Thursday, 3 January 2013


So now 2013 is finally here, what will it bring for us and what do we have planned?
Well our first and most important task is to try and tell everyone out there who will listen about the work we do with orphaned, disadvantaged and special needs children through Volunteer Romania.
It is the real reason we are here after all.
So follow us on Twitter @Vol_Romania or on Facebook and help us by letting more people know!
We had some wonderful people join us on the programme last year and it would be great to have many many more wonderful people join us this year. Meeting, and making friends with new people from all over the world when they come and visit is a real pleasure, and the money they provide by coming allows us to do lots of wonderful things with the children and we are planning many many new things for the years to come.
All of our volunteers and visitors  live with us at our home when they are here, so the second major task is to make sure that our house is ready for them when they arrive.ough after a 
It's a slightly bigger job this year though after having a couple of disasters over winter.
The first was finding that we had two burst pipes under the concrete floor. That meant digging them up to find the exact points of the leaks. It only took three holes though, so we were lucky. However, in doing so we also found a leak in our main water supply pipe too.
Eventually, after some searching, digging, and a lot of DIY plumbing the leaks have been repaired, and those areas have been left for now to dry out before we cover them back up again. They are well hidden away though, so they don't stop anyone living here very comfortably.
It was after fixing the leaks and getting our central heating up and running again that our second little disaster occurred. After filling the system and re-pressurising it, our old central heating pump finally gave up the ghost and stopped working!
So, at the moment, and until we have the funds to replace it with a new pump, we have no central heating.
Thank goodness that, so far at least, it has been a relatively mild winter.
We have a wood-fired stove in our kitchen though, and that does a good job of warming us as well as getting a little warmth into the whole house.
The open fire in the lounge also helps, although it isn't all that efficient, so we only light it when we really need it and when we are willing to put up with the odd puff of smoke coming back into the house (as our last two volunteers of last year discovered at the beginning of December!)
If the worst comes to the worst we also have the dogs to cuddle up to, and they seem to have no problem keeping warm!
There are a few other jobs we would like to do before new visitors arrive, just to make everyone that little bit more comfortable than they already are, but we will have to see how, time, weather and money go before we can decide on which ones.
Thank you to for this fantastic example
of what we have in mind. Ours will be about twice the size of this,
but you can see that it is a wonderful example of true recycling and
doesn't look bad at all!
We do have some great plans for projects when the good weather starts to arrive though. 

The first is to build a greenhouse!
We know exactly where it will go, in the old pig sty along the back of our garage wall where it will get sun all day long. We also know exactly how we are going to build it, as a lean-to re-using the old wooden windows from our house in a simple timber frame.

The greenhouse will help us to start the crops for our kitchen garden earlier, and make an even better job of growing food for ourselves than we did last year, and we didn't do badly at all!
This is the sort of facility we want to provide for our hens, but ours 
will have to be much bigger. Our hens will have to be permanent
residents because of our 
dogs and other pests we have around here. 
Thank you to 

The other job is to build an enclosed run and a hen house so that we can keep chickens!
It is another job that is all fully planned out in my head, and will take us that little step closer to self-sufficiency. We eat a lot of eggs, so it will be easy to recoup the costs of doing it once our hens start laying. 
Along with ensuring that we have our woodshed fully enclosed before next winter and at the same time provide a nice cool enclosure for the dogs it means that we are going to be busy.
It is all so worthwhile though.
Each one of these tasks not only brings the house closer to our ideal, it also make sour lives a little easier, and a little warmer!
I have also noticed that our visitors seem to appreciate the things that we do when we explain them, and it is wonderful to see them so relaxed and smiling when they are here.
I'm really looking forward to getting on with things.
Don't forget though that we can't do it without our volunteers, so take a look at the website at and even if you aren't interested in coming to Romania yourself, you can still help enormously by sharing it with friends and family, after all, it might just be the life-changing experience one of them is looking for!

Volunteer Romania