Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

1st July 2013

Footprinter pre-departure report by Anna Clarke

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So here I am my first official report as a Hazels Footprinter! The past week has been pretty busy with graduating, leaving Durham, saying goodbye to friendsetc… but now that Im back home I can finally concentrate on preparations for the next stage in my life: ROMANIA!

Having spent a month with The Smiles Foundation during summer last year I know where Im heading and am familiar with some aspects of how the organisation works which makes the imminent move a little less scary! Its also very exciting because I know how much I enjoyed my time there before and how satisfying simply spreading smiles and serving others can be.

At the same time there are still various things that are quite daunting. For starters, being away from family and friends is always hard but thats something you just have to kind of take a day at a time. Secondly, I also really want to be able to understand and to speak Romanian. I still dont know exactly which projects I will be primarily involved with when I am out in Romania but Im most passionate about working with children and I imagine that working with Smiles will give me plenty of opportunities to do so. Not being able to communicate with the kids obviously poses a massive barrier in the relationship you can have with them and so more than anything at the moment I really want to be able to get to a level where I can understand and be understood. I have been learning but know that Im still at a very basic level. I know this requires both patience and perseverance so for now it remains one of my long term goals but I hope and pray that I will be able to make good progress during my first couple of months out there.

Finally, I just want to say again here how thankful I am to everyone who has made this trip possible, whether through financial or prayerful support. I never even dreamt that I would have fundraised this much money pre-departure so I am massively grateful to all those people who have donated or helped me with fundraising eventsetc and of course, a big thank you must go to Hazels Footprints for giving my fundraising totals a good boost! Its an honour to become a Hazels Footprinter for this forthcoming year and I really do hope you enjoy reading my updates! But for now Ill say La revedere (goodbye!) and see you soon! (Id write that bit in Romanian too but I dont know how to YET!)

Me and some of the kids from Tileagd Church

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