Flashbacks of an orphan, by Amelia Babuta, 19 years old, student at Roman Voda National College, Roman
Shocked and on the verge of dementia, I walk through the dusty roads of this African village. I feel knocked down by their eyes, their growling stomachs, their raised hands. I feel useless. I dedicated my life to helping people, but how can I overcome this situation? I bury my face into my hands and start crying, thinking of that foolish boy who once dreamt of absolute peace and happiness.
I was only ten when I realized I liked volunteering. I was an orphan with no friends. Psychologists called me a melancholic, teachers a retard. I didn’t care; I was alone in my own world of happiness. Then the group of four year-olds from my orphanage heard about the new exposition of modern toys. They wanted so badly to go, but our caretakers couldn’t be convinced. So I told myself, why not spend my humble savings on taking them where they wanted? It was probably the first blissful day that I experienced outside my imaginarium. This small charitable act enlightened me.
From then on, I started participating at every volunteering action possible. I was the youngest in any group, but no one cared. They were dreamers just like me, they dreamt of a better world. My favourite action was the freeze. A group of people had to stand still after the blowing of a whistle, with a book in our hands, in the blistering cold of February. The ecological actions were also on top of my list. Cleaning the woods, the shore, inhaling the fresh air, it was a fascinating experience. Volunteering at asylums, orphanages, raising awareness of global issues, celebrating forgotten traditions etc. – my life was full. What none from my volunteering groups knew was that I also collected hurt/sick stray animals and took them to the vet, gave my food to other orphans, sneaked out at nights to work for money to donate etc. I found a reason for living.
I started learning harder at school and became the best. My vision was to be a forensic to gain money for donations. I accomplished my dream. At the age of 27, I was a reputed forensic, I had a small apartment with two rooms, one for me, one for people or animals in need. I was the most active person in the country. I thought I could change the world, but look where I am now. Depressed, surrounded by vulnerable people.
Walking was the only solution to me. I started walking blindly and reached the ocean. Its grandeur made me weak. Then I saw a little girl throwing starfish back into the ocean. It hit me. “The Star Thrower” by Eiseley. The boy who made a difference to every star thrown in the ocean. “She made a difference to that one” I mumbled.
Taking lessons from a beginner. I started laughing and regained my confidence. Old story, everlasting message. One person can make a difference!
Acest eseu este castigatorul premiului special in cadrul 2011 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani, avand ca tema rolul si importanta voluntariatului. Premiul a constat intr-un cadou surpriza din partea librariei Carturesti, o carte in limba engleza din seria penguin, de la Fischer International, voucher de reducere 25% la un curs de vara de limba engleza la Shakespeare School, discount card oferit de Puma, cadou din partea Reprezentantei Comisiei Europene in Romania. Dorim sa o felicitam pe Amelia pentru faptul ca s-a evidentiat din peste 5100 de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!