s Centre!
Here the 4 of us are all working together to make recreational activities and games for a group of very sweet yet super-energetic children… the youngest are 5 years old. The main challenge is about communication, as this time we don’t have any Romanian facilitator beside us translating everything! But we are finding out that this isn’t such an insuperable obstacle, and, in fact, it is the best opportunity we’re getting so far to practice the Romanian we’re learning through our language course! Besides this, we’re having a lot of fun and creative time with the children, and we’re all enjoying it a lot!
We also did our first 2 Personal Artistic Workshops, which we are doing individually, with the people from the Minte Forte community as participants!
I broke the ice with mine, on the 3rd of November, which was a workshop about recollection of memory and expression of emotions through colors, and especially through the technique of the Action Painting. Then it was Baru’s time, on the 11th, and she made us dig into the importance of the voice, its vibration, and the intentions for the self-care. It was very interesting!
New Discoveries around Cluj
During November we’ve been living and exploring the city and what it has to offer! We went to some cultural events like a Jazz Concert and we went to the Opera “Carmen”. Some of us spent some time in the forests, and one afternoon we went to the Central Park also with some people from Minte Forte, and we enjoyed the weather while listening to music and sharing our interests. For example, Baru brought her Slack-line, Ovi (our coordinator) brought his juggling-balls and I took the henna (for temporary tattoos)… and we were all trying a bit of each other’s passions, in a very nice sharing and friendly atmosphere.
Another time, we met with the other EVSers from Cluj, who were also hosting a few EVSers from Arad, and we spent a couple of evenings hanging out with all of them, and one day visiting the places of main interest in the city. It was a nice time to get closer to people we are kind of sharing the same experience with.
Oh and, yeah, Joana and I also started participating in the Improv courses at the Education Studio, with the facilitators from Actitudine! The experience consists of 11 workshops where we learn improvised acting, it is challenging, but especially fun! And the people we’re meeting there are also very nice!
New Discoveries out of Cluj: Bucharest & Valea Draganului
From the 18th until the 24th of November, we had our On-Arrival Orientation in Bucharest, where we were together with around 40 more international volunteers who are doing their EVS in Romania next months. We connected a lot with each other in just those 6 days, while learning more, in a very interactive way, about: EVS, Erasmus+ program, the Romanian culture and how we can have meaningful and nice time here in terms of adaptation, personal development and development of our competences.
As soon as we came back after the 10-hours train ride, we were already preparing for hitting the road again the next day. Indeed, from the 25th till the 27th, we went to Valea Draganului, where we had our Teambuilding. It was the four of us, with the 4 Romanian volunteers we’re sharing the project in schools with, and Ovi and Dumitriţa as our facilitators. Although we were all very tired from the intense previous days, this experience was great, too. We really got closer to each other on a deeper level, having also nice time, nice music, nice food… and the company of a nice cat!
Might sound like a cliché, but yeah, we too are changing, already! Who more evidently, who less, but the process of improving our skills, opening our mindset and getting enriched by this experience has surely started for all of us and it is already producing some fruits! Some of us are getting the ideas about their future clearer and clearer, and some of these ideas are taking more and more concrete shapes… We will surely share with you some of them in the next blog!
Thank you for reading, I’m looking forward, as much as you, to the next blog, to see what will happen then!
Article written by Gloria Luisetto.