Ice cream at the best ice cream parlour in Baia Mare, first time travelling with the train, followed by a expedition into the world of plants at the Botanical Garden in Jibou (Salaj County), visit the Fire Department and many other joyful moments. This is how the children from the "22 Decembrie" Day Centre in Baia Mare spent their ”Alternative School” week (April 18th to 22nd).

At the ice cream parlor, the children opened their wide eyes wide opend and their senses were awakened senses in front of all the assortment of ice cream. Each one chose the favourite flavours: nuts, coconut, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, fruit or lemon, and enjoyed it with great pleasure. For some of them, this was the first they went to a gelateria, so the experience was more meaningful.

Then they visitedthe Botanical Garden "Vasile Fati" in Jibou and took the train to their destinaton, a true escape from the urban bustle into a green oasis full of tranquility, freshness and color. Winding alleys among banana trees, bamboo and cacti, flowers of all varieties and colors, aquariums or fish reserves with peacocks, deer and wild boars, all made them wonder. Fascinated by what they have seen and experienced children did not even have realized how time flew.

Another day, the children visited the firefighters from the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations "Gheorghe Pop Băseşti" Maramureș. Special costumes, intervention cars and water hoses were the main attraction for children. With great courtesy, the Inspectorate staff explained to the children what being a firefighter meant and answered numerous questions from them. In a sign of appreciation, the children shouted in chorus ”112, we want to be like you" which amused firefighters and paramedics.

Alternative Shool Week passed very quickly for these children who have had the most enjoyable events and new experiences. This is because they love ice cream, adventure, seeing new places and learn about "what we want to be when we grow up" and many other things.

"22 Decembrie" Day Center in Baia Mare is a place where children from single-parent families are cared for and supervised while their parents are at work or looking for a job. Children who attend the center are aged between 4 and 15 years and are enrolled in kindergarten or school. They spend several hours a day in the care of two educators who are very attached to the children and make them feel like a family.

Text by Sorina Moldovan