The first thing I noticed about Stanciova is how out of the way it is and isolated from the bigger towns and cities. You cant get here by bus, its not close to any train station, and I dont know if you would be able to find a taxi driver to take you all the way to the village. However, none of that proved a problem for me because my host was happy to come meet me in Timisoara and bring me to the village. After traveling continuously for two months and mainly staying in cities, I wanted something different and working and staying in a small village seemed like the perfect idea.
I grew up in Iowa in the U.S. and all of my closest neighbors were farmers, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself in too. I soon realized that farming in Iowa and farming in Stanciova are two vastly different things. In Iowa, we mainly grow corn and raise cattle and we import all of our other food. In Stanciova, almost everything I ate came from the village and I was very familiar with a lot of it (I had helped pick the potatoes in our dinner one night, and I had met the baby goat we grilled for lunch). Another big difference is the lack of machinery. All of the work I did was done by hand or with tools, with the one exception being a chainsaw used to cut down trees. Although the work is hard, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to see the potatoes of your labor so to speak.
There are many things to do in the village and I was never bored. Whether its chopping wood, picking potatoes, separating seeds from berries, helping to install a solar panel, or just spending time with friends after a hard days work, Stanciova will provide you with something rewarding to occupy your time.
Stanciova is definitely a different way of living from what I am used too. I believe that ecologically friendly villages will become both more popular and more necessary as time goes on and the demand for more environmentally friendly living practices increases. I am very grateful to have been a part of Stanciova, and I hope that in the future others can use the work done here and the way of living as an example of low impact living.
Charlie from Iowa, US, has visited Stanciova in August 2011 through Helpx.net