Our EVS experience so far

Daria and Saffron are two very similar young girls from Germany who decided to join Team for Youth Association in the “Carnaval Plus” project, an Eurpoean Voluntary Service financed by the Eramsus+ Programme.

This is their experience so far

Almost 2 months and we still can’t get enough of Romania.  We live together in one flat and we also share the room. Luckily, this is working out pretty well – so far. This might be caused by the fact that we have many things in common: we are two 18-years-old girls from Germany who graduated from school this year and who were seeking a new challenge in their lives. We are living together with Günseli, a Turkish girl, and two boys: Enrique from Spain and Yussouf from Tunis. This makes our flat really multicultural! For us, this is very nice because we have the opportunity to learn a lot about the habits and traditions of other cultures, new to us.

We are here for a project called “Carnaval de Non-formal”, part of the “Carnaval Plus”. This carnival is open for the community of Baia Mare. We are a team of 8 people: 3 Portuguese, a Spanish couple and 3 Germans (including us). The 3 Portuguese arrived one month later but we shortly became a great team! Every one of us is responsible for organizing one method of non-formal education. The methods are based on the idea that there are other, better ways in which one can improve their personality than choosing the conventional ways (school, university, etc.).

The whole event will take place at the end of March 2015. We had some interesting trainings with Andreea Tundrea, the founder of Team for Youth Association.

Saffron will organize the “Albatros” – a game to strengthen the awareness on the differences in cultures and to meet new cultures without judging them in the first place.

Daria is going to prepare a “World Café”, where Romani and Romanians have a place to discuss certain topics. The aim of this method is to break stereotypes and to bring different ethnics together.

Since the Carnival will be in March 2015, we have enough time for other activities. We both are leading a German language club in which we teach our mother-tongue (we found out how hard German really is and that the grammar sucks a lot!!). We are also helping in kindergartens, assisting the teacher even without speaking (the teacher doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Romanian yet). It’s a lot of fun to see the children smiling at us and have a great time with them. Going there also helps us to improve our Romanian. We learned important words: ”Gata!” (enough), ”Nu” (no),  ”Avion” (plane) and also a very important question: ”Ai facut pişu?” (did you pee?).

Another task for us was to invent, organize and build a puppet-theatre. We will perform “The RainbowFish”. One rule made the whole thing tricky: it has to be in Romanian. We are very curious if the children will understand our hard accent! Fortunately, our Romanian teacher translated our script to higher the chance of being understood by the children.

[image style=”no-style” position=”below” width=”550″ src=”http://www.t4uth.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2-DandS.jpg”]

Apropos, Romanian language: twice a week we have one and a half hour of Romanian language lesson. You might not know, but Romanian is one of the five Latin languages. Based on this fact, we imagined it to be not too hard to learn, especially because we have the advantage of living here. Our hopes were very much disappointed – it is a lot more difficult. The reason is probably that Romanian also has a lot of other influences (Dacian, Slavic, Turkish etc).

Not to forget our presentation about Germany.  It was about the stereotypes that people have about Germany and we presented what was right (e.g. the food – we are very proud of our big selection of different breads, more than 300 and sausages, more than 1500) or what we think is wrong (e.g. the Oktoberfest: we are not wearing Dirndl and Lederhosen all the time).

Well you may have got the impression that we are overworked and didn’t get the chance to see anything in Romania – you are wrong! Our first trip was for the on-arrival training in Predeal. It’s a small town situated very high in the mountains and, by train, 12 hours away from Baia Mare (actually it’s just a distance of 400km but the trains operate with an average speed of just 50km). During this week we learned a lot about the EVS itself but also met 74 nice people from 21 countries from all over the world that are now also participating in the EVS in Romania this year. It’s nice to get to know so many people because whenever we want to visit another city we have someone to host us. We already visited some of them who volunteer in Cluj Napoca. We went there for our first Romanian Festival, the “Mioritmic”. It was amazing and we hope we can attend more festivals in the future. Cluj Napoca is a very young city because of the big renowned university and we really enjoyed the nightlife there.

Hopefully, you got a short impression about our great time here in Romania. We would suggest everyone to come to Baia Mare for EVS! We are very happy about this decision and enjoying it very much! When the next six month continue as good as they started, it will be very far from easy to leave this place!