- Team Leaders: Jeff Pope and Haley Pope
- Building site: Medias, Romania
- Trip Dates: April 21 – May 1, 2017
- Trip Cost: $1,900
Check out the Habitat for Humanity Romania website to get a sense of who they are and how they help.
Dates, Cost & Fundraising
Payment Due Dates
Full trip cost: $1,900 due on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Please pay this fee or the remaining cost using any of the following methods:
- Online with a credit card on the secure GV website
- Online with a credit card on your fundraising page by clicking the donate button in the top right corner
- By phone with a credit card: call 1-800-HABITAT, ext 7530
- Send a check in the mail to Habitat for Humanity International Global Village Program, 121 Habitat Street, Americus, GA 31709
*NOTE: Include the GV event code (GV17478) and your ID # on any payment
Your GV Trip cost includes a donation to Habitat for Humanity Romania and Habitat for Humanity International; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding airfare); cultural activities; health, accident, and emergency evacuation insurance; and team coordination from HFHI and the host program.
The trip cost does not include airfare, R&R activities, and visa and exit fees (where applicable). All R&R arrangements should be made independently by the team and directly with tour operators.
Keep up the good work! For those who haven’t set up a fundraising page, there’s still time. You can set up a site by creating an account and going through a few simple steps here. Let me know if you need any help!
Arrival & Departure
- Arrive at the Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest, Romania by Saturday, April 22, optimally by mid-afternoon.
- Our trip ends on Monday, May 1. You can book your flight home anytime on this day leaving from the same airport in Bucharest.
- Habitat recommends purchasing trip cancellation insurance, in case unforeseen circumstances prevent you from taking this trip. You can usually purchase this with your airfare.
- Please book your flights by this Friday, March 17 and send us a complete copy of your flight itinerary and passport.
- Early Arrivals/Late Departures: The dates noted above are the “official” trip dates, but you are free to arrange your own independent travel before or after our build. Please let us know your plans and we can work with you to arrange airport transfers and/or extension of your accommodations if you need assistance.
*NOTE: The arrival and departure days may vary based on each volunteer’s flight schedule. Team members arriving earlier or staying later than this itinerary are responsible for their own transport, hotel arrangements, and payments.
Visa & Passport Requirements
Passport: You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after our dates of travel in order to leave home and enter Romania.
Visa: You will get a tourist visa upon entering Romania at the airport. You don’t have to apply ahead of time for a visa.
Health & Medical
Habitat for Humanity provides health insurance for every volunteer on the Global Village trip during the trip. If your travels extend beyond the Global Village trip dates, you will need your own health insurance.
Please consult your doctor or travel clinic to find out what is specifically recommended for you. Here’s a link to the CDC website for Romania if you want a preview of what your health care professional might recommend.
Dietary Restrictions & Medical Concerns
Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, food allergies, medical conditions, or anything else that might impact your health and safety while we’re in Romania. We’ll share the food-related information with the local affiliate to make sure everyone is able to enjoy our meals while we’re away. We’ll also be carrying a fairly extensive first aid kit, but please remember to bring any critical prescription medications (and a copy of the prescription) with you.
Gift Giving Policy & Donations
Habitat for Humanity takes a very strict stance on avoiding paternalism and fostering any sense of dependency or inequality among our partnering communities. Essentially, giving gifts are not allowed. It can create jealousy, competition, and enmity within the community. In some cultures, people feel if they receive a gift they are obligated to reciprocate. If they are unable to do so, your generosity may lead to unhappiness or disappointment on the part of the recipient. It also undermines the ideal that Habitat is trying to promote – a hand up not a handout.
If you would like to donate anything in addition, which is certainly not necessary, the team leaders will collect the items and give them to the host program who will distribute it appropriately and fairly without names attached. Read the Habitat Romania gift policy.
That said, there are a couple exceptions. Here are some guidelines:
- Never give money, or promise to give money, to anyone. Although rare, you may be approached and asked to sponsor a child, make a mortgage payment, or give money for daily items. Under no circumstances should you agree! Habitat strives to promote independence and personal capacity, not create dependence on others— especially those outside of their own community. Let us know if this happens during the build and we will address the situation.
- If you have gifts to give, they must be shared anonymously by the host affiliate. We will collect any items you wish to donate and at the end of our trip and pass them along to the host affiliate who can then distribute to those most in need in the community. Some examples of appropriate gifts are below:
- Work clothing and shoes
- Tools for building (tools will be provided on the work site. You are not required to bring your own tools).
- Bring toys to play with the children, but then take them back home. Some ideas include bubbles, Frisbees, balls (with pump) etc. The only guideline here is that at the end of each day, we take back the items to comply with the gift-giving policy. Remember if you share something with one child others will expect something as well. This can cause problems in the community, including violence between children who didn’t receive a toy and those who did.
Photography & Photo Sharing
Taking pictures is a great way to capture special memories and keep them with you – and you are highly encouraged to take lots of photos on the build! But please remember Habitat works to promote dignity in the partner families or communities. Here are some guidelines:
- Please ask permission from any local people prior to taking their photo.
- Avoid photos depicting people in “destitute” situations. The partner families/communities that we are serving are working hard to better their lives and we should strive to document that hope instead.
To keep our funders and supporters in the loop, it’s nice to share photos of the work we’re doing at the build site while we’re there. Please include the hashtag #GlobalVillageRomania to any photo you share on social media.
After the trip is over, I’ll set up a Flickr album for the trip with everyone’s photos so we all will have copies of the build.
Dress Code & Packing List
The temperature, while we are in Romania, will be in the 60s and 70s. It’s good to have clothes for any type of weather, as April isn’t such a stable month weather-wise.
When packing clothing for the trip, keep in mind our daily activities: we will be working during the day (bring old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty) and afterward, eating dinner and socializing in the evenings (bring clothes other than working clothes). At the worksite, loose, comfortable clothing is best. Don’t forget to bring the Habitat shirt that you received with your orientation packet!
There will be an opportunity to do laundry at the hotel. Each volunteer will need to pay for these services separately.
For the worksite:
- Long and short-sleeved t-shirts (no spaghetti straps or tank tops)
- Long pants, such as jeans or hiking pants
- Knee-length shorts are allowed on the worksite
- Closed-toe shoes with a hard sole (work boots if you already have them, otherwise, gym shoes are perfectly fine)
- Hat and bandana
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Chapstick with sunscreen
- Work gloves (you can find these at any Ace, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.)
- Reusable water bottle
- Camera (not an expensive one!)
- Hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Gatorade/Powerade powder to add to your water
- Small backpack or bag to carry your things to the worksite
Here’s a picture of a recent volunteer group – this is what you should wear – look at all of that great sun protection!
Off the worksite:
- Casual clothes (shorts are fine)
- Personal toiletries
- Baby wipes or make-up wipes
- First aid items (there will be a first aid kit on site, but it’s nice to have Band-Aids, Tylenol, Advil, Pepto-Bismol, etc. for yourself!)
- Any personal medications (bring your prescription as well)
- Earplugs (you will be sharing a room)
- Small flashlight or headlamp with batteries
- Electrical Adaptor
- A good book or two
- Journal and pen and pencils
- Snacks- granola bars, nuts, etc.
- Shower shoes
- Zip-lock or plastic bags for soiled clothing/shoes
- Photos of your family (avoid photos depicting wealth)
- Spanish/English pocket dictionary, if you’ll be attempting some Spanish
- And of course, don’t forget your passport, ID, and money!
What not to bring:
- Anything expensive you’d be devastated to lose (watch, laptop, camera, jewelry)
- Large amounts of cash
- Gifts (as discussed above in the gift-giving policy)
During our time in Bucharest before we head to Medias for the build, we’ll have some time to get settled into Romania and explore the city. On the nights were here, we’ll be staying at the Ibis Parliament House hotel, located downtown, which will give us the opportunity to walk from our accommodation to places around the city.
Our activities will include:
- Optional group dinner on Friday, April 21 for those of us who have arrived already
- Saturday group activities:
- Saturday evening group dinner
Bucharest to Medias
On the road to Media from Bucharest – a 5-hour drive – we’ll have some opportunities to stop along the way for sightseeing including:
Once in Medias, we’ll be staying at the Traube Hotel, which is in the center of Medias, in the historical city. Most restaurants are within walking distance from the hotel.
Each night we will eat dinner and talk about the events of the day as a group, but after dinner is free time. Our host will advise us on the safety of the local area, but we will adhere to common sense safety practices, like traveling in pairs.
During our free time, on some evenings and days we’ll have the opportunity to partake in some cultural activities like the following:
- Biertan Fortress
- Saschiz Fortress
- Rupea citadel: watch the video!
- The medieval town of Sighisoara: watch this video and this video!
- Historic Centre of Sighişoara
Medias to Bucharest, etc.
After the build is official over, we will have one or two days to explore the region before most people head home. If you will be staying in Romania longer and would like to begin exploring on your own you’re more than welcome to, but there will be several group activities you can partake in if you’re interested:
- Make sure you have scheduled an appointment with your health care professional to discuss any immunizations.
- If you haven’t already, send me a copy of your complete itinerary, the photo and signature pages of your passport, and a short biography with recent photos as soon as possible.
- Begin to think about packing – assume you won’t be able to buy anything you’ve forgotten, so make a list and check it twice.
- Purchase your flight reservations to and from Romania by Friday, March 17.
- A complete copy of your flight itinerary.
- A copy of the photo and signature pages of your passport.
- A short bio about yourself with a photo, so we can start to get to know each other before we depart. Once we get everyone’s bio back, we’ll compile the document and send everyone a copy.