piątek, 27 maja 2016

The Great Piñata Workshop


This week at the langauge café we made traditional Mexican piñatas. When we were planning the event, the first problem was that we didn't have a Mexican volunteer to show us how it's done. Luckily we soon found out that there is the same tradition also in Colombia, so Angélica took care of the instruction. We did the laborous part beforehand in our flat, so that the people at the language café could concentrate on the best part, which of course is decorating!
Easter egg or piñata?

Iga and Kuba working on their piniatas

People really made surprisingly beutiful and personal piñatas. I was expecting everyone to make a dull egg-shaped thingie in rainbow colors, but instead, people engendered Superman, chicken, Russian man and other a bit more abstract masterpieces.

The piñatas will face their destiny on the Children's Day in June.



Stefan and superpiñata

Anlica, of course, made a traditional one 

poniedziałek, 16 maja 2016

Mid-term training in Toruń

Dear people,

I spent last week in the beautiful city of Toruń with 10 other foreign volunteers, including my flatmates Pedro and Vassia. The fourth flatmate, Angélica, didn't participate in this training, because she arrived two months after us.

We went to Toruń by bus, and without knowing anything we were traveling with other volunteers coming to the training. We were accomodated in a small nice hotel, and also many of the activities took place there. I loved the fact that we were a small group, because this way no cliques were formed and the group spirit was good. The first evening, we went to a boat pub to get to know each other and relax after a long trip.

Volunteers ran workshops for each other, in this one creative writing skills are being discovered through meditation

Spanish-Portugese selfie emerging

During the week we had many different activities, including getting to know the city, sharing knowledge and experiences and planning the future after EVS. The training was really useful for many reasons. some of us found good opportunities for the future, some got help for the problems they've faced in their projects, some just found a break in the middle of the project essential to go over the whole thing. For me it was a fluke that seven people out of eleven were fluent in Spanish, so I had a lot of good practice!

Toruń was an ideal place for the training: beautiful, vibrant and compact.

Planning the future in a fancy café

One more thing, the food was ex-cel-lent, thanks to the chefs of Hotelik w Centrum!



sobota, 14 maja 2016

Schuman Parade

Dear people,

One week ago three foreign volunteers from Pułtusk and one polish volunteer from Warsaw took part in Schuman Parade, a yearly event organized by the Schuman Foundation. The objective of the project is to spread the idea of European integration, to encourage active citizenship of Europeans and to promote the EU. Along with the parade, a huge pro-EU demonstration took place, with about 240 000 people protesting against the government. We were there mainly to promote workcamps at our stand on the Krakowskie Przedmieście, but we also marched for half an hour with other people.

Volunteers posing the famous wheel of fortune behind them

We had different kind of activities and attractions to allure people to come to talk with us. The most visible thing was our legendary wheel of fortune. People rolled it in order to get a question about a topic determined by the wheel. If they got the answer right, they were rewarded with a pen or a badge. We gave them also a possibility to try to answer three questions, and if they got all of them right, they won a t-shirt. Lots of people were rolling the wheel and some of them also wanted to know more about workcamps, so the wheel of fortune was somewhat successful in the end!

Besides, Angélica had prepared a flag-making stop, where people could make personal flags with workcamp-related stamps. The flags looked great and we took some of them to the parade with us!

Our Colombian artist knows no limits, when it comes to creativity

The parade itself was also nice, it's always good to see so many people marching for a good sake. Pedro attracted lots of reporters and photographers with the huge heart he was carrying. Even so, for us carrying a heart is always a good idea, because what could be more important than spreading the message of universal love?

Demonstration + heart + workcamps = recipe for a good Saturday

After the parade we visited a local activity center in Southern Praga to learn more about how to involve local people into activities and what kind of activities people like. The tour was good and our guide lovely. She even did the whole thing in English, even though she had prepared to do it in Polish, which we volunteers appreciated a lot.

Villagers learning how the things are done in a city

All in all, it was a great and successful day, more of these, please!