A new and long week has passed. While the activities on the various schools in Maramureș do take place with increasing ease, work becomes never dull. None of the passing weeks are the same and every activity offers space to learn. In addition, the last week was a festive one. The approaching holidays made our days fruitful and our moods cheerful. Several Christmas-related activities have taken place. The children of the Hungarian School of Baia Mare gazed into the new year; they created sock-puppets, and were asked answer two questions: ‚’’What do I want to have?” and: ”what do I want to give?’’ The children’s answers do now rest in their socks, and wait for the new year.

Sometimes, we are the surprised party, the childeren of School Eight sang a traditional Carol for us. We were surprised by the children’s vivid voices, and were brought to great emotion by this introduction to Romanian festive culture.

The next day, Thursday, was without doubt the most exciting day of the week. Two events made this day extraordinary. Firstly came the Volunteers-event. During this event the YMCA showed its capacities to a greater public consisting of volunteers. Various other organisations were present as well. Altogether, we did see a lot of things that were interesting to us. Scouts made knots, the Red Cross taught how to reanimate a person and some volunteers told stories.

Most of us did not remain until the end of the event, because more important duties were calling us. As arranged, we met with the children from a local Children’s home and wandered with them on the Christmas Market on the Old Square of Baia Mare. Alas,  Thursday a rainy day. We were wet and cold in an instance. Despite this terror of cold- and wetness, the kids did not hesitate and devoted themselves to the ice-skate rink. One full hour did they spend in the draining rain. Soonly, all were draining and wet. This did not negate their happiness, and during the whole event, they enjoyed to slide around a sparkling Christmas tree. We bought a treat of Langos and Clatite for the children. They did eat this with great appetite. Shamefully, the activity was over after one hour. The children went back to their respective homes. We are sure that every child enjoyed their time at the Christmas market.

We required only a little bit of time to warm ourselves. The evening was spent elsewhere. Thursday night we went to LogOut, where a party with an 80’s theme had its place. For a moment we retrieved a social life. We created good memories.

Friday arrived, our last weekday did begin. Jonathan, Juan, Maëliss and Alina went to Cavnic to do some activities at the local school. In addition, we did have a first meeting with the Young Volunteers living there. Our activities in the late afternoon became a creepy venture when power disturbances appeared. For more than one hour the guys had no light in the school, the three poor volunteers had to improvise activities that could be played with very limited light.

Our weekend started with some movement, literary so! One of Cecilia’s friends was coming from Italy to visit her, and this ensured that Cecilia spent the entire Saturday morning on her phone, hoping for messages relating to her friend’s journey. The rest of the group stayed at home all the morning, it was such a busy week and our bodies needed some rest. In the afternoon, we decided to move our asses to the old city center, we went to a pub to grab some drinks and talk about life and how our perceptions about Romania had substantially changed since the moment we had arrived.

On Sunday we woke up early to prepare a good trip. After a few hesitating minutes, we decided to go to Cavnic in order to improve our skiing skills. We did go with a car we rented. All of us joined, except Cecilia, whom went to Cluj with her friend, and Angelika, whom stayed at her bed because she didn’t feel alright. It was such a great experience to see the ski slopes, and we had fun watching each other trying not to fall down the ski lifts in a ridiculous way. Our week ends here. All of us feel the pain in our muscles, all feel refreshed for a new week; the week that will be our last before the holidays commence.


How to survive your first day of skiing.

  • Attract the attention from an experienced skier (and give him the wrong phone-number)
  • Bring gloves.
  • Start with the children’s slopes.
  • Wear at least four layers of clothing.
  • Don not rely on public transport, ensure your own transport.