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Funny people, crazy smiles, exciting experiences, new friendships and unending nights.

We have a new international project accepted. And that is what “A look into the superstitions” going to mean for us and for all the participants. We are anxiously waiting our friends from Bulgaria, France, Spain and Italy to meet us here, for 10 days full of superstitions, art and creativity.

The project will take place between the 12th and the 21st of August 2009 (10 days), in Bran – the city of traditions and myths – and its main goal is to develop the communication,comprehension and the tolerance between the participants while fighting against prejudices, stereotypes and discriminations by revealing superstitions through creative art (photography, filmmaking).

One of its objective is to create a community in a learning environment. We will also contribute to the personal and social development of the young people involved in the youth exchange and encourage a long-term partnership between the countries. In order to achieve our goal and to attain these objectives we will use several working methods like: workshops, outdoor activities, round tables and role-play games.

So stay tuned for more informations, because we are planning to „bake” tons of surpises.

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Nobody can forget the enthusiastic smile of  the 6 VIPers  leaving from Otopeni Airport, early in the morning, maybe even far to early for some of us, we were fully packed for an almost 2 weeks experience and full of questions of whether we will like or not.

Latvia, a country with the population of Bucharest, but far more welcomning than any of us could have imagined. And I said the magic word of the project „IMAGINE“. The topic was to create the perfect country, which should have elements from each participating country. But I will tell you more about this later.

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After changing 2 planes and staying in a bus for 4 hours, we arrived at the accomodation place somewhere near to border with Estonia. On the otherside of the country we could say J. The villa were we stayed we soon found out was a therapeutic place, where the main atraction was the chocolate, honey sauna. But Aurel can tell you more about that J. We called the owner of the house, the Sauna Man,  funny guy, walking almost naked through the house most of the time.

Anyway passing on, the second day we finally met everyone from the other participating countries: Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Poland and of course Latvia. Different people with strong personalities and even more different ways of seeing things, as soon we would find out through a Revolution.

At first, we did not interact with each other outside the seminar sessions, but after a while, we got to know each other. Through the traditional nights we enjoyed different countries cuisine, in my opinions the most fascinating and different from our own culture was the Italians, who prepared us 3 types of pasta and the Spanish, who learned us how to dance Flamenco, Andreea and Aurel could show us some steps as they were the champions of the night at dancing it. HUREY for Romania!

We had election day, where we voted our future president and decided how our stated will be called: Eleftheria (freedom in Greek). And the next days we also formed our Governement and started working on budget plans J.

At this point, we had a state hit and the former Agriculture minister took over the state together with the bulgarian Mafia. Nobody was happy and soon a Revolution took place and the bulgarians were incarcerated.

During while this was happening I was „kidnapped“ J by the Chinese Mafia and everyone had to group to find  me by completing different tasks. Luckily the Spanish girls were clever and found me in the town hall were I was a prisoner and killed the bad guy.

Another of the best moments, was the Romanian traditional night, were everyone was delighted with our pancakes, wines, food and presentation. And how could I forget the Italians and Spanish singing like crazy: „Dragostea din Tei“ by Ozone, I have them on tape!

Before living, we had a day to visit Riga, the capital, one of the most amazing cities I have seen, although it was a horrible snow storm and our cameras were shacking in our hands, Aurel dragged us through the city (literaly), and after that we went eating at Chili Pita (the best eating place in Latvia) and to have a drink at the SKYLine Bar, situated on the 26th floor of the Reval Hotel. The view was INCREDIBLE!

Latvia

Latvia

As souveniers we brought back their tradtional drink named Black Balsam, sugared cranberries and a sack full of pictures and of course the friends, whom we won’t even forget!

Because simple text is sometimes not enough to show you how beautiful Romania is we’ve prepared a brosure for you.

Browse it here and feel free to comment !

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Even though it happened almost nine months ago (February 2008) , I still have it clear in my mind… One day I received a phone call from one of my colleagues at Volunteers for Ideas and Projects telling me that my application for participating at the youth exchange in France was accepted. I literally started to jump all around in my room, almost screaming of excitement. Read the rest of this entry »