First month in Baia Mare
It has now been one month since I arrive in Baia Mare to participate in a volunteering project that will last for nine months. The project focus on sports photography, more concretely in volleyball, and though I am a sports fan I haven’t played volleyball in years, and although I like photography I have never photographed sports before, which can be quite difficult, so, I decided to take the challenge anyway, and move to the beautiful region of Maramures in Romania, to participate in this new and exciting project.
The city of Baia Mare is also beautiful and the place exceeded my expectations, it’s a city surrounded by nature, not only you can see the mountainous landscape; you can also see many trees and flowers when walking down the streets. If you want to feel the city you explore the old part of town, go to the traditional markets, night clubs, check the theater or go to the movies; but if you want more contact with nature you just walk to the “Parcul Municipal Regina Maria” in the direction of the Village Museum, to be closer to the mountains and its fresh air. Also I don’t get lost here, as I usually do, because the city is quite easy to understand and its urban design is not complicated. Cathedrals and churches also guide me through the streets, as they are spread all around the city, for example if I see the Holy Trinity Cathedral I know I’m getting closer to the accommodation, if I see the Holy Cross Greek Catholic Church, I know I am near my coordinator’s office, if I see the cathedral Sfânta Maria I know I’m close to the Sports Complex Hall or “Complexul Sportiv” where the volleyball team plays, etc, as there are many more churches.
Volunteering in Baia Mare can be an exciting experience, not only because of the project itself and the competences developed by the volunteer as a person involved in the community, and contributing to it, but also because the city has a variety of NGOs with many volunteers coming from different European countries, eager to learn, participate and meet new people, a true multicultural environment. It’s interesting to discover the different projects and it has been fun and challenging to work for this project, fun because I am taking pictures all the time and learning more about sports activities, its organization and volunteering and practicing sports photography; and challenging because I am the only one in the project, so far.
To summarize, my feedback about this first month in Baia Mare is quite positive, every day I learn something new, I met new volunteers, in general, people from the city are nice and willing to help even if they don’t know English. I have been able to travel twice already, the first time to volunteer for another organization in Brasov for a week, though it was work volunteer related it was a great experience, and the second time as “mini vacation”, visiting Timisoara and Szeged in Hungary. Most importantly I’m excited about the new activities that we are going to carry out in the future and the many things I will continue to learn and hopefully to contribute as well.