Day 7 – 05.08.2022

Written by Valts Rozentāls

Well, well, well – aren’t these the consequences of our decisions? Half asleep we move through the sunrise. At 08:30 it’s clear that the day will be really nice and hot. This is why we have to get going and play the planned 3×3 tournament before noon, then we have planned to visit the local church and skip some hours of the burning sun. The tournament goes well, kids had to draw their teams and they ended up fair which we could also see on the field. Despite the lack of sleep, the energy was high, and we could see beautiful basketball. Add some old school hip-hop in the background and the feeling is there. 3on3 in hot sun on asphalted outside court with a boombox, doesn’t get any more And1 in early 2000s than this. Back to the roots.

Time to visit the local protestant church, built in the 1200s, recently renovated. Pastor went with us and told us stories about the church’s historical background. There are still partly paintings on the walls, some parts are lost. The ceiling is decorated by motives painted on wood, the ones we discovered on Sunday. There is a small balcony and its whole structure is also made out of wood and painted accordingly. Expert craft. The pastor explains the paintings we can still see, and the messages conveyed in them. Hungarian history, this is an old nation with a lot of it. It takes time to translate what he is saying, and the church is cooling us down – some fall asleep. Body takes what it’s due. In my experience, only movement and exercise can keep one awake in situation like this. First – lunch.

Now it’s time for the Scavenger Hunt, as opposed to previous years, it has been moved to the end of the week and not on the first day. There are multiple reasons for that and the main ones are that kids have already grown together as a group, they know each other, and they have learned how to communicate with one another. This should make it more fun and less frustrating. We split up in four teams, everyone gets the same 18 tasks (take a picture exactly as described in each task) and two hours to complete them. Rules are simple – one point for every completed task and if there are two teams with tied score, then the most creative pictures win. Now, I won’t go into the details of all of it, but at the end everyone came back in time, and no one completed all the 18 tasks given. Though, we had a split first place, so at the end the winner was decided by the most creative pictures taken.

Another evening outside with the tasty stew from Irenke. Also, the last evening. This night we will be going back home. After the dinner, honoring of the game winners are planned, but before we get to that – there comes a surprise from the parents and the community of Bögöz. They want to acknowledge the work Sandy and the people of Basketball Leben have put in this community over the years thus arranged a small surprise. Traditional Szekler hats made out of hay, with blue ribbon around it – signed by all the Bögöz kids. Now we were Szeklers, we became one of them, not only in our hearts, but also in their eyes.

After congratulating the winning teams of various games this week and individual prizes for individuals that showed exceptional development and care for others – this was in no way related to basketball but rather the kids’ character and behavioral development -, it was time to say our goodbyes. Always an emotional occurrence, I guess, up till the goodbyes everybody thought this week will last forever. I wish it could. Now we are left only with our feelings – the week was too short, some things stay untold, some things stay undone, some things stay anticipated, but not felt. This is one of the mysteries of the Bögöz camp, it is never enough, and memories will live in our hearts forever.

The only thing left is to pack our bags and indulge in the last activity – night basketball. While the kids do the packing, Sandy and Miri set up the lights. The kids would play until it’s time to go home. This time we would leave Pension at 01:00 in the morning. Two busses, just as we came. Irenke wakes up just to wish us a safe trip and hug us. Our grandmother in Bögöz, the one we never knew we had. We arrive at Sibiu airport at dawn. Everyone is exhausted, and we pull our strength together to get through the last stretch of our journey. Viszontlátásra Transylvania, it was great. We left everything we had for you, upon plane takeoff – everyone is asleep.

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