In the final week of the summer term, a band of volunteers from Tor School travelled to Maramures County in NW Romania. Twelve went in all, teachers, students and ex-students, by minibus and plane and minibus we arrived in the dead of night to a field in the middle of nowhere, our campsite for the week.
No holiday this though, next day we started work in the orphanage garden, we’d been asked to paint a mural, build a sun shelter that the residents could eat in and repair the swings. We began by wood preserving every single piece of timber and planning out the layout of the project.
On the campsite we chilled out, went fishing for tiddlers, had camp fires, ate our fill from the BBQ and sat under the stars watching the late night movie show. On our days off we visited ancient churches built entirely from wood, the happy graveyard (weird sense of humour these Romanians) and when onto a pizza restaurant that served pizzas too big to fit on the table for less than a fiver.
After a few hard workdays we finished off the orphanage garden project and had a little party for the residents, they seemed over the moon with the work we had done and were very excited, and then just as we began the celebration the thunder clapped and the heavens opened. We were stranded in the rain with the young people from the orphanage in the shelter we had built them. It was a special memory I’ll never forget.
Our trip to Romania had many brilliant memories, lots of laughs and lots of new experiences. We all came back a little different, knowing how fortunate we are in our own lives and knowing we could and had made a difference to the lives of others.