After being on the road for 20 hours, changing four intercity and international buses across three countries, we finally reached what is also known as the Romanian Baden-Baden, Monteoru, Romania!
The first morning started with an energizer that created a very nice atmosphere in the group. We gathered then in activities room where we found a pen and a badge. Then Tolea, the trainer and the organizer of the youth exchange, introduced us briefly the project and the objectives, main methods and activities and results expected. In a funny way we introduced our names, countries and favourite meal to accompany the wine, then we create a nice portrait and play bingo for identify our hobbies, habits and interests. The first day we also presented our sending organization and then we had the session about Erasmus + and its opportunities, about Youthpass and the 8 key competences. End of a long day was first intercultural evening with Cyprus,Romania,Macedonia and Portugal promoting delicious traditional food and drinks. As the days were passing we were getting into the topic of wine and its role in our cultures more and more. Discussing the entrepreneurship opportunities in the wine sector we also had a chance to visit one of the most famous wineries and wine yards in Romania. Time was also dedicated to discuss the third objective: responsible consumption of wine and alcohol, from which we came to a conclusion that wine should be more often seen as culture and tradition rather than just an alcoholic beverage. At the fourth day of the youth exchange we had a visit from a sommelier who taught us how to use almost all our senses for degustation of a wine. Eyes – to see the colour which can tell us how old the wine is, the mark it leaves on the glass can tell us about its concentration, nose – to smell and recognize the aromas, touch – when it comes for holding the glass, mouth – to finally taste the wine. The fifth day, we had visit to the high school in Busteni where we did survey for the consumption of wine and alcohol among the students. The results are published at the brochure which was produced as one of the physical outcomes of the project. The sixth day we had cultural visit to Europe’s unique clay soil area that can be easily mistaken for the surface of the moon. – “Muddy volcanoes”. Apparently, there is a story behind the magnificent view that appeared in front of our eyes. Scientifically explained, the natural gas that is 30 kilometers deep in the ground is “erupting” on the surface in a bubbly form causing the clay to melt and run down as cold lava. However, according to the legend, there is a dragon in the volcano which waits for the curious visitors to pull them down and take them on another planet where there is no Erasmus+ and they will not get reimbursed for the trip! The remaining days we worked in two big teams: video production and brochure creation. Both teams did amazing job and as outcome of that there are
a) three videos on each objective of the youth exchange: responsible consumption of alcohol, wine in our cultures and entrepreneurship opportunities in the wine sector.
b) brochure containing all the presentation materials we used on the topic of history and culture of wine, the survey we did in the high school, as well as the results of the “homework” survey we did before going to the project. All in all, it was unique youth exchange that gathered 45 young people from 8 different countries, to discuss on one extraordinary topic and thanks to Tolea, VCS, and Erasmus+ it was possible to be done better than one could ever imagine!