Camp diary 2 – Joyful work

It’s Monday. My colleagues are still sound asleep, but I’m up early. I snuck into the kitchen and then crawled back into bed with a cup of fragrant coffee to read Immortality, Kundera’s masterpiece. The last sips were shaken by thunderous music. It was the morning alarm music that chased away the sleep of even the sleepiest of our colleagues. In the bathroom, where we were queuing up in front of the mirror to preen ourselves, hunger suddenly struck us, for the smell of egg-coated bread wafted through the house.

We ate breakfast on the terrace and savored the food with quiet delight. We looked at each other curiously, and the mountains looked back at us. What will the day bring for us? What values are people going to gain today? What will nature going gain from us? We found out soon. We started to take care for the courtyard and the wider surroundings of the Saint Gellért Foundation’s guest house.

Some of my colleagues decorated the stone wall in front of the building with drawings. Others were clearing weeds from the stairway cubes, refreshing the soil in the flower boxes, taking care of planted crops. Further afield, grass mowing and stream cleaning took place. Some were sanding down the iron surfaces of playground equipment for later repainting. Some were repainting the wood paneling of the mineral spring with oil paint or cleaning up the area around the spring. One group was making a climbing frame to extend the playground. Some were climbing up the light poles to repaint them. But inside the house, work was also going on. One girl was doing kitchen chores and those who knew how to sew, were re-sewing bean bags, Chill Zone must-haves. On the dining tables were colorful sheets of paper, paints, brushes, jars and cut-out shapes, which volunteers used to make skill-building games for Caritas children`s programmes.

The press arrived on time at the news conference, as events were in full swing. It must have been refreshing for them to have tea with us, while learning all the relevant information, not only about this year’s volunteer camp, but also about previous years’ camps, courtesy of Beáta Bogdán, the main organizer.

As I walked around with my camera around my neck, I felt that they were working with the same joy and dedication as I was. Laughter, jokes and banter filled the work and the afternoon. When the rescuers arrived, the fun was at its peak and the young people were climbing the Salvamont climbing wall.

We would like to thank our partners for their support: Council of Harghita county, Communitas Foundation, aticream, Csíki Csipsz, Harmopan, Odorest, END-IBO, Vekker Kávéközösség, Bethlen Gábor Fund.

Written by: Júlia Orbán
Translated by: Orsolya Barabás