09 February 2018

YE-"United Plates of Europe", UK

Once upon a time, there were two princesses and three princes who rode unicorns to a faraway land called happiness. Just kidding, this isn’t a bed time story, although, judging from the extraordinary experiences lived by our protagonists, it could have easily been one.

On the 24th of January, five enthusiastic members of GEYC’s community took off for what would become an experience of a lifetime. Everyone was joking, laughing, this until they had to carry their 23kg luggage up some stairs in London. After all that passed, they all laughed again. 

This is how my team’s adventure began. We left home with quite a lot of expectations and we didn’t think they could be exceeded.  For me, the United Plates of Europe project meant lots of constant learning, experiencing new cultures, the chance to see the four extremely smart members of my team improve themselves, interact with over 45 other people, learn from them and getting to empathize with ideas all over Europe. 

As I couldn’t have expressed my team’s experience better than them, next you will read some testimonials:

“I found about "United plates of Europe" through Asociatia Geyc and I was very enthusiastic when they gave me the big news that I was accepted. It was my 6th Erasmus+ project but the first one in England. The team was great from the first moment we met. Everybody wanted to communicate, to share their experiences and knowledge. It was like a very big family with more than 40 members. All the activities were interesting and I learnt very much during the project. This experience was one of the best things happened to me.” Iulian Buga

“This was my first project and I just want to say that this experience has exceeded my expectations. During the 7 days in England I met wonderful people with amazing stories. I learned a lot of interesting things about some countries, we discussed a lot about their religion, culture, politics and traditions. We played games together but, when the situation required it, we knew how to be serious and to support each other in all the activities. The best way we could have ever find to really exchange cultural knowledge culture exchange. 

I really hope that our feedback will raise the interest of young people from Romania and all over the world. Thank you GEYC.” Alexandru Chelmus

“So, this is the story of a traveller, an entity, a human (so please take it as an opinion and as only an experience). And yes, it’s a very short version of this experience. It starts with meeting my fellow companions in the airport of Bucharest. A first look at everybody and a shy hello got us in the airplane, on the way to London. As it was supposed to, it’s been a great time and our team leader, Adelina, basically took care of everything and made our life experience a lot easier for all of us. Finally, after about 7-8 hours after departing our country, we reached the amazing place named Gilwell Park, a place that was meant to be our home for the next week. Dropped the luggage, got to know my roomies and went out in order to meet everybody. The first night was a very exciting one. And not the only one I would say. First morning started with icebreakers and different practices that helped us to know each other in a better, nicer and more comfortable way. 

Keeping it short, I will jump straight to the first Intercultural-Night, a call made by our leader, Adelina, a call that I didn’t agree with, but which proved to be one of the best decisions that she made through the project. She carefully took care of every single detail related to our “Romanian” table and also brought some pretty-damn-fun activities that amazed the participants of other countries. (and I would add that also raised the standards of how others were about to prepare their own).

I would only say it once, even if this guy deserves a whole article for what he did for us and how he managed to make this youth exchange simply awesome. Well, Mario, through his way of being, and of course experience and a know-how to do all this, did in a week that maybe other trainers could not achieve in a month. He made us work, struggle, fight and find answers, discover ideas and have fun together. He made it easy and fun! Shortly, and with all due respect, Thanks Mario!

I also want to mention about the participating countries, and the people that represented them. Different cultures didn’t make a difference and Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania among with Cyprus and Greece, Italy, Poland, Latvia and Belgium; well we all felt like a big family. A family with mixed cultures and traditions, a family with different views about political interests, religious or sexual orientation. A family where Love was the main purpose and also represented the rule of law. A family we called Oneland (the country we put the base of). I want to keep it short, and so-forth I want to thank everybody that was part of the project. I want to thank GEYC and my fellow Romanians for being absolutely great through the entire project.” Stefan Cristian Purcarea

“Teamwork - the word that best described our multinational group. During the United Plates of Europe, we had a lot of activities that helped us to know each other better and that each and every one of us could show their skills/abilities. Also, some of us found out even some hidden talents.

One of the best examples that came to mind was the one where we had to establish a nation. In a limited amount of time, we succeeded on establishing a state with all that it requires (government, laws, a flag, an anthem, a national dance, traditional clothes and food, passports etc). We've discovered that where there is understanding, equality, generosity and seriousness, you can get great results. 

While finishing this task, we were all united, we gave our best and created the best state ever.” Raluca Alexandra Chitiga

So, after reading about all of these life changing experiences, are you ready to be part of one? Don’t postpone the change in your life, allow yourself to live all the great things that we lived. Get involved in your community and really be the change you want to see in the world. 

Until next time, 

Adelina Dragomir.