From North Africa to Southeastern-Central Europe

Aymen Jaballah is our EVS Volunteer coming straight from the sunny land of Tunisia. In his project he works with French teachers from urban and rural areas and he shares his culture in various thematic events. Part of his work also includes workshops on different subjects on the human rights topic and activities in kindergardens. He is almost at the end of his project and he wants to share his personal experience here in what he calls now his ”second home”. Below there are some of his thoughts and impressions about Romania and its people.

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Aymen Jaballah, TUN:
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Hey! My name is Aymen, I come from North Africa, Tunisia, (a small Arabic country).  I crossed the Mediterranean on the 17th of October to come to Romania for 8 months. The project that I participate in is called ”Rural Urban” powered by Team for Youth Association. I had never been in Europe, this was the first time that I came to such a far away country.  I had no idea about where I was going… I just knew that Romania (during communism) had very poor infrastructures and many economic problems.

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I shared a flat with 3 amazing girls that I love so much, Maria from Spain – who was calm with light spirit, Neseibe – a crazy girl whose laugh I came to like so much, spontaneous and with good heart.  Also during 2 month I lived with Soline- from France, her desserts were simply amazing. We were a happy family.

I began to”dive” inside this amazing country and to slowly discover unique things like colorfull tombs and castles filled with the unique charm of nature. I also learned various Romanian habits. You people are good folk with high morals, despite the rigors of living.

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Romania was totally different from Tunisia and it’s amazing for me in regards to culture, nature, food, people … I was more than impressed. A funny thing I’ve noticed here: Romanians prefer to keep their floor clean rather than their lungs.

[image style=”no-style” position=”below” lightbox=””][quote]Traveling in Romania is one of the best memories I have. Rivers, canyons, hills, mountains… They have it all![/quote]

I prefer hitchhiking to public transportation, though by train it’s cheap for volunteers, comfortable, on time and often not crowded (but oh! so slow). I visit almost all Romania and always I found the same lovely people that made my trip wonderful!

Baia Mare and Maramureș are happy places: happy people, happy costumes, happy colors, even happy [merry] cemetery. I spend my project 8 months with Team for Youth and I worked in high schools assisting French teachers. First time I was so nervous and all my time I spent thinking about how hard it will be but I found the students were helping and kind and they wanted to learn more about me and my culture and that helped because it made conversation in French easy. I did not feel strange and I actually began to feel that I knew these students a long time ago! Kindergarten was an amazing experience and we had good workshop with the cute kids. Also, because they only speak Romanian, it made me use my scarce knowledge of this language and gradually I learned more and more.

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During my EVS Project I will never forget all those who helped me discover  Romania and  welcomed me in their home with delicious food: Mămăliga ,Sarmale … but my favorite Gigi Covrigi in the morning. I liked the Romanian language lessons with Andreea, and it’s a good idea and helpful for all future EVS volunteers that come to T4UTH. Romanian is a Latin language and Romanians have ”Latin blood” so generally they are very fun, good to hang around and I meet a lot of crazy people (in positive way). Most of them have one dream in mind: moving to another country.

[quote]I don’t understand why Romanians dream to leave, I dream once I will come back. Romania is amazing![/quote]
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Aymen is part of ”Carnaval Plus – Rural Urban” project financed by the European Union through the Erasmus Plus youth programme. In his project he works and collaborates together with 20 other international volunteers.

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