• VolleyballScience

My first week in Baia Mare

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

To start commenting on my first week in Baia Mare, I must first explain how I felt before arriving here, and for that I will start with my first day in Romania, more specifically in Cluj-Napoca. I arrived in Cluj at 11 p.m. and took a taxi to my accommodation, where the owner of the house, Andrei, the first Romanian person I spoke with in this country was waiting for me. My first impression was good, since I was treated very well and I got advice on how to get to the bus station in the fastest way, we were also talking about different topics, and it was gratifying for me, since that means that I did not have I lock myself in my room and stay alone with my thoughts.

That first night was not easy, since I was beginning to be aware that I was going to be almost a year away from my family and my friends, I was also afraid of not fitting in and having difficulty relating to the other volunteers. I have never been a very outgoing person, although this past year I have improved a lot, but my past fears surfaced in that moment of vulnerability and I was not aware of my real abilities.

Cluj Napoca; photo source: https://elviajerofeliz.com/cluj-napoca-la-antigua-capital-de-transilvania/

Despite this first night of nervousness and fear, the next morning I set out to take my trip to Baia Mare, which began trying to reach the bus station in Cluj-Napoca, which was relatively simple. Once I was on the bus and the journey began, I began to see the landscapes of this country. My first impression was good, since I saw some very rural stops, which I like and reassures, and I supposed that my nerves were diminishing.

Barsana monastery complex in Maramures; photo source:: https://www.startours.ro/bus-tours/Romania-126-7699/Maramures+si+mocanita-57511?VacationType=tour&CountryCode=126&TourCountryCode=126&Destination=126&DestinationType=country&Transport=bus&Duration=4

When I arrived at Baia Mare, Andreea and her mother picked me up at the station and took me to the house where I would spend the next nine months of my life. When I entered there I saw too many people and I got a little nervous, since I don't like large groups of people, but I still showed up and prepared to unpack my suitcase. I will not go into many details, but I began to have a relationship with the volunteers of my house and I felt very good, since they treated me in the best possible way, which made me feel at home. Obviously I didn't know them much and I didn't have much confidence, but that would change with the days.

That same day I went to an event in the afternoon, where volunteers from another organization made a presentation of the city, and where we did different activities to meet new people. It was in that event that I started talking to Tânia, one of the Portuguese girls who lived with me, and that from the first moment I got along and got along very well with her. In addition, among the volunteers who made the presentation there were two Spaniards, which comforted me, since having people who share the same culture as you is rewarding if you need to speak. To end the day I went to dinner with these volunteers, and I was talking to Miguel, a boy from Barcelona who seemed very nice to me. And although it seems little, all this made the nervous day begin, but I ended up eager to continue with my experience and meet many more people.

The following days before starting work were very intense, I spent a lot of time with the volunteers, meeting new people, partying, eating together and continuing to meet the people I was going to live with.

The first days of work became a bit monotonous, since they were at home and time went by a little slow, yet they didn't seem bad to me and I needed to adapt to my new tasks. Later that week we would go to see the volleyball team to take pictures and practice for the games. On the other hand, I spent much more time with the people who work with me on this project, Alex and Azik, who seemed good partners and people I can learn from. Alex is an intelligent, responsible and hardworking person, and Azik has good ideas, but a culture very different from ours.

In regards to the city, I was pleasantly surprised and I find it very beautiful, and I am fascinated that it is surrounded by mountains and forests. I think you can breathe tranquility and it is a good place to live.

Baia Mare; photo source: https://360medical.ro/stiri/dezvoltator-imobiliar-vrea-sa-construiasca-o-clinica-onclogica-privata-si-un-centru-de-cercetare-a-cancerului-baia-mare/2019/01/17/

If I had to summarize my first week in Baia Mare in a couple of words, they would be gratifying and intense.

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