piątek, 6 kwietnia 2018

A New Volunteer

Hola... My name is Sergio, I'm a 25 years Colombian guy and I'll be staying in Pultusk for 8 months. I studied Chemical Engineering and I will working in a high school and a day care centre. Before came to Pultusk I was working and thinking where to do my master but I decided to take a break before continuing with my professional career and now I'm doing my EVS here. My hobbies are basically all sports, I enjoy playing from football to chess. My second passion is cooking, I love to cook every kind of food, specially is there is some seafood in it.

piątek, 30 marca 2018

Easter - Sunday or Monday?

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!

Lets talk about Easter differences.

Everyone celebrates the Sunday, I know I know, and you go to church and spend time with family and that's all very nice but let me tell you how much more exciting Easter can be 😉

As you may know Czech republic is one of the least religious countries in the world so Easter Sunday and the resurrection is not so important for us (except the more less 10 procent Christians) and all the fun happens on Monday which everywhere else is just a day of rest after Sunday.

So what happens?

Men and boys go around the village, from one house to another and whip the women with a special whip called "pomlázka" made from young willow pouts, they recite Easter carols and in exchange they get painted eggs, some sweets and for the grown-ups usually a shot (or several shots) of ideally some home-made strong alcohol. So you can imagine how it gets even after the visit of just a few houses...


A girl who gets whipped will stay young and fresh for the next year

And all the drunk man going around was actually the reason why my aunt started a tradition with her friends of a small Easter hike finishing with a lunch. So that's what we do in our family. There are also shots before the walk, but in moderation.

We also have the tradition of pouring water as in Poland but only the girls do it as a kind of revenge on the boys for the whipping. But it is not so common. And every leap year the roles change and girls go around and whip boys and boys can pour water on them.

Other traditions contain coloring the eggs and baking a lamb cake which has to be already ready on Monday so you usually do it during the weekend.



Hmmm, doesn't it sound great? 

środa, 21 marca 2018

Promoters Wanted!

Have you participated in a workcamp, youth exchange or any other international project? 

Would you like to share your experience with others and motivate them to volunteer as well?

Do you want to improve your presentation and promotion skills?

Join our Promoters group!!!

What we expect from you: 
  • previous voluntary experience (can be also campleading, mentoring)
  • motivation and will to share your experience
Examples of tasks:
  • participating in fairs where we are invited to have our stand
  • presentations at schools 
  • help with organization of events
What we can offer you:
  • a half day seminar/workshop about our activities and presentating in general
  • certificate of cooperation and gained skills (to make your CV more impressive!)
  • priority to apply for youth exchanges or international trainings
  • practical workshops on various topics
  • IF you organize at least two events until the end of June, you can get 50 % discount on inscription fee for a workcamp

The first introduction seminar/workshop will take place on the 7th April in our office in Pułtusk (in case you don't know, it is HERE, above Magdalenka). 

If you are interested, please fill in your contact information in this short form.

But that is not all yet...

poniedziałek, 12 marca 2018

A change is gonna come...

Yes, it is here! 🌞🌞🌞🌞
Temperatures rising, days getting longer, the sun honors us with its presence. The spring is just behind the door. You can feel it in the air. Nature is waking up. Birds are singing again 🎵🐦

Sunday was amazing! We went for a nice walk with Liza and Gizem. And we were all so happy about the weather 😊😍 For me it was the first day since I arrived in Poland that I could put away the winter coat and go outside just with a light jacket. The first I day I actually felt warm outside and had to take off a layer.
Chilling by the river, sun in our faces 💛
Winter in Poland is hard. Yeah, of course, no new information. But it shouldn't be such a difference from Czech republic, right? Well somehow it felt so much longer and more depressive or tiring..
Is it colder? Possibly a little. Are the days shorter? Probably yes, but can't be that big a difference.. Was this winter especially cold and long? I wouldn't say so..
What can it be then? I think a have a hunch!

Winter in a small town is hard! I come from Prague, ok? Even after we moved to a village near by, my social life has always been happening in Prague. And in big cities the temperature, the season do not matter so much, there always something going on. But in small town it matters. I would say small towns and villages are closer to the natural cycles, energy rises in spring, peaks in summer and then fades.. In winter they are like bears, they sleep... 😴

I know, I chose to come to a small town because I was fed up up with the stress and hostility and I stand by my decisions, I actually believe this life suits me better. Still, it is a change, it is something different and it can be quite challenging. Sometimes you just can't prevent the winter depression.
But now it is over, we made it through!💪

Ice slowly melting 😉
No offense, but Pułtusk during winter is kind of a dead hole.. But from what I've heard in summer it should be lively 😊 So now I am super excited and imagine all the picnics, grilling on the balcony or in the park and just hanging outside in general 💚

Good times are coming! Mam nadzieję!


poniedziałek, 26 lutego 2018

Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment Part 4

From 22 to 25 February we had a pleasure to organise an evaluation meeting of the project "Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment" and host our lovely friends from Keric from Slovakia and Maailmanvaihto from Finland. The first working day was dedicated to visiting our local partners: Zespół Szkół im. B. Prusa in Pułtusk and Biblioteka Publiczna Gminy Pomiechówek and presenting our cooperation to the guests. In addition to the visit, in the library we tested our artistic skills during the workshop on making Easter palms.

The second working day was spent on summarising the project and discussing its results. Unfortunately, the weather (-11 degrees) did not let us enjoy walks in Pultusk.

The project was co-funded by Erasmus+.

wtorek, 2 stycznia 2018

Workcamps in 1976? Of course!

Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

We have a new year 2018 and everyone is wondering what it will bring, many people make resolutions and generally we tend to look at future at this time of year. But I would like to take a moment to also look in the past..

Specifically to the year 1976. Because recently we found a hidden treasure in the office. It is a newspaper/magazine/booklet made by volunteers (including one Polish thanks to whom we can now see this wonder!) who participated at a workcamp in Dannish city Odense. You can read what was the project about from the scanned original Camp news 😊

I think it is amazing that there were 7 participants in wheelchairs, especially given the workcamps topic. Who else could know better how to make a city guide for handicaped then those who live this struggle every day. What a wonderful example of volunteering for all!

We can also see that the workcamp attracted the local newspaper. Unfortunately I don't know what exactly is written in the article because I cannot speak Danish 😄

For those interested in the issue of handicapped people in Denmark, you can read what the volunteers wrote about it 42 years ago.

 As you see, workcamps and volunteering are with us for a while and even if the form may change over the years, the importance of having and active and involved society will never fade!

So if you need some inspiration for your New Year's resolutions, I advice you:
Volunteer! Home or abroad, just do it! Be an active citizen! Be the change you want to see in the world 😉

Much love to you all and in 2018 I wish you the strength to not let anyone or anything stop you to follow your dreams, wishes, desires and passions!!! 😘


czwartek, 21 grudnia 2017

Check the Czech Christmas

Wesołych Świąt!

Christmas time is knocking on our doors and I am going back to see my family for the holidays. But before I leave I would like to present to you some Czech traditions and what Christmas looks like in my family 😊

Soo, where to start?

The main holiday for Czech people is the 24th December, we call it Štědrý den.

It should be a day of fasting (for some it means not eating at all, for some just avoiding meat) and there is a saying that if you manage not to eat, you will see the Golden pig (Zlaté prasátko). And Kofola (the Czech version of Coca cola but a bit spiced and much much better!) made a joke out of this saying in a commercial, it has been more than ten years and they have been playing it during Christmas time ever since, it has become probably the most popular commercial ever!


If you don't want to starve until dinner, you can cook a simple dish called Kuba, made from groats and mushrooms.

But be sure to keep enough space for the most important meal, the dinner - Štědrovečerní večeře. 

The protagonist here is carp fish. There are more traditions connected with carp than only the dinner so lets starts from the begining. A week or so before Chrismas the streets get flooded with barrels of fish where you buy a living carp or have it killed and unboned on the spot. Some people who buy alive, later put the fish into a bathtub, which is an old habit kept from the times when people did't have fridges.

Carp meat is cut into horse shoe shapes, deep fried in the triple layer crust (flour, egg, bread crums)
and served with potato salad as the main dish. The soup is also made from carp and you can use pretty much everything that is left from the fish so typicaly you make broth from the head and little cut offs together with root vegetables and later you add also the roe and milt 🐟😉

Me and my mom don't like carp so we prepare a different fish so there is only one traditional horseshoe carp on the table
And it goes even more "zero waste" because you don't even trow away the scales, you wash them and give to all family members to keep them in their wallets because they are supposed to bring you money! 💰 (You can also put them under your plate during the dinner)

Then comes the time to open presents. Normally "Ježíšek" (baby Jesus) brings them before the dinner, when the children are in another room and rings the bell, they run to the tree trying to see Ježíšek, but he is always gone. In my family we first eat and then all sit around the tree, eat some Christmas cookies and open the presents one by one throughout the whole evening.

Some people go to the midnight mass, but my family is not religious and we are lazy to move after all the food 😆 Instead we attend a midday singing in the town next to us where my aunt, uncle and sometimes also my cousins sing. It is a nice gathering where you meet many friends and acquaintances, wish them "Veselé Vánoce!" and drink some grzane wino.

There also many traditions for predicting future done during Christmas, some more known and popular. For example you can cut apples in half and if you see a star, everything is ok but if you see a cross inside, then you will die the next year. Not very positive. Or single girls kick shoes behind them and if the shoe is pointing in the direction of the door, she will get married and leave the house, if it is away from the door she will stay one more. Something similar works also with little boats made of nut shells with candles inside, if your boat separates from the others you will probably travel somewhere, if it drowns, bad things happen.

Some people celebrate only the 24th, some people also the 25th, some (like my family) even the 26th!

On the 25th we meet with my aunt, uncle and cousins for lunch either in their house or ours (depending on where is my grandma staying, because we take turns who will have her on the 24th each year😊), we drink some better champagne, eat stuffed turkey and open another round of presents.

On the 26th we all go to my grandmother's little flat and we eat goose with dumplings and sour cabbage. I love this meal so much!!! 😍 After that we go together to light candles at my grandfather's and a few more graves. Also we have a little tradition to light as many candle as possible at the INRI cross (the one that are already there). And that's it!

Ok, now I need to catch my bus home because I don't want to miss all of this!

I wish you all "Wszystkiego najlepszego", enjoy the holidays and see you in 2018!!!