Maria Iorga (24 years old) and Vlad Zaharescu (34 years old) started a dream-journey in Africa in december, last year, and now they are stuck in Zimbabwe because of coronavirus lockdown. But the whole African experience has given them the chance to learn a lot, to live incredible experiences, and even in lockdown they talk with smiles on their faces and in their hearts – about our valuable lessons these times, and about the chance to change and try to become the best versions of ourselves.
Maria and Vlad have planned their African experience almost 2 years, worked abroad to raise money, and landed in Zanzibar on December 10-th, last year. They have stayed in Zanzibar for one month, then moved to Tanzania, where both volunteered in a kindergarten, Vlad has taught science lessons and Maria, yoga classes. “Our main purpose is the journey and to integrate a little into local society, and volunteering is a good way to do this, to integrate and see how people live”, Maria explains.
In Zambia, both volunteered in a bakery, “an extremely interesting experience, from housework to cooking itself”, as they say.
When “corona craziness” started, they had another confirmed volunteering program on Lake Malawi. A journey full of adventures followed – I recommend you their Facebook Page to see a lot of interesting details and special experiences – but in the end they had to return to Zimbabwe, where they are still stuck. They live at some friends they had met first time they had been there, in a former hostel, with the owner and another couple from South America who went through a similar experience. Employees who take care of the property are also there, 10 people in all.
For now, extended lockdown is up to May 3, today, and new measures will be announced. No more than 2 people are allowed in one car, only supermarkets and pharmacies are opened, people leave their residences only for necessities. Wearing facial mask in mandatory. “People are conscientious and stay inside even before the official decree was announced. They had gone through epidemics before, Zimbabwe and other African countries, they know the healthcare system does not cope and they try to keep social distance and protect themselves”, they say.
The shelves were not emptied in supermarkets, many people are poor, but prices have increased a lot because the country imports many things – gas from South Africa, wheat from Zambia, for instance. Borders are completely closed, public transport does not work.
This is a time for us to learn good, valuable lessons, they think. “We have realized how lucky we are, we shouldn’t take things for granted anymore, this made us reconsider all our priorities, the way you live your life. I hope we will respect our system of values and that we will start building a little bit different lifestyle, start appreciating all the things we have”, Maria says.
“It’s a time to learn to be more forgiving, respectful, good with each other. It’s a moment when we must be united and not divided, to show our human side and to be understanding”, Vlad adds.
You can follow Maria and Vlad’s African adventure on their Facebook Page, HERE
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