Volunteering Stories – First Week in RO – by Bilel

I first heard about this project in Romania the 05/04/24 and I got really excited but also a bit worried as Romania is not well seen in France. I remember all my friends and family telling me that I was so dumb for choosing this country: “why Romania, why don’t you go to a better, richer place”, “be careful they are a lot of pickpockets in Romania and it is very poor”.

That was the words that I heard before event buying my tickets so you can understand how someone could get worried or even back out of the project but, I kept faith and continued without worrying too much. Then on the 15/04/2024 I started my travel, coming from Marseille I had to go by Nice and then go to Cluj-Napoca. I arrived the 16/04/24 at Cluj international airport at 2 am… obviously I had to wait for the first bus then at like 6 am I got stressed as I couldn’t find the bus station and got lost.

After 24h with no sleep I finally arrived to Baia mare where Jordane (came all the way from Belgium) came to pick me up from the bus station, I was a bit nervous as I prayed to have good roommates and not have weird ones. Fortunately, they were really cool as I met my second flat-mate, Zehra from Turkey. So, after 2 days of sleep, I started to visit Baia Mare which a really nice city to visit with is old town and very friendly people.

I met Remus and some T4YUTH members who are very cool and also, I met some other year 3 volunteer who are also very cool. I also started my project activities with Asociația Piciorușe (little feet). They are building a detox center for addicts in the outskirts of Baia Mare. Even if I only met them once I am starting to grow fond of this project as they are only 2 working with volunteers and they work really hard, seeing them do this makes me want to do more.

In the end, even if I had worried and stressed, it was really all for nothing as I am really starting to like Romania, especially Baia Mare as the city is cool to visit and people are friendly. I hope for continuing to explore Romania and also for to discover new things!