Our Most Valuable Trip – Our Hortobagy experience
“Value Our Values” is a youth exchange, organized by the non-governmental organization “Hang-Kép Egyesület” from Debrecen, Hungary, which took place from 15.06.2018 to 24.06.2018 in Hortobagy, Hungary. “Volunteers Centre Skopje” participated in the youth exchange with its own team, made of 5 participants under the age of 18, and one team leader above the age of 18. Beside the Macedonian team, in this youth exchange participated teams from 4 different countries: Italy, Romania, Finland and Hungary. Every country’s team had 5 participants and one team leader. The venue of the youth exchange was the national park Hortobagy, located in the big “puszta”. The “puszta” is undoubtedly one of the biggest pastures in Europe, and also a national park. With its area of 82 000ha, Hortobagy is a real proof of the harmonious life of the flora and the fauna, including 342 species of birds, and a big number of lakes and ponds. Just 35 kilometers away from Debrecen, Hortobagy is a place where the architecture and the nature awake memories from the past, and enlighten the soul of the visitor. At first, our team from Macedonia arrived in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, they were transferred by one of the organizers to the venue of the youth exchange in Hortobagy. Macedonian team was the first team that arrived. Next day each by each every country was arriving till the very night. From the very first day everyone had some excellent impressions from the village. We started our second day with breakfast and morning energizes with activities about getting to know each other better, and finished it with awesome Hungarian dinner and some dances and songs. At the end of the night we went to place next to the “Nine Arch Bridge” to watch stars and Milky Way. 17.06.2018 as it was called it was Macedonian day. Macedonian team started the day with few energizes and the whole group went to take a look in the bird park. In the siesta after the lunch the Macedonian team organized some water splashing. At the night there were Macedonian traditional dinner with the dishes called “musaka” and shopska salad which were prepared by the Macedonian team, little presentation about our country and VCS and tasting some Macedonian traditional products. Next day, we had some volunteering activities in the Bird Park in Hortobagy, where we helped out divided in few different teams.
We had an amazing trip in Debrecen, second biggest town in Hungary. One of the biggest surprises and awesome experience in Hortobagy was our carriage ride in the “puszta” where we were exploring the beautiful nature, different animals, horsemen show and Hortobagy’s traditions. Herbs workshop in the Animal Park was also great. We learnt a lot of new things about the nature and herbs using. The day finished with pottery workshop and delicious Slambuc dinner.
Before the exchange was finished we had some more funny activities like treasure hunting together in the boat with secret missions and hand-craft workshop.
Last day in Hortobagy was in the same time funny, party and nice, but also a bit sad. We had to say goodbye to each other till the next meet. That was a barbecue day next to the fire and watching stars at night.
After the finishing the youth exchange our team went to Budapest to spent two extra days. We were there only for less than 2 days but we visited almost every monument in Budapest and making some moments for lifetime. Thanks to Volunteer Center Skopje that give us the opportunity to experience this life adventure.