EVS Stories: The perfection is in the imperfection (VI) – by Chloe Colinet de Labeau

I am not a morning person, in fact I use two alarms: my phone and a radio alarm, and set the alarm 1 hour before having to wake up, it rings, rings, and rings, until the moment where I  finally get up. Then, eyes closed, I dress a pullover, try to walk to the kitchen without falling. And then I’m gone for the coffee marathon! 20 minutes later and 6 coffees, I finally open my eyes, which are bigger when I realized that I only have more or less 20 min to take a shower and dress. 30 minutes later, finally ready! I take a first bus in which I fall asleep (despite the multitude  of coffees).  Then I run, run, run to catch my second bus, I don’t see if it arrived, nobody is in front of the station, great moment of stress, searching my cell phone in the mess that is in my bag, didn’t find it, asked the hour to a person and ‘’ GREAT RELIEF’’, I have 30 min in advance, I always forget that I changed  the time of my phone to be on time!

So I had time to drink another coffee, to smoke, and to go to take my last bus before my destination, really slowly (first time that I woke up , 2h 30 earlier). Obviously, after all this stress, I am exhausted, so I felt asleep the time of the travel, and it’s the amazing  passengers of the bus, who begin to know me (the beauty of teaching in small villages: everyone  knows everyone), who tell me that I arrived. Finally came the last 10 minutes of walk (30 min at this moment cause of my sprained ankle) until I reach my destination: the school!

Since I’m here, 10 months now, I worked in the same village Grosi, which is in the middle of the mountains, but every time I get off the bus, I am surprised and amazed about this fabulous landscape. And also, there is always a smell that I can’t explain but which is representative  for me, of nature, well-being, simply happiness.

As soon as I am entering the school yard, my world is rocking, surrounded by children who shout “Cloui, Cloui…”, saying hello in French or in English (I guess I do a good work), giving me drawings, smiling from all sides. My heart stops, I know that I live one of those moments of pure happiness that I would remember all my life!

Then, surrounded of my children which are holding my hands, which are helping me to walk, which are taking care of me, we finally arrive in the school ! A multitude of ‘’ bisous bisous ‘’ follow, with  the children of each classroom. A sharing moment simply amazing that I can’t skip for anything in the world. Afterwards, we start the lessons and the activities, and before I realized, it’s time to go home!

After saying goodbye to everyone, teachers and children, I go and take a coffee because I deserve it (Yes I drink a loooot of coffee). It’s a real moment of conviviality, with the owner of the coffee shop and some parents which are coming for the same reason as me. We are mixing Romanian, English and French, trying to communicate, leading sometimes to some funny mistakes! Then it comes the moment for me to go back home: after a lot of thanks and goodbye, I leave, walking with the smile on my lips, with the feeling that I did a good job today. Usually after some minutes of walking, a car stops, most of the time parents of the children, asking me if I want them to drive me to Baia Mare.

Sometimes, we are living extraordinary meeting moments, full of emotions, with our family, our friends at work or at home. But never ever, I would have imagined to live this sensation, daily.  Since I am in Romania and began working with these children, even if some days are difficult or complicated, even if I am ill or exhausted, they manage to infect me with their joy and innocence. They help me to learn, everyday something new about myself or about the others, each days became an amazing adventure, a different one, a perpetual personal questioning. Each day is kind of a life learning.

And this is why, from my point of view, all these days are simply perfect… perfect in their imperfection.

Chloe Colinet de Labeau (France) is hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “Life Skills for Rural Education” project, an European Voluntary Service, financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Program.

58 Testimonial A day in the Life of Chloe Life Skills (2)