Aneta Bogacka – On Romanian nature

Aneta came to Baia Mare in March 2015, for 12 months within the ”Eye Care/ Day Care” project. Part of her activities includes working with visually impaired people, organizing and implementing after-school activities for children and facilitating intercultural summer camps organized in the rural communities around Baia Mare. She really loves to cook and to hike around the nature in Romania.  She was awarded the Volunteer of the Year 2015 in Maramureș. This came as another proof (out of many) that her activities were complex, well structured and aimed and she is one of the hardest working volunteers in town. Read here about her experience – well, part of it.

I thought that writing about EVS experience and living in Romania after 10, almost 11 months would be easy. Unfortunately, it isn’t like that. I can complain a lot (you know I’m from Poland) and I can say how disappointed I’m in some way (but what is the point?). Today I would like tell you how I fell in love… fell in love with an amazing country. Yes, I am talking about Romania.

I didn’t have almost any expectations from my EVS. I was thinking about going somewhere abroad for a long time, but the decision to come to Romania was made quickly. To be honest, I even didn’t know where Baia Mare was. At the beginning it wasn’t important for me.

[quote]Expect the unexpected! This is one of two sentences which describes in a perfect way the time spent here. [/quote]

There are some towns, cities which I like more, but the view from my window I will not change with anything else. When I am walking in a sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy day I love to admire Romanian nature. I have to say that I will miss this place. Sometimes I felt like Biblo Bagins looking for the Misty Mountains. The first thing I’m grateful for is the possibility to discover this amazing nature. Mountains in Maramures and in Transylvania, mud volcanoes, amazing Danube Delta, small villages and big cities.

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Second thing without which my time wouldn’t be so enjoyable is people. I’m always afraid to fit in a new group, if people accept me. First thing which I remember when I crossed the threshold of the apartment was a sign on the door “Welcome home, Aneta”. It was so nice. (Thanks, my flatmates!). I thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad decision to come here.

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I would never survive this year without my “Estonian Mafia”. I was complaining a lot with my flatmate Mariliis and Andra with her positive thinking was a balance for us. I had a lot of amazing adventures with them and I did a lot of things for the first time here. We hitchhiked a lot, took part in the opening of a motorcycle season, run at 12 o’clock under the hot sun when it was more than 30 degrees, slept in the boat, in the old pub, in someone’s garden, at the train station, in a shepherd’s house… We hiked when it was warm. We hiked when we couldn’t see the road because of the rain. We always hiked!

I have met here also a friend from Poland – Edyta. She informed me about the Balkan situation, international politics. I discovered Serbia with her and it was one of the best trips of my life. Besides Danube trip, where I saw how Turkish people bargained a price (Burcu, you are my idol), I also met lovely, open-minded Romanians. Some of them I met only once while travelling, some of them stayed in my life for longer. I am grateful for (almost) every person who was on my road.

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Talking about my project, I can’t say a lot. I didn’t do new things here. I don’t know if I learnt something new (maybe Kauges kulas J). But I am satisfied with a couple of things.  Firstly, summer camps. I have organized two summer camps with my project friend and I need to say to Andra that I’m proud of how she developed. We also have room which we fixed with my friends and right now we have activities there. My kids from Laboratorul Cunoasterii. When we started our adventure together, I didn’t suspect that they would be such an amazing group. They were incredible during Christmas concert. And it is so nice that parents appreciate what we do. The most important thing for me is when I see that my kids are smiling and they really enjoy what we do.

One month is left and I’m going home. I had a lot of tough moments when I was crying, thinking about going home and I complained that the river is not deep enough to make a suicide, but generally it was a good year.

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Aneta is hosted in the project ”Eye Care / Day Care”,  a twelve months European Voluntary Service (EVS) hosted by Team for Youth Association, in Baia Mare and financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus+ Programme.