How many of us would dare, at the age of 18, to travel 3,000 kilometres by bicycle, to sleep in a tent, or to talk to strangers on the road, eager to be unknown guests? And to do that, both for the pleasure of an adventure and for an important cause?
They and two bicycles
After spending the last year and a half learning online, before starting college, Theresa and Philipp embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. The first one so far, if we take into account that they are only 18 years old.
A cellist and a pianist, with relatively little previous experience of cycling, of at most a few days, they decided to spend their summer differently. And as environmental protection is an important issue for both of them, they chose to support the Conservation Carpathia reforestation project in the Făgăraș Mountains and to call for the donation of 10,000 euros, an amount that covers the costs of planting and post-planting two hectares, in the area Groapele, Nucșoara (Argeș).
An adventure as big as a forest
They left Munich, Germany on 4th August, and chose a route through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, touched a little of Bosnia Herzegovina, crossed Serbia and arrived in Romania, with great stories on the way, which you can enjoy reading their blog https://balkanbybike.com/en/ueber-uns-2-2/.
I especially love the story of saving the six abandoned puppies in the field, near Movile, Sibiu county and how people can work together to solve a situation that others have created, (because they think it’s easier to let six souls die, than to sterilize a dog for free). I would like to thank the preacher of the Evangelical church from Agnita, Iulia and Stefana from Mesagerul de Sibiu newspaper, Cristina from Colinele Transilvaniei Association, Mihai and Mihaela from Agnita, and, finally, Alina from Animal Life Sibiu, who took over the six little ones for adoption… in Germany. 😊
We were happy to spend a few days with Theresa and Philipp, in order to get to know them better. I offered them the comfort of the road by car from Brașov to Nucșoara, but they would only give up their bicycles for the climb of a few hours on Valea Rea. Then they followed the valley of Văsălatu, where, at the foot of the Iezer Păpușa massif, far from the eyes of the people, they found 300 hectares of… nothing, of stumps. The landscape leaves a emptiness in your stomach and you wonder how hundreds of trucks loaded with logs could go unnoticed in 2010-2012?
Who saves the flock?
If we have learned something in over 5 years of NGO work, it is that the mistakes of the past are ours, of everyone’s, in one form or another. And what I like about CARPATHIA is this fine stubbornness with which you roll up your sleeves and start repairing it, even if many opinionated people say “it’s none of my business, or whoever cut it should repair it.”
Where do we end up having this attitude? And who saves the flock? They are Theresa and Philipp and they just did, twice, in Romania and for Romania.
They raised 8,322 euros and have only one Romanian donor. They do not want to return home without having reached their goal of 10,000 euros.
✏️Angi from CARPATHIA