(N)ice messages from home
As I’m sure others on the PULSE program agree, you really can’t over emphisaize how much of an encouragement it is to receive a message form home. Whether it’s from family, friends or colleagues getting in touch through email, skype, facebook or blog comments – it all makes a huge difference. Each message is a reminder that you are not flying solo on your PULSE journey and people are genuinely interested in your experiences. Don’t get me wrong though. After two months here in Bucharest, I am well settled into working life with Hospices of Hope and enjoying my new home in the city. I have met some amazing people along the way and I’m sure there are many friends I’ve still to meet!
That being said, I did receive one message at the start of the week which didn’t bring the usual feelings of gratitude. On Monday evening a message came through from Manchester nominating me for the #icebucketchallenge.
If you have spent even 10 minutes on social media sites over the last week or so, the phrase #icebucketchallenge is unlikely to confuse you. For those of you not in the loop, the ice bucket challenge is the latest internet campaign that has gone viral. The idea being that you film a video clip of yourself pouring a bucket of ice water over your head, make a donation to charity and nominate a few friends to do the same. This craze has lead to many high profile celebrities getting in on the act, posting amusing video clips and raising bucket loads of cash for charity.
While keen to accept the challenge, living on the sixth floor of a city apartment block, with no garden space, presented a different element to the challange. The challenge required a cunning plan.
As mentioned in my second blog post, the first week of my time here in Romania was spent at a childrens camp organised by the Hospice. That was the first of five camps taking place this summer. The fifth and final camp started on Monday morning with the UK volunteer team arriving last Saturday. I managed to spend some time with the new team over the weekend and had the opportunity to bring them to the new Hospice building on Sunday and lead them on a tour of the facility. My parting words to the team on Monday morning were along the lines of “I’ll try and come out to the camp centre at some point this week and pay you a visit”. The jigsaw pieces of a plan were starting to fall into place.
Why not get everyone at the Hospice Casa Speranței Bucharest summer camp involved? Drenching a daft Scotsman in ice water would surely be great fun for the children (and volunteers) on camp!
Great fun had by all (including me) and a great deal better than a solitary, soggy Scotsman having to endure the strange looks of the Bucharest public as he does the challenge in the car park at the rear of his apartment building.