JASMINE’S REPORT APRIL

Dobar dan svima! U Hrvatskoj sam! But for the sake of you international readers, I’ll write the rest in English. If you haven’t translated this yet, I wrote that I’m in Croatia. Back home! After 6 months of being away! That’s the most time I’ve spent away from home in my life. It was time for a vacation. Finally leaving this rainy weather and coming to the Mediterranean climate.

The trip was planned so half of it is at the seaside and the other half in Zagreb. It might even be warm enough to swim in the sea. But it wasn’t. The weather was poopy. No sun, a lot of wind and some rain from time to time. During the trip I saw that it started to be sunny in Zielona Góra. Tough luck. Despite the weather, we managed to have lovely visits to Zadar, Šibenik and the region in between them. Most importantly, I slept a lot. When our plane landed in Zadar, I was honestly thinking about kneeling and kissing the ground. Luckily, I gave up on that idea. I missed it a lot. Even the small details like rocky ground instead of sand that’s in the Lubuskie region in Poland.

After the seaside rest we went to Zagreb. I planned to visit and meet up with as many people as possible. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t meet up with all of them. But still, I managed to squeeze a large number of them. So many coffees! I don’t drink it that much and I felt a bit sick of the quantity. But it was worth it!

I was very emotional on my way to the airport going away from home again. Gotta admit, some tears were shed.

When I got back to Poland I had 3 days until the midterm meeting that EVSers have sometimes in the middle of their EVS. As far as I understood, it’s held in the city of Toruń. And my gosh what a beautiful city! I had enough time to walk from the train station through the city center and arrive at the hostel before dinner. It was warm and sunny which added extra beauty points.

At the hostel, I met 20 new people. None of them I knew before (only one of the trainers). But I’ve found out we have common friends so yaay! I liked the amount of activities we did outside to absorb the sunshine. One of the activities was to look at the picture our group got in the envelope, find out where it was taken, and find out legends and stories that makes this thing special. Our group got a picture of the leaning tower in Toruń. (Not Pisa) We found out that if you manage to stand below the tower with your whole body touching the wall, hands extended forward, you have a pure heart. Or as another legend says, you can/will get married soon.

We visited a lot of museums and exhibitions during our stay (mostly because on Wednesday the entrance was free of charge). I realized that I like museum that allow you to interact with the historical artifacts. Mostly trying out clothes that were worn in the past. I think that was the first time I’ve held a real sword in my hand. Fun, fun, fun!

The only exhibition that I payed for was at the end of the week where the whole group decided to go and visit the exhibition of Marina Abramović, a Serbian contemporary artist mostly known for her bit called “The artist is present” where she would sit on the other side of the table with anyone who wants to sit with her. She would sit there for hours every day doing nothing else but “being present”. It was a powerful act and I understand why it made her famous. But that doesn’t mean her other works were lame. On the contrary. I was astounded by the things she did for art. From exhausting herself in different ways (like screaming for 3 hours until she lost her voice, or dancing for 8 hours straight until she collapsed from exhaustion). I don’t want to spoil too much so I’ll  just tell you to give her exhibition a shot. I started crying a little bit when I heard an old Yugoslavian kids song there. I have completely forgotten about it. It’s name is “Gdje je onaj cvjetak žuti” if you want to check it out.

I’ve held a beginner handbalancing class this time. There wasn’t enough room to do capoeira with everyone. I’ve also taken whoever wanted to go to a climbing gym to show them that world. I’ve also used the chance to go bouldering which I can’t do in Zielona Góra. I had a great time and I’m sure the other volunteers did too.

All in all, I had a great time that weekend. I’ve had a smooth transition from the Croatian reality back to my EVS Polish one. I’m happy we had all the self reflection that we did. I needed to remind myself why I’m doing this and what I want to achieve for the  upcoming half of the project. I’ve also attended a presentation about plastic pollution that was different from what I’ve seen before. It really had an impact on me and the rest of the group. I’ve changed my daily habits because of it. I love this group of people and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to spend time with them.

After the project I came back to Zielona Góra and started working again in the school.
It changed. It has gotten warmer and we are spending more time outside of the house. I’ve spent one whole day on the process of bringing the trampoline back to the back yard. Finding it, assembling it, telling the kids to wait with the jumping until it’s fully assembled, telling them same thing again, finally finishing it and then testing if it’s build properly. I’ve been intensively working on teaching them how to do various tricks and flips on it. Some of them are already able to do front flips, side flips, 360 twists and similar. The scariest thing for them is learning to do a back flip but some of them are getting very close to achieving that too.

Exam period started and people are panicking. I wasn’t responsible for any part of the curriculum so I haven’t felt the pressure of it. While the older kids had exam days, I would go with the younger kids to a nearby village called Ochla and spend time there.
Overall, all of the kids passed the exams and the pressure atmosphere is gone. One class at the time. Some of them are done in April and some of them still need to be done in May.

Talk to you next month!

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