A brief introduction to our ESC Team

First, there were five, then there were four – now there are five again, still counting though.

At the beginning of our 10-month volunteering experience, there were 5 of us young folk from all over Europe. We had Nerea and Abril from Spain, Timotej from Slovakia, Quentin from France, and Jaanus from Estonia. We were a colourful little group. All motivated and ready to work. During our first days, we visited many places and many people we would work with work at in the future. Unfortunately, a 10-months long volunteering period could be challenging, especially for those who never lived in any other place, but at home. A few days passes, and it became clear, that our youngest volunteer, Abril, was not ready for such a big change. Eve her motivation could not overcome her homesickness. In the end, she went back to Spain. The rest of us continued our daily lives here, sort of forming 2 teams.

Timotej and Nerea were one of these dynamic duos, helping out in the local kindergarten and disabled centre. They love working with kids, and the kids seem to love working and playing with them. And I would say the same when it comes to young adults with special needs. Of course, time will tell, but I am optimistic. And I feel like, working with these amazing young adults might be challenging, but it is incredibly rewarding.

Timotej is a young volunteer from a small village near Košice in Slovakia. He came here, to Cristuru Secuiesc, because he wanted to see new places and meet new people. He always liked to help others and improve the world we live in little by little. He is motivated and hopes that he can be at least a little help in the life of the community.

Nerea flew all the way from Spain to a wintery Romania in order to become a volunteer here at ATA. She enjoys singing, learning new skills, discovering new places, and loves working with others. This might be the secret to why she is so good with kids. She is motivated to learn some Hungarian and Romanian. So please, feel free to say hi to her at the market.

Quentin and Jaanus however spent most of their time helping the local herbalist lady, Naomi, with different activities such as, for example, wildberry picking. Spending time in nature is quite calming, and seeing the surroundings change, the transition from green to orange, brown, and red is beautiful. It almost made up for the lack of cinema in the town. I honestly cannot wait for the first snow, and yes, I know it is a bit early for that, but still. One can dream!

Now, Quentin arrived here from France, Lyon to be more exact, and arrived to make the community’s life a bit more colourful. He loves learning about other cultures, and he wants to discover Transylvania while living here. A volunteer who aims to discover, we love to see it! In his spare time, he enjoys a good movie night and some quality music.

The next volunteer, Jaanus, enjoys spending his time in nature. However, he is a bit scared to get lost, so if you come across a lost Estonian from Tallinn, please point him in the direction of our office. We hope to finish the program with no volunteers lost in the forest. Other than spending time outside, he is motivated to see as much of our country as possible. He is ready to experience a new and different culture, and with this, improve himself.

All 4 of us have been to a few classes at school, in order to meet and greet the students. Getting to know the kids is something that is challenging at first but seeing them grow and learn different things always makes me smile. Helping the next generation to reach their full potential is a challenge I would gladly take on!

Also, we have helped out in the local library, either carrying books or helping them with the story-therapy session. Sometimes it is nice to spend time at a quiet place, just a little break from the noisy weekdays. And of course, how wouldn’t love to help the lovely librarian lady? Truly a sweetheart.

One of the most fun activities, at least so far, has been harvesting grapes at a local vineyard in Cristuru Secuiesc. Quentin, Timotej, and Jaanus partook in this activity, and they all had a great time.

On a positive note, we didn’t stay as four, but a new fifth international volunteer arrived just last Tuesday the 18th of October. Javier is our newest volunteer, who also came from Spain. So far, he has already been to the kindergarten, the library, the herbalist, etc. I would say he gets along with the kids quite well, so I remain optimistic.

Javier is the fifth volunteer at the organization. He also moved here from the other end of the continent, from Spain. He wants to experience something new while also helping others. By volunteering, he can both help and develop himself, learn new skills and have some fresh air. Moreover, he is looking forward to learn about the language, the food, and the traditions in this area.

Additionally, four of the volunteers, everyone except Jaanus, also helped out organizing a concert here in Cristuru Secuisec last Friday that began6 PMM. So far it seems that everybody is enjoying their time here and are more than happy to help out the local community in any way possible.

From all of us international volunteers working here with ATA, we wish you all the best!
Cheers to an epic 10-month adventure with all of you!