The Luckiest Volunteer in the World – Simone Guastella

More than six months have passed since my first step in Baia Mare, Romania and you, reader, cannot imagine how my life has changed.

It was a cold day of November (maybe not so cold for you, but I’m Sicilian) when I first arrived in Baia Mare, with the idea of spending some hours per week playing with some children and few weeks ago I was returning in Sicily with the knowledge that I found my home, my family, my community.

Probably I’m the luckiest volunteer in the world.

That’s because the philosophy of volunteering is offering your help, your time and yourself to a community, but what this community, other volunteers and Team for Youth Association gave me it’s more than I can actually give back, even if I will volunteer for the rest of my life.

Team for Youth and Baia Mare community gave me back a reason to laugh, to love, to cry and to be happy – reasons I lost time ago, when my parents died or when my boss from my previous job was treating me like a one-legged dog. Reasons that I thought I lost forever. But no. There are some angels in this world – they don’t have wings, they are normal people, that sit behind a computer for some hours per day, but their appreciation and smiles can give you all the energy that you need to go on. The angels were at the hospital, at the orphanages I was working in, behind every laugh. They are hidden in all the handcraft we did with our children and youngsters. They are in the power of a hug, a high five or a kiss. They give you little and big things – they give you reasons to survive, reasons to live. They gave me what I have now and I can’t me happier than that.

Maybe my boss was  right, maybe I was a one-legged dog, but after this experience I will continue for sure, with my one leg, to make my way all over the field that is my life, that I’m sure will be full of angels, because I learned to see them.

Thank you for everything, Team for Youth Association. Thank you Baia Mare, Esperando, children, previous volunteers, future volunteers and thank you, reader, because maybe with my words you are deciding to start your EVS, to change the world, to change your life, to “be immortal, but not for long”.

With a tear in my left eye,

Simone Guastella (ITA) was hosted by Team for Youth Association in Baia Mare, in the “ReAnimate” project, an European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission through the ErasmusPlus Programme.