When I was 16, I wrote a list. A list of things I wanted to do with my life. At the top of the list was, ‘to be a volunteer in Romania’. After stories from my grandmother, who had been in Marghita a few times, a great curiosity had grown within me about the poverty, suffering and the orphans.

Now I have been here for around one month and it is my last evening here. Thoughts are whizzing around in my head and I hear the neighbour’s rooster outside the window. I´ve heard him every day and a few times he has managed to wake me up around five in the morning! IMG_2142

Many people have asked how my time here has been and how I feel about it; a question which is very hard to give a simple answer to. I remember the nervousness before the journey: Will I be able to help? Will ‘little me’ be able to make a difference? I went to Romania with uncertainty mixed up with so many other feelings. I started doing simple gymnastics with the young people from the Day Centre and Casa Silvia and the children at the special needs school. Raising arms up in the air, kicking legs and shaking the whole body to the music! It was not the movements that made me realise that I was making a difference, but it was the laughter from all directions that made me realise that I can help and make a difference. I could spread joy to people who experienced suffering in a way I will never really be able to imagine. They get the chance to laugh, be silly and just be themselves. I use what I am able to offer to make life easier for people who have had it very tough.

”No one can do everything but everyone can do something.”

Oh, how much I have got back! During this month I have become so rich in things that cannot be measured. It has been a fantastic trip with people who have inspired me so much. Thank you to all the people who I had the chance to work with and thank you to my grandma, Raita. Without you a trip to Romania wouldn´t have ended up so high on my list when it was written six years ago.

Anna Eliasson

5 May -2015