It’s a new year, it’s a fresh start and Inside Ride now clearly sees how should the rest 8 months look like. We will go hand in hand with changes of seasons. We’ll move from inside to outside.
It means that as it’s too cold to stay outside, especially in Întorsura Buzăului – the coldest place of Romania, in January and February we will stay inside to do some fun games and activities with youngsters from two high schools of the town. This will be the time to get to know each other a little bit and do some teamwork to see how we can work together.
In the beginning of spring (around March) we’ll still more or less stay inside because the warmth of spring can sometimes be tricky, right? We will thus have some useful workshops, e.g. making survival bracelets or learning tips and tricks for going in nature.
Starting from April we will start to explore Întorsura and its’ surroundings. We’ll do hiking, exploring nature and entertaining ourselves with different tasks on our way. As we are strangers in Întorsura, we see organizing of these hikes as cooperation among us and youngsters from high schools.
Although the school year ends in June, we hope to see the youngsters also in summer to offer them to gain some useful experience in organizing events. This they can do by helping us to organize the festival “Ceva de Vară”. Check out how it looked last year here.
Usually, first week of each month will be our planning and preparations week. But starting from second week we’ll offer different kind of activities every Thursday. Nevertheless, in January we have visited Mircea Eliade only twice.
Our first visit to Mircea Eliade regarding Inside Out activities happened on 15th of January. We were a bit surprised, if not shocked, of the amount of visitors. More than 50 youngsters had come to see what we have to offer them. It was impossible to stand in one line diagonally across the big hall. So, we divided the big group in four small groups and asked them to do some team-work and competition. Even though we were not prepared to see so many faces, these faces were smiling when leaving the hall after activities.
On 22nd of January we were not anymore so stressed out to see so many, many faces. And we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that this time the youngsters enjoyed even more than the first one. Who wouldn’t be a little bit excited to smash some raw eggs on the floor of a school? That’s right! This time youngsters had to work in six teams and each team’s task was to build a construction that would save the egg from breaking when dropped on this construction. Oh, and did we mention that the egg had to touch the ground in the end? We also had some nice team titles there (e.g., „I don’t know”, „Splash” and others). Even though some eggs didn’t survive, everybody seemed joyful after this lovely task.
But what happened on the 29th of January when it was supposed to be our last January meeting with the youngsters? Unfortunately nothing happened. And we are really sorry for that. Inside Ride team had already gotten on train to Întorsura Buzăului when received a message that said that there are no kids at school today. So, we jumped off the train before it had started to move towards Întorsura. Few days later we found out that at least ten youngsters were really there and waiting for us. Sorry, guys, if we had known you were there, we would have been there as well.
Time is running and also February is now behind our backs. We have managed to visit Mircea Eliade high school for three times.
On the 12th of February we went to the high school students full of enthusiasm and excited about our own ideas. After asking some questions to each other and us (volunteers) and finding out new things about each other we offered the youngsters to demonstrate to us their creativity.
They were given several seemingly humble objects and their task was to invent at least ten new ways of putting these objects to use. Among these objects you could find such things as an eraser, little string, earring etc. After each group had presented their newly invented ways of using these things, we understood that the world would stop rotating without them!
Because how can we make jewellery, clean our teeth and cut mamaliga without a string? And how are we supposed to decorate our houses and avoid stress if we don’t have an eraser?
Afterwards the youngsters could find out, in a very unusual way, who is the most important person in the world. Are you also interested? Shhh…! We will not tell you! You have to find out yourself.
The next two times when we visited Întorsura, we were both times only two volunteers there because in this time of the year it’s so easy to get sick!
On 19th of February Maija and Daniel went to high school students just two of them. This time they could show their abilities in both – physical and mental – tasks. After doing some running in teams youngsters proved their erudition by participating in the quiz. In this quiz they answered questions about Europe, European Union, biology, mathematics and other subjects. Smart youngsters! We’re proud of them.
But not only smart! Also brave! They invented movements for Karate, Gangster & Gorilla (similar to Rock, Paper & Scissors). Afterwards they had a fight. Try to guess who beats who!
The last time (26th of February) we were also just two of us – Grytine and Maija. This was a really pleasant day for us because we finally gained some feedback from the youngsters after two full months of activities. The youngsters could share their likes and dislikes by hanging clean, beautiful shirts (for good things) and dirty, smelly socks (for bad things) on a string. They also shared their hobbies and interests with us by filling in a questionnaire. And at last they also shared their wishes of what they would like to do together with us during upcoming months.
We feel rich after gaining so nice feedback and ideas.
And we have to admit – we are good listeners. We found out that many youngsters are really eager to travel. So, we decided to travel around the world together with them. Around the world in 1 and a half hours!
On 12th of March in the big hall of Mircea Eliade youngsters visited Latvia, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, United States of America and even Indonesia. In Latvia they discovered how Latvian folk symbols are used nowadays, in Germany they could taste some Kinder chocolate, in The Netherlands they had to get the nail into the bottle (Spijkerpoeper), in South Africa they experienced how it is – to be excluded, in USA they found out new things about former presidents of USA, and in Indonesia they did some puppet theater. We really think they enjoyed. And we also did!
Next time (19th of March) we kindly asked one of the volunteers from other project group to join us in Întorsura. Ina came with us to Mircea Eliade high school, class number 117 to make bracelets together with the youngsters even despite the fact that we had to wait 5 hours in Întorsura before we could do the activities because of a certain ‘train situation’.
Indeed, as Regiotrans trains are not going to Întorsura anymore, we have to be really creative in finding ways how to manage getting there. On 26th of March we were creative enough to decide on going to Întorsura by hitchhiking. At one point we were in the middle of Prejmer and slowly loosing hope to get to Întorsura on time, but we managed! And some theater activities could begin.
But probably everybody – we and the youngsters – most of all enjoyed eating ice-cream from the near-by Profi shop and chatting in the park on a sunny afternoon after the activities.
April has been a different kind of month for us. Due to different reasons (lack of youngsters in the school during the non-formal education week, school holiday and four-days training for Inside Ride team) we have visited Mircea Eliade high school only once this month. But apart from that we started some other activities in Intorsura – board games evening and hiking trip during Un Weekend Diferit!
Luckily, our favorite train company is back on the trail and we can return to our casual rhythm – get on the train at 11:30, sit down for a coffee in the town and then meet the youngsters!
On the 30th of April we met the youngsters to play some games together again. It turned out that they are great observers and have no problems finding out who is secretly giving directions for others. This day they also shared and negotiated with each other their values. In the end we found out that the most important things in life are love, art, knowledge, trust, health and happiness. But this does not in any way mean that other values that they possess are not important! Their values are beautiful!
We ended our session with a wonderful group hug and now we’re hoping that in May we’ll see the youngsters more than just once!
Indeed, in May we’ve met the youngsters three times.
On the 14th of May we visited Mircea Eliade to find very few youngsters there. As the biggest game we offered them that day was a really quiet one, we started with a loud, loud screaming in the school backyard.
The quiet game we chose was just to show the youngsters that working in a team can lead to the result faster if we pay attention also to what others are doing.
But not to make it so serious, we ended with a creativity booster. Choose a pebble stone and create a crazy story about it. One of the stones fell from the Moon in Australia and was brought somehow mysteriously to Întorsura.
On the 21st of May we had a different kind of Thursday. As we are organizing now the second edition of Ceva de Vară festival we asked if the youngsters also want to participate in organizing it.
And explained what they would have to do in quite an interactive way. See yourself:
After this nice presentation we for sure gained some volunteers for the festival.
And we also promised the youngsters a board games evening and hiking day, just as we made last month. Here‘s how it went on the 29th and 30th of May!