9th of august 2022
Hello, Kemal here,
in this post i want to write about our weekly schedule at the ANCAAR center and what we do there as international volunteers on a day to day basis.
First day of the week, Monday we are doing educational activities with pre-school kids, these activities include helping them with reproductive learning tasks. On Tuesday we have the cooking workshop where we help youngsters with ASD at the kitchen to cook all types of food and to help them develop a set of skills they can use in life. On Wednesday we are doing Art&Handmade Workshop, as the name implies on this day we make handmade items as volunteers using the materials at the center, these items could be sold on fundraisers in the future and help fund the center. On Thursday we have the mentoring day, on this day our dear mentor Flori answers all our questions about volunteering and also receives our feedback about the things we have done so far. And finally on Friday we have the Socialization Activities/Workshop, on this day we go to the ANCAAR center early and we make a trip to outside to help kids and youngsters with socializing with people and also making the community aware of them.
Besides all these we also do research, journaling and social media activities every day to promote ANCAAR and to inform the community about autism/autistic people and all the things they can perform and the wide range of skills they can develop if only given a chance to get properly educated in centers like ANCAAR.
6th of June
Hello, i am Kemal and im going to write about my first day in Romania. The day I arrived to Romania was a really sunny and hot summer day, Romania was much more hotter than I expected, even more so than Turkey, I arrived to Bucharest at noon and I have been up that day since 4 AM, combined with the heat, uncomfortable plane seats and the duration of the journey I was absolutely exhausted at this point but I still had to take a bus to Craiova where I was going to volunteer for 10 months so there was no time for complaining. After landing in Romania the first thing you do is pass through the passport control, they can deny you into the country even if you have a visa so this part is really important. When it was my turn the border guard wanted to see documents about my volunteering activities, I didn’t bring them with me on to the plane but rather inside my luggage so I didn’t have them on me at that point, they said its ok if I can show some documents from my phone so I connected to the airport wifi, logged into my e-mail and showed them the invitation document that Elena sent me for my visa appointment. Thankfully this was enough for them and they let me enter Romania, after passing the border control I went to collect my luggage and left the arrival terminal. Elena had booked me a bus ticket from Bucharest to Craiova and told the bus company to send someone to wait for me at the gate, I am very thankful for this because it was very hot and chaotic inside the airport and I had to carry my luggage, backpack and laptop bag all with me, thankfully the Bus driver was waiting right at the exit, he took my luggage and we went to the bus. This bus driver was the first person I met in Romania, his name was Adi and he was a really friendly and nice guy although his English wasn’t the best to say the least. But still we communicated well and he let me connect to the internet in his bus and there was also air conditioner. I also met other people in the bus they were all willing to speak English and have conversation with me, overall my first impressions about Romanian people were that they are really friendly and nice people. The Bus ride was comfortable but as I was very tired I just wanted it to be over as soon as possible, I kept checking on google maps to see when we would make it to Craiova. When we were close to where the bus would stop the bus driver asked if anyone was going to pick me up, Elena had mentioned before that Flori will pick me up so I wrote to her on Facebook to see if she was already there and of course there she was, waiting for me already. I got into her car and she started to drive me to the apartment where I was going to live for 10 months, we chatted for a bit and I saw that she is also a really friendly and a nice person. She also gave me a fruit drink, food and some pocket money. Once we made it to the apartment she insisted on carrying my backpack despite it being very heavy she carried it all the 4 floors. She was a huge help and Im thankful to her for that. In the apartment only one volunteer lived at this time, which was Mariam, who welcomed us at the door. After we made it in to the apartment Flori gave me some more stuff like phone numbers of the ANCAAR staff, my sim card etc and showed me the apartment. Before leaving she said she will let me rest the next day which was something I really needed so I was glad to hear that. After she left I talked a bit with Mariam, took a shower and instantly went to bed, I slept knowing I had finally made it to Romania and everything was ok
Thank you for reading