In the fall of 2015 I was allowed to stay with Danny and Rianne for a month and a half as part of a gap year to help with the renovation of the house. It is fantastic to be able to help with a project that means so much to children. In the three years that Danny and Rianne take care of the two girls, I have seen a positive change in these children every time I visit. From two damaged and neglected children from a children's home to children who can just be children again. It is a project that you cannot just let go of, and I am happy that I can go back every now and then to contribute together with other people.
The during the trip to Romania I will never forget. I did have some expectations, but that it would pan out to be so cool, I did not see coming. Cool that you can mean so much to the children there.
The work of Danny and Rianne and Casa Nadina is really special. I think it's impressive to be a part of it!
I did not really know what to expect because I knew Danny and Rianne only from sight, the people that joined us I did not know very well and I did not know what work awaited me. Ultimately this has unfolded to a super beautiful and great experience.
Danny and Rianne, their children and the children of Casa Perla are all very nice and beautiful people. The work we did at Casa Nadina extremely special and we have done great things and read great stories to the children.
At Danny and Rianne it was very nice, just hard work, lots of music and fun conversations. To go with a group that you do not know yields great, funny and good conversations. It was a great trip!
The infinite digging, construction and irritating weather that seems to haunt us in Romania fades quickly when I think back to the joy that emits on the site. I can hear nothing but Benjamin's compelling laughter, look endearingly at the stickers Andreea handed out to everyone she met, see the mischievous David dragging the boards to help with the construction and I hear the cheerful cries from Ana who takes her first steps after the first operation. For me, Romania is inextricably linked to the family of Danny and Rianne, which has an unrealistic effect.
The girls have grown from shy and damaged children to exuberant and enterprising children, and Danny and Rianne are full of love reaching out to people and children in different institutions. It is impossible not to see the difference this family makes in the lives of so many people around it and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. The events in an after-school care in a Roma village near Danny and Rianne are still sharply etched in my memories after a year and a half. At the very first meeting the names of the girls who were also present the year before rolled through the group and when we were late on one occasion, the tension on the children's faces could be read. They had given up hope that we would come back to spend time with them.
The huge smile on the faces of the children when you remembered their name was both wonderful and deeply sad. I could never have imagined that remembering someone's name could have so much value. That forgetting a name could be so painful for someone who couldn't talk to you and whom you had only met two days ago. Thinking of the children in the Roma village close to Danny and Rianne creates mixed feelings. Grief comes when I think that the children become so dependent and attach so much value to someone they barely know. A certain joy comes up when I think that Danny and Rianne, and we occasionally, can show these children that there is no reason that they would be worth less. XXXXXX
In February 2015 I went to Romania for 4 months. I’ve met Gera, with whom I would run internship with. For two days a week, I ended up with Danny and Rianne and was able to help them. During this time I have seen, learned and done a lot. Danny and Rianne had been in Romania one year and everything was still in its infancy, it meant I was able to help out a lot.
I've seen a lot of what their life is now; move to Ghimbav, visits to the orphanage and Andreea & Ana, when they were residents during weekends at Casa Nadina, new rules in the law, even more new rules in the law, and even more new rules in the law.
In my time in Romania I have seen a lot of poverty, but also a lot of wealth. People who have nothing but are grateful and happy. Children in homes where my heart really broke ... Strange that something still exists in this day and age. Every child has home and security needs, and I'm sure the kids that end up with Danny and Rianne, it will receive this abundance. I am very grateful for my time in Romania and Danny, Rianne, the kids and myself have been able to learn. They are wonderful people!