Posts Tagged With: Bucharest

The journey some papers take!

“To think if pieces of paper can have such a journey and story!”

About 3 years ago, a packet, for me, was delivered to my parents’ home in Chandigarh. It had a pack of 500 very good quality origami papers and a handwritten letter. 

The letter told the journey this pack had already had… 

“This paper meant for Japanese artwork was made in Germany and imported to Kansas. From there it was delivered to California, where another colleague got it to Delhi and yet another colleague got it to Bombay. From where my friend couriered these to Chandigarh with the hope that I will carry them to Angola where they will turn into exotic shapes and bring smiles to someone’s face!”

He knew all about my volunteering with kids in Angola and also knew that I took back supplies from India as it was very hard to find good and cheap art supplies there. We had been talking about the legend of 1000 origami swans and because he couldn’t find any good origami paper in India, he asked some of his colleagues who were coming back from the US to bring some. Of which one was sent my way for my kids.

In Angola, these papers brought many a smile when we turned them into windmills, and frogs, and hearts, and many more shapes. 
volunteering with kids in Angola

And then I left Angola and the stack went into storage with all of our other stuff. A year later it took another long journey, this time on the big seas as it came with our shipment from Angola to Romania. 

It was only after almost 2 years that the stack came back to life. This time again at a learning space for street children. From being a perfect square, it went on to become a hearts, tulips, fish, whales, and birds… bringing many more smiles 🙂 

Volunteering with children Bucharest, easy origami for children

And we have just begun! No one knows the journey and the stories these will create! Waiting to be an instrument and a witness to it.

The journey of a stack origami papers

Oh! the journeys some papers take. I can write an essay on myself as a paper. I remember in primary classes we used to have essay topics like “the autobiography of a paper!”. This was a perfect journey for that 🙂


Categories: Travel, Volunteer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

generosiTREE: Random acts of Kindness in Herastrau Park

“It’s a generosiTREE.. did you get it? TREEEEE…”

I heard a teenager explaining her surprise and excitement at the play of words to her younger sibling.

random acts of kindness in park, kindness drive in Bucharest

Couple of weekends ago, I had this simple idea of some random act of kindness in Herăstrău Park.

We had gone to the park as part of my husband’s team community run initiative and initially we hung the board on a tree where most of us had collected. It was great to see the excitement, both of adults and children.

Within our group everyone took one act to do either during their run or on their way back home. Later we went around the park with the board to offer them to everyone in the park and that’s when it hit me. We were very excited with what we had done and felt everyone will be open to it. But it was difficult to even have people listen to what the idea was… everyone thought we were out to sell something… We would approach asking if we can have a minute of their time… and the response will go like “I don’t speak English”; “No.. I don’t want to listen to you..”; “We are very tired, we can’t do this” 

random acts of kindness in bucharest

People who agreed to listen were an exception. Which is not difficult to understand because the world that we live in, we are all vary of strangers and strangers approaching with big smiles and a board with colourful post-its! “They are out to get something from me!” 

Even those who listened, would ask, “okay so what’s the story? What are you promoting? What cause do you work for? What do I have to do after I do the ask? Where do I need to share it?” And when we said the story for us ended with them picking up an idea and they can choose to do it or not do it and then possibly pass it forward. They would be totally surprised. “That’s it! We just pick one act?”

“Yes! You just pick one act.”

And that’s when the frowns will turn into smiles! The best moment 🙂 “Wow! that’s a great idea!”

Slowly people who overheard, were interested when they realised that we didn’t belong to any organisation. One guy picked up “Turn off unused lights” and said that he and his wife were just talking about how to reduce their energy consumption! Another picked up “Give a group hug to a tree in public” They were a family of 3, with a toddler and they said their little daughter will love doing that act! 

An elderly man was so touched that we came up and spoke with him that he was almost crying! 

For us it was a joyous practice both when people took the notes and when they didn’t. The people who took, offered us a gift by receiving our idea and those who didn’t taught us humility and gave us reasons to step-it-up! 🙂


PS: If you wish to get all the ideas we had put up on the board, feel free to message me and I will email the to you!


Categories: Volunteer | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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