Kaláka Stories: New Projects Take Shape

Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Stories | Comments Off on Kaláka Stories: New Projects Take Shape

Kaláka Update from Transylvania

Summer is prime season for construction and renovation projects. The days are longer, the weather more cooperative, and if you’re lucky, kids are home from school, ready to lend a hand.

However, if you live in a small, rural Transylvanian village, you’re busy in the fields, in the barns, or otherwise engaged in farming from dawn to dusk. Despite this reality, progress is being made on the four Unitarian Kaláka projects we helped get off the ground this spring.

Here’s news and pictures from Transylvania, shared with us by kaláka volunteers:

Firtosváralja (Firtusu) – Restoring their Ancient Church

Sanding Firtos benchesAfter waiting for dry, sunny weather–good for painting–volunteers in Firtosváralja began restoring the benches for their ancient Unitarian church. As they started to prepare the surfaces for repainting, they discovered an unforeseen obstacle: “The benches have two layers of paint and the ancient level has a beautiful flower pattern.”

Firtos bench detail

They decided to keep this old pattern, so the painting is proceeding more carefully as they learn about this kind of painting style. They now have to buy additional paint colors to match the originals.

Pal Vilma teaching embroideryVolunteers have also started to create new embroideries, under the guidance of elder Pal Vilma, who is teaching others in the village this traditional skill.



Homoródszentpéter (Petreni) – Creating a Daycare Center

Homorodszentpeter sheetsVolunteers in Homoródszentpéter have begun the interior renovations for the kindergarten/daycare center. They purchased the draperies and the curtains for the bedroom of the kindergarten, and elder woman from the village will sew and prepare them.

Meanwhile, they have also had help from the local compossessorate (forest management organization), which provided additional funds for two new bedroom windows. Village volunteers started negotiations with the plumbers. They will build the planned toilets for adults in late July, beginning of August. More pictures to come.



Székelyderzs (Darjiu) – Building a Community Playground

Szekelyderzs 7Volunteers in Székelyderzs started their playground project after many days of rain had passed. They purchased the necessary sand, and prepared the site where they would build a fence. The local government offered them the help of construction equipment to do the heavier work.

Derzs bulldozerAt the same time they excavated the trenches needed to bring electricity and water to the playground in the future.

After these tasks were complete, they bought the various pieces of playground equipment and started to install them on the prepared site.Derzs playground equipment

Work continues on the first public playground in the historic village of Székelyderzs.



Torockószentgyörgy (Coltesti) – Expanding the Community House

expansion area copyVolunteers in Torockószentgyörgy drafted plans for a long awaited expansion of their community house. It took awhile to gather many points of view, and come to an agreement on the right solution. The necessary sand and gravel were donated and they also received help from the local council, which provided them with construction equipment.

They are now preparing the site for construction. The next step will be to dig the foundation.

They hope to have pictures of volunteers engaged in this part of the project to share with us soon.