The Film is live!

A big thanks to Andy Gill for all his work on putting the film together from three villages and 5 different cameras. Its so good. Enjoy.

 

Romania reunion!!

To any team Romania family and friends I am pleased to announce the date of the team reunion and presentation evening.

Tuesday 15 October 5 pm in chapel is when the team will gather. We will eat pizza (£5 donation please) catch up, share stories, watch the film and plan the next part!

The next part…. family and friends are invited to join us at 7.30pm in DM01/02 (come via the student entrance) for a presentation from each team member about what the week meant to the them. Will also have the world premier of the team film!! We will be all done by 8.30. All family and friends are invited to the presentation and we hope to see you there. thanks Paulimg_7155

Summer Camp 2019

An early start today- we were woken up to the clanging of pots and pans, then we ate a hurried breakfast before heading up the hill to the Lodge Hill activity site. Team water’s first activity was low rope, where Ben (our enthusiastic instructor) encouraged the children to use teamwork and communication to complete the course. Next- after a quick drink and biccie break- we headed to crate stacking, where we achieved our personal best of 10 crates. Every child did fantastically, despite the dismal weather, and were rewarded with hot chocolate when returning to camp. Our afternoon activities had to be changed around to facilitate the rainy weather conditions, so we enjoyed some lovely indoor board games, t-shirt designing and a movie (Dumbo). Mexican night was muy delicioso, followed by an old camp favourite- chocolate covered banana lollies. Overall, the children persevered well in the given weather and team water enjoyed a fun day in which we bonded as a group and tackled some of our biggest fears.

all the pics are on Google drive

I have put all the pics up in google drive

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1BSBIsxrtWn2StXkq5ScbT_WTwtYVHwXP

 

they have reduced the quality of them so if you want to print any off or use them I will have them on a hard drive next week and you can borrow that and copy them down.

 

Missing you all!

Well deserved day of in the salt!

We will come back looking 10 years younger!

What a great last day.

Laslau

HALLO MY FRIENDS! Today was a difficult one and will be one to remember forever. It was our last day in the village so we spent it partying and playing games all day until it came to the end …

We started the day early as normal and got ready for the adventure ahead. After our departure we were on our way to the village. However, on the way we stopped by a field of sunflowers where we took some photos as they were so pretty and bright.

In the morning we had the younger children. We decided, as it was our last day, that all of our groups in the village would join as one for the day.

We started by playing party games such as musical statues and chairs, which everyone enjoyed.

Then we all went outside to compete in an obstacle course, which included running around cones, throwing bean bags and crawling under parachutes. The kids were happily involved in this activity and they thoroughly enjoyed it even though it was hot so we all became tired during this activity however we still found the energy to carry on.

Then we went in and sang some songs and danced around to one particular song that was called J-O-Y-F-U-L, that we gave the children each letter of the word and when that letter was called out they held their letter up. We also did the Cha Cha slide which they didn’t know so they followed us and it was so much fun. We have been singing and dancing to these songs all week and every time their enthusiasm grows.

Then we had some food and a break.

In the second session of the day we started by all getting in a circle outside and having shaving foam squirted into our hands, and enjoyed many water games – including splashing our leaders!

Senarus

Starting the day at an early 6:30am the last day had sadly arrived. The atmosphere was filled with both excitement but also sadness. Following our normal morning routine, we headed down for breakfast having conversations with members of the team about our plans for the day and listening to the blog comments from loved ones.

We headed off at around 8:15 piling into the mini bus on our way to the village for the final time it was rather emotional. Entering the village of Senarus children full of joy and excitement as they were running along the minibus smiling and waving. As we exited the minibus, children came running towards us with arms out ready to embrace, a smile was immediately bought to my face.

Opening the gate, the children came in faces full of smiles and happiness ready for the fun ahead of them. They came in to us all dancing the Macarena smiling and laughing with the morale lifted the day of happiness was ready to begin.

All day we laughed and played and made memories that would last a lifetime. Saying goodbye to all of our new friends was hard, tears were shed and hugs were given and received.

In the evening we ventured up a hill as a group, witnessing breath taking views of Sighisoara. We shared a meal together with all of our translators and hosts and the food was beautiful! The generous Gusti bought us all dessert and we shared memories and hopes for the future.

Soard

Today started with a fabulous early wake up at 6:30am. When we arrived at Soard emotions were high, but everyone smashed their activities!

Rock-It started their day off with making musical instruments. The kids loved it and wouldn’t stop using them. Oceans started with decorating masks and the children were fully engaged. Inferno did bottle rockets and the children faces were amazing and the smiles were another picture perfect moment!

Snacks went down a treat as always, after this we did the Macarena for the 100th time. Then we took all the children outside for water games and at first they weren’t listening and was super excited about the games. Once they had all calmed down we got the children into two lines and down under and over with a wet sponge. Ryan handed out the water balloons to do throwing and catching, it was so funny seeing them drop them on to the floor and they got soaking wet!

Once the morning came to an end we did some more dancing and then said goodbye. Our leaders in Soard found that it was hard to let the little kids go because they didn’t ever want you to let go of their hands and always need attention.

The afternoon began with the teenagers’ hand painting for our team flag, after this we had interviews on me, Chloe, Louis and Ryan. This consists of questions being asked by Ryan and the children. We also did some Penguin dancing Romania Style! We then concluded with water games, which was a nice cool down for a hot afternoon!

It was now time to say goodbye and this was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. The bond I had with these two boys, Christi and Daniel was unbelievable. When the children started hugging us and saying goodbye I started to tear up. Before the children left the gate we did a tunnel that they walked through. It was a magical day!

What does penultimate mean?

The day before the last!

Laslau

It’s our fourth day of working, and our fourth consecutive morning waking up very early. Everybody’s tired. However, as we approached our village we were still excited for the day ahead and seeing the children’s faces as they waited outside for us to let them in made us remember why we came in the first place.

Our day started off with prayer rockets, and although we’d forgotten the kit to set them off we made them in preparation for tomorrow, and quickly realized that we had underestimated just how much children loved glitter. To their delight, we then made ‘worry balloons’, filled with even more glitter, and as a result we all have so much glitter in our hair I think there’ll be some left forever.

By 11:30 it had started to heat up, and so after a failed attempt at volleyball we pulled out some water-filled buckets and sponges and had nothing short of a water fight.

After lunch, we played yet another game of volleyball with the teenagers, but we also created a ‘Laslau Dreams’ banner. It was amazing to see how aspirational all of these young people are, and how despite the discrimination and prejudice set against them, they still had big dreams for the future and wanted to be the best version of themselves. They had so many different hopes between them and it was really thought provoking and put how much we take things for granted into perspective.

On the way home, we came across a bit of trouble. Part of Gusti’s car had broken and so he took it to the garage, but the guy working there made it worse to the point that it is now un-drivable. Luckily Paul, the person who leads the youth in Laslau, offered his car for the drive, and we quickly were able to get home, and to the local pool, for a couple of hours of swimming. It is safe to say that despite all of the fun we’ve had today, we’re even more tired.

Senarus

After the standard early start, there was a positive attitude in the van, despite some tired and ill faces. Everyone was excited to see all the kids, who eagerly anticipated our arrival. They were all keen to sing and dance with us early in the morning; we were both feeding off each other’s energy.

We made the most of the good weather in the morning, with some groups drawing under the sunshine, others playing under the parachute, eager to interact with their peers and leaders. Their interest and attention was a pleasure to receive; it only made us want to put on an even better day than usual. In the hall, we made animal masks, and the kids impressed us all with their art and impressions of their favourite animals; which included a very questionable monkey. It was also good to see Sarah reunited with her five year old, it was very cute.

During break time, the kids enjoyed their usual snacks and water; I would say around half of it was spilled all over the floor (thanks for Kaci for mopping up again). We played balance games with beanbags after break, followed by a rousing rendition of the banana song led by Freddie Tandy. During the second morning session, the kids where once again fascinated by loom bands. Unfortunately, this distracted some of the other kids from their groups, which necessitated Poppy having to act as a bouncer for the majority of the morning.

The teenagers where good fun, we played a strange version of hockey with newspapers sticks and cone goals. We also tried to explode the volcanoes we built the previous night, which resulted in an anticlimactic spillage of flat coke; the teenagers weren’t impressed. It was nice to see a few new faces, even at this later stage in the week. It feels good to be talked about positively in the community.

Swimming in the evening was fun, Ryan topped up his t-shirt tan and the translators lead some not-so-synchronised diving. Dinner was its usual noisy affair; some of the group lingered in town to get ice creams. Reflection was the theme of a calm and somber evening; as we approach our final day as volunteers. Tomorrow could be tough. 

Soard:

Today was a-ma-zing! When we arrived in Soard this morning, beaming, smiling children, already playing in the park and running to help us bring our things from the minibus, greeted us. As we started with our energisers and games, you could already sense the brilliant energy coming from the children.

Over the last 6 months, the students have been pulling together the most fantastic, creative and engaging lessons to deliver to the children. We have seen brilliant cork boats and the banana song has gone down a treat every time; but sometimes, these ideas don’t always go to plan! However, I have never felt more proud or impressed by a group of young people who did not let any of these challenges get in their way from giving the children they are working with one of the best days I have witnessed!

Energy levels were slightly lower than previous days as the effects of dancing to the Macarena for the 17th time took full force. However, this didn’t dampen spirits, especially during our time with the teenagers in the afternoon. We quickly pulled together a new afternoon of content over our crisp and gherkin sandwiches at lunch and away we went with 3 hours precious time with them.

We came together as the 3 groups to team teach them, playing head, shoulders, knees and cones and the cereal box game. The children loved it! It is amazing how versatile a cardboard box can be and just how many laughs and memories can be captured by trying to touch a box with your nose!

I was so proud of Elise and Poppy, who pulled together some pulse raising activites which the teenagers loved and Katie and Maisie who spent all afternoon making Scoobies ready for them to change gears and relax into the afternoon heat as they made bracelets.

This is my third trip to Romania, twice as a student and my first as a leader. Every time I come, I am so amazed by the hope and joy that the people of the communities we work with have. Their endless smiles, high fives and energy in spite of their circumstances always inspires me. But one of my biggest takeaways from this trip has been just how brilliant our young people are. Each and every one of them has given everything of themselves this week, to make sure that they have given all they can to the children of Soard. They have not only left me inspired but all the other leaders too and I know you will be so proud of them when they come home and hear their stories. Team Soard will always have a special place in my heart and, with one day left, I know they are going to give even more to make sure the children of the community have the most amazing time as we sing one last Banana Song and dance the Macarena one last time.