EVS Stories: First month in Baia Mare – by Rafael Cano (I)

I’m Rafa. 23 years old, I had to stop my last year in university, so I decided to do this EVS that really looked like a good opportunity for my future. My studies are in FR and ENG translation, so I decided to go in that in order to improve my skills, learn another language and learn from professionals in Romania.

I arrived to Cluj-Napoca on November 2, alone, I could not speak even a little Romanian and everything was looking so strange for me. Then I took my way to Baia Mare by bus, a bit excited but afraid as well because I never knew what to expect in my new city, Baia Mare, the city I’m going to live for 9 more months.

A guy, Steli, came to pick me up from the station. I had met him before via Skype, so the very first impression I had from Romanian people is that they’re so close; in here never mind outer appearances, but the person within, I mean, the way they are. The same day I went to the office in order to meet my coordinators, Monika and Remus, and the impression was even better. They provided me with everything I needed since the very first moment, so I consider them and the rest of volunteers in here like a big family for me.

We are 18 foreign volunteers, and never mind nationalities; we’re always so close to each other, helping the others in what they need.

My project is not specified in only one area: I could choose activities I wanted or not to do. In my case, I’m working with kids from 4 to 18 years old. My labor it’s very different in each activity: Non-formal education for kids in kindergartens, non-formal education for kids 10 years old in order they practice oral English, non-formal education for teenagers in order they practice French and Spanish, and helping disabled people and their caregiver.

So what I subtract from this first month is that it’s going to help me in my future more than I had never thought and over all, that I enjoy doing what I do here.

Rafael Cano Malagón (Spain) is hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “Life Skills for Rural Education” project, a European Voluntary Service, financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Program.