Camp diary 4 – We are a team now

I’ve never been to the Harghita-Mădăraș, but today I have. By tractor. Cold, wind, heavy clouds, tiredness – nothing discouraged our two small teams from climbing on the tractor trailers. There was no place for me there, so I crouched in the cab next to the driver. But it was a good thing I did, because it was warm and Attila György was entertaining me with jokes. As a counterpoint, he shared profound truths with me, knowledge that is dying out.

I learned that there are only three red plants that are edible in the forest: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The other red plants are all poisonous. Raspberry seeds are a miracle in themselves. It lives in the ground for years without sprouting. Then, when the forest thins around it, it sprouts and its bushes hold the soil. A hillside covered with raspberry bushes is an excellent breeding ground for pine seeds. This is how a thinned forest reclaims its originality. I looked at the variety of flowers, of which nowhere else do so many grow in one square meter. It is a paradise for bees, where they mix the elixir commonly known as conifer honey.

When I was looking for the „Kisasszony papucsa”, aka the „Touch-me-not flower” in the grass, my merry companions woke me up from my daydreaming with the popular Hungarian song: „Ki ez a lány?”. The singing and dancing didn’t last very long because when we reached the 1600 m height in the mountain the song and the words froze into us. The hot chocolate was able to warm us up in the guesthouse, where there was only place to breathe beside our numerous team.

Let’s take photos! We were already one step up, as we had to choose the right background for the silly portraits. A group shot was taken, a brown dog walked into my line of sight and a water vapor drifted in front of my camera. My hands froze pink and we climbed back on the tractor. But I don’t mind. Up and in, something majestic was happening: the discovery of beauty.

The five-hour tractor ride back and forth had us all shaken up, literally and figuratively. The good thing about extreme exhaustion is that you become freer, more receptive to inner experiences. It was in this spirit that we sat around the yard on Thursday evening, looking back on the events of the past few days. We were joined by Mária Kedves, the director of the economic department, József Molnár, the head of the communication team, and András Márton, director of Caritas Alba Iulia, who thanked us with kind words and pride in his eyes. We remembered the highlights of the camp in the silence of our hearts. We expressed our gratitude to each other with a shrug of the shoulders. The campfire was being prepared, and soon the strings of violin and ukulele were swinging under the fingers of Norbert Tókos.

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