Stories Travel

Smaranda Rutzui: Love is like a light

The moment I met Smaranda, I knew she will be my friend for life, no matter the distance or the challenges that we will both encounter. It felt like we knew each other for centuries, like we have had a deep and profound friendship in a previous life and we are just catching up in this one!

I am a highly sensitive person, I’m a seeker, a questioner, a philomath, an empath and an open minded person. I don’t know how to experience this wondrous world without feeling too much, I love everything and everyone to the extreme and I still like staring off into space like when I was a child.

– Smaranda Rutzui

I used to volunteer at the psychiatric hospital in Bucharest, teaching drama and doing workshops with some of the most honest and talented people that I have ever met. It was a fascinating and empowering experience that I will share in a different post. After two years, I had to leave to work somewhere else, but kept in touch with the team from there. Alina, a dear friend part of that team, told me one day that an amazing girl came in my place and that she has the same style, she is sophisticated, extravagant and smiles beautifully. “I feel that you are still here”, Alina told me!

After a couple of weeks, I have met her. Alina was right! I felt like I was meeting my lost sister! Smaranda greeted me with a big smile and she told me that everyone tells her the same about me and that she is so happy to finally meet me! I felt the same!

I am a cloud watcher. I’m a star counter. I know that people call a color the same name but their eyes see different colors. I don’t. I see galaxies in people’s eyes waiting to be discovered and named and even the smallest detail about their look shimmers like a kaleidoscope.

Photo by Gonzalo Bautista
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Four years ago, Smaranda moved to Gran Canaria where she continued her work in drama therapy in dedicated workshops to women from Gran Canaria and Africa, most of them victims of domestic violence. She created a unique sensory theatre workshop called ‘Love is like a light‘ for all the girls and women in the area.

My aim was to support the rural women’s movement to fight for their rights. It is my own statement and personal philosophy of how I see and experience theatre of healing.


Generous and magnetic, Smaranda quickly became known in Gran Canaria and started to participate in several circles with women of all ages and cultural backgrounds, in magnificent sceneries, most of the time on the golden sand beaches in front of the Atlantic Ocean.

Here there is no hierarchy and all voices are equally important. She learned from these ceremonies that when there is a focus on healing, both individually and collectively, “magic truly happens”, as Smaranda says.

During my first workshop I felt like I was the luckiest person on Earth to be able to work with women affected by domestic violence, in a place where silenced women could finally gain their voice. I once read that “you can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down.” We rise by lifting others.


After four incredible years and after changing so many lives and helping so many girls and women getting rid of their unwanted past and preparing them for a brighter future, Smaranda is ready to move on as well to another place with another story, to a new adventure. The pages of the book are yet to be written, but the most beautiful part – and I feel honored for this – is that she wrote her letter of goodbye to Gran Canaria, while talking to me about her work there, so I am so happy to publish her words and her thoughts here….

“I like to be around people who can make me laugh… For four years, Gran Canaria has been the ideal place for me because on this island the Canarians know exactly how to do that on a daily basis. They literally turned their lives into a carnival.

The carnival of Las Palmas is one of the most attractive in the world and it owes its fame to the colour and fun atmosphere that takes over its streets. Only that if you live here for a few months you will notice that the inhabitants of this island have a reason to celebrate every week and that is something that makes them so special. They know how to appreciate this gift called life. The most important thing for them is not their job but their family, their friends and their traditional fiestas.

In a few weeks I will say goodbye to one of the most beautiful places on Planet Earth. It has been often described as “a continent in miniature” due to its climatic, geographic, floristic and faunistic diversity. But not only the weather is different from north to south, also the culture, the people, the food, as well as the landscape.

I don’t have any regrets now that I know that every single thing in my life is there because I intentionally chose it. I came here to cure my emotional wounds and to learn more things about who I truly am. I am grateful for everything I’ve learned about myself and for all the people that helped me see life from a different perspective.

I’ve spent four years learning how to master the art of slowing down. I’m not running anymore. I prefer walking and enjoying nature and this is something I’ve learned from my Canarian friends. I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I’m interested only in listening to my inner voice and in trusting my instinct.

Here’s to all the strong and marvelous women all around the world and to the women I’ve personally met in the towns and villages of Gran Canaria. Thank you to those who can still find love in their hearts, even after losing everything. “

– Smaranda

My dear friend, you are an incredible inspiration and I am so thrilled and happy that we have met! You are one of my favorite persons in the whole world! I love you!

Photo by Isolda Zavoianu

Follow Smaranda on Instagram for her next adventure

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