Voluneering Stories: Unexpected Events – by Sandra

First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Sandra, I am from Barcelona and I’ll be here 6 months in the project “Rural Summer Camps”. I’ve been in Baia Mare for about a month and a half now and I’m already in love with Romania, but, let me talk about another subject, we don’t usually talk about it, so I want to share my experience with all of you. Let’s talk about unexpected events.

Coming to Romania was an idyllic surprise, as I got here unexpectedly. (Perhaps it was meant to be) back in Spain I found myself not knowing what to do with my life, as I had just been rejected to study where I wanted.

Upon considering my options I stumbled across the European Solidarity Corps, registered without thinking too much about it. I figured that candidates where never selected on the first try, so imagine my surprise when I got the Team for Youth Association accepting message… Two weeks later I started the preparations to come here.

Right from the beginning, unforeseen events started. I had many problems to get the European sanitary card. So if you’re planning on applying don’t be like me. I managed to solve it 3 days before taking the plane, so my advice is to prepare everything with time.

Double check everything, especially the medical card. Everybody thinks they’re going to be fine. So did I. If you would have told me that I would need it on my birthday I would have been much more careful.

I turned 20 in Romania, my wonderful friends/co-volunteers of different nationalities and ages had planned a surprise party for me. All fun and games till I hurt myself. They took me to the office with a ridiculous excuse (to try and lure me to the party) but less than 5 minutes to arrive I saw a little boy running after his ball that went to the road, I ran to give it to him and on the way up “BUM” I fell.

I got an intense pain, I couldn’t get up, my companions were scared, my ankle was completely swollen… we ended up calling my coordinator, so instead of going to the party I spent my birthday on the hospital. At least the ambulance was fast…

I’ll always remember that day. While the ambulance was taking care of me they sang happy birthday to me in three different languages, and when I arrived to the hospital I discovered that wheelchairs are much more comfortable than in Spain. About 3 hours later we arrived at the office where they kept waiting for me to party.

Despite having spent a pretty boring week, resting and unable to go to the first Summer Camp of our project, the contingencies are still my favorite part of travelling and of life in general, as they force you to leave your comfort zone, you learn and make you grow as a person. Do not be afraid of unexpected events, sometimes things don’t come out as you expect, but that can be the best part of it all.

Sandra is a Spanish volunteer and she takes part in the “Rural Summer Camps” project which is an European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission through Erasmus Plus program.  The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the article lies entirely with the author.