Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Linden Farrer - EVS update from Romania

Linden is in Romania for one year on an EVS project, this is his second update:

We are now just over half way through the archaeological project. The weather here is baking most days, and I have had the chance to meet loads of people from all over Europe. In addition I have been helping out with archaeological work which I enjoy a lot, and have made some great friends. My Romanian is still at a basic level, but I can get by well enough with what I know.

The city now feels like home, having visited most nearby cities and checked out almost all of the restaurants and bars that the city offers. It is a nice place to live, generally quite relaxed, though there are definitely some things that I miss from the UK: live music (bands), club nights that don't play Phil Collins, Indian food, and my bike!

The main project, Citadora, has been a great experience for most of us and in particular the short term volunteers who come for a month. Many of them are in in tears at the prospect of leaving Oradea. But for us long-term volunteers who are co-ordinating the activities it has also been very challenging.

Apart from the long hours (that we usually make up by taking mornings off work), there is also the relentless pace of meeting new people, getting to know them, and then saying goodbye to them with almost no break before the next camp begins. So we get to make some great friends, on an almost monthly basis, and then say goodbye to them. In a way it is the year of
goodbyes: firstly saying goodbye to the people in England, and then saying goodbye to people all summer long!

Some of our team found that they didn't like the experience of living in Romania and felt homesick and longed for family and friends. Others have found the work too stressful. So our team of co-ordinators has gone from eight to four in just one month, which has been a bit of a shock.

The four of us who are left though work really well together though. And now that we have completed two workcamps we know exactly what it is that we need to do. In fact the pace of work has slowed to a much more pleasant pace, and we're able to cut our hours down. Later next month we are going to a festival in nearby Hungary, and I am planning a trip through the Balkans in September, partly with friends from England, and possibly partly on my own. This should be really exciting because all of the people I have met from the Balkan region have been great fun and it is an area that I have never been to before.

Linden at work

Click here for a country profile of Romania