“Co tam?” My name is Álvaro Inglés and I am one of the five amazing new EVS volunteers of Cim Horyzonty in Poznan. We have been in Poland for almost two months and we haven’t been kidding around. In the last weeks we have worked really hard to become part of Łazarz’s community by showing our gastronomy, skills and promoting Human Rights.

I should introduce myself first and not talk only about our wonderful experiences this far. I come from Galicia, a small region in the northwestern part of Spain which its own particular language and culture. If you think that Spain is only sunny beaches and afternoon think again and imagine a never-ending rain over a green land, that’s more like it.

My partners in crime are Beka, Kety, Emma and Sara. Beka and Kety come from Georgia and in the last weeks they have given me a crash course in Georgian culture, language and cuisine which it is really exciting. Emma comes from Germany and it’s the nicest (and the youngest) of all the volunteers and Sara is an artsy Spanish girl from Madrid really into cultural stuff.

Our first month, September, was expended preparing different workshops to introduce students in Jana Pawła II high school, where our office is located. We also had our Polish lessons so we could communicate with the world around us which helped us perceive Poland as something less intimidating. We also had a first aid workshop, learnt about non formal education and prepare material for “Czysty Łazarz”, our ecological project. Thanks to that we have a new mascot, a panda!

The last week of October we participated in the training course “What’s Art?” a project that combines Human Rights and street art, there we made lots of friends from different cultures and backgrounds, we also cooked food for the people of Łazarz during an open barbeque. Everyone was happy that day after enjoying food from Cyprus, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania and Latvia.  We also painted that same day a mural for Human Rights.

After this international experience the five of us went to Warsaw to attend our On-Arrival Training. We learnt a lot of Polish in there and also met our future hosts in different cities because we all plan to travel around Poland. Also, I went to CD Projekt’s headquarters and took a picture there, a dream come true for a nerd like me!

After that break October became a quite intense month for all of us. Emma began helping during German class, Beka and Kety showed in Krag Cultural Center their culture and cuisine and Sara became involved in workshops with girls. All of us have done also different presentations or workshops around the city from introduction to our cultures at a Democratic School to games about Human Rights during Eco Friday. Also, we were the stars of Krag’s new season thanks to our amazing performance dancing a mix of songs in our languages. There are no pictures of that because we are too embarrassed.

Last week Beka, Emma and Kety were involved in a workshop about volunteering which was a huge success and taught them many new skills. I have the feeling I have summarized too much or too little and I need to catch my breath. Stay tuned to learn more about our adventures in Poznan and you might be able to see me dancing zumba in a few weeks.

Pa, pa!

P.S. The one with the cute panda is me, of course! Looking more hipster than usual.

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