Post written by Kelsey, a United Planet Volunteer.
As a senior at the University of Idaho I decided it was about time for me to expand my cultural vision to the rest of the world. I was selected to go on an Alternative Service Break trip to Romania through the university with twelve of my fellow schoolmates. When I learned that we would be going to Valea Screzii, Romania, to work at an orphanage, my emotions got the best of me. As December grew closer, I became very anxious to leave.
Valea Screzii is a small village located two and a half hours outside Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Like I expected, there was not very much out there. When we got to the village we were greeted by Melanie and Mehai, who ran the show at the organization. They took us to all the different houses of the organization, which give shelter to children of all ages, elderly, and mentally disabled people. Throughout our 21 days at the organization we got close to a lot of people, it was easy to bond with people who are so caring and excited about life.
I learned so much from the people in Valea Screzii. The sense of community there was greater than I could ever hope for. Although the people that live at the orphanage maybe don’t have families, or don’t get to see them all the time, the orphanage is a family within itself. Everyone who lives there calls each other brother and sister. They love each other, take care of each other, and would do absolutely anything for each other. I learned so much over this trip about how to live a simple life and how to love with all you have. When it all comes down to it, love and laughter are what make me truly happy.