Yesterday morning I arrived back to Pułtusk after an unforgettable week in Warsaw. Last week, all the new EVS-volunteers in Poland gathered in Warsaw for the on-arrival training. The atmosphere was highly international as the participants were from many different countries, i.g. from Finland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, Turkey, France and Austria. It's usually quite easy to get to know people in this kind of group, because the wide variety of cultural backgrounds is pretty much an eternal source of conversation.
The goal of the training was to prepare the new volunteers for EVS, teaching them how to face challenges and accept the reality; not all of the stay is going to be a bed of roses. Besides, we learned a lot about the Polish culture. Not only did we discuss how it looks like to a foreigner, but also were explained the historical reasons behind the intriguing cultural aspects. For me the most interesting task was to go to the city to interview real Polish people and find out their views on various topics.
|We worked on the topics in many different ways, also by doing handicrafts|
The trainers had also organized us two nice surprises. On Tuesday evening, a local guy took the volunteers for a walk and told the stories behind certain Varsovian monuments. Unfortunately I couldn't join the walk, but I heard it was truly fascinating. On Thursday evening an excellent traditional Polish dance group entertained us for a couple of hours, and we even got the chance to try some simple Polish dance moves ourselves.
The whole training was well-organized and the discussed topics were certainly important for the new volunteers, most of which had never spent a longer period abroad. I personally enjoyed the explanation of the Polish culture the most. The things about the challenges of living abroad were nothing too new to me, since this is already my fourth time abroad for a longer period, but hopefully I could contribute to the conversations somehow. Another great thing about the training was that we had quite a lot of free time to get to know the city, meet Polish people and eat Polish food.
|The dance group made us dance|
|My personal view of EVS, I was glad that the trainers let us visualize our feelings about EVS in our own way|
After the week we all felt more motivated to do our best in our projects, so I'd say that the training was succesful.