Once upon a seaside

Last Friday I had an amazing day.

I got to meet a bunch of great young people and got to see the sea. ❤

It all started with my dear friend and colleague, Ms Hair, who took me (the intern) to see a real IMPACT Club in it’s natural habitat. I had been working on their database and admission files and project templates for 4 months, I got amused by their names or picked the names for my kids based on some of theirs, and finally I was going to see some of them in real life.

To be honest I had zero expectations, not good, not bad. Partially because I had 3 hours of sleep (thanks Mr X) and partially because of the 4 hours on the road to get to Constanta… When we got there it was all silent. The students were in their classes and we had to wait for the break. I had only photographs they put on walls of their “office” in the school. I was like I was in an American movie. Finally the junior leader of the group appeared and showed us around. She was a very young, very pretty girl. She seemed a professional guide although she had never done this before. The other intern and my friend, S , was almost star struck. She kept telling me how great this girl seems. The next step was to join one of the meetings and participate like members of the club.

The members were very young and very nice. The main thing that was going through my head was that at their age I wasn’t nearly as brave, as open, as creative or as responsible. These kids organized games, controlled a discussion on a very relevant matter and talked to us and each other with such awareness that I was stunned. Not to mention that they create and implement small community projects on their own basically, this including managing everything from funds to foods. The most practical thing I did in high school was make some bracelets and sell them to 3-4 people maximum =)). To understand this great impression that I have you need to take into consideration the apathy that came from all the institutions I had contact with all through my youth. The only mention of community that I’ve heard about was in relation to the past regime and that always has a negative twist. The way most people look at you when they hear you are a volunteer (working for free in their minds) they seem to not understand. The idea that a person can dedicate time and effort and love to something and not get paid seems absurd and a waist of time. I am so tired to explain to people around me why I have 3 “jobs” because I like it and not because I get paid (since I am not). Some think I am stupid and some think I am patronizing them because I have the fortune to be able to do this (aka afford this way). I assure you it’s neither. And the same goes for these youths. They enjoy helping out, they enjoy being the first to try to solve a problem and make their place a better one.

trees they planted

They are only 10th and 11th graders and to me, they represent the embodiment of “better will come”. They are doing what “grown-ups” should have been doing for 20 years…changing things for the better.

After spending time with them, I also got to know the local coordinator of the IMPACT program and he is amazing as well. I wish more of my teachers were like him. And he took us to see the sea….

So dark blue, so grumpy, like a partially awaken teen who has to get up for school.


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