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Searching for some wife

Hello! Today, me (Ondra) would like to tell you a story that only volunteering life in a cultural clash can write. Warning all the characters are real but everything is just fun!

I travelled with 4 other volunteers to Białystok where we stayed at the flat of three girls-volunteers. The first two days I really felt like at home the hosts hosted us with traditional Georgian meals, the weather was perfect, what more could you wish for?

On the second day afternoon, I found myself alone in a kitchen with 6 girls. When Leila, my friend, starts to speak. Well, it is about a time we found out a wife for Ondrej, I love girls from Georgia and Ondra if you should marry, Georgian girls are perfect for you. She continues, okay we have three girls here, all without boyfriend. Who can make the best Chadžapuri (Georgian tradition food.) Girls nominated Gvantsa.

Okay, Ondrej, so in Azerbaijan we have this tradition that the family of man goes to the house of woman to arrange a wedding. I am your mother now and Ana is volunteering to be mother of Gvantsa.

So, let´s start by counting all the positive qualities of Ondrej. He doesn’t drink, smoke, he drives a car, he has a bachelor degree, cooks a perfect curry, he loves children and wants to have some. Now let’s listen what family of the woman has to offer. Ana: Gvantsa cooks the best Chadžapuri, she is very tidy, has two degrees and has a lot of energy to dance. Gvantsa: “I am 28, I could be his mother.” Leila: Ondra are you okay with 5 years age difference? Ondra: hmm, I don´t mind. Leila: he doesn’t care about the age, thats soo nice of him. So, do you think Gvantsa that you can marry Ondra? Gvantsa: We can be friends. *All girls make disappointed noise. Leila: ahh maybe Gvantsa, that is why you are 28 and you haven’t married yet. Everybody laughs hard for one minute. Leila: okay, we have to look somewhere else. But Kristi tells me that Gvantsa is just shy at the beggining and if I come with flowers the next time it will be a different story.

The conversation shifts to a different topic when with my back I manage to drop a magnet with papers pinned to a fridge. Kvensa moves to collect the things and I help her to pin it back to the fridge when I hear Leila: They are touching heart together, it is sign of their love! All girls laugh. I am like wtf just happen, when I notice that the magnet has a shape of heart.

The night moves on, without anybody talking about it. Girls are still in the kitchen when I go to say goodnight. They: I thought you were sleeping already. Me: You think, I go to sleep without saying goodnight. Leila: Gvantsa you see how much he thinks about you. All girls laugh heavily again. Me: Okay, Leila that is good for today.

Ondra from Our Good School in Katowice
#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation
(the project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)

SOLO TRAVELLER

Do you like travelling? Of course you do, you are reading this! But…do you like solo travelling? Have you ever practised it? Do you know what is solo travelling? Well, here I am going to tell you my experience.

I am Clara, and teaching is my passion but travelling is my way of living. I like trips with friends or family of course! But a couple of years ago I did a trip by myself to Bratislava, Slovakia. At the beggining I was scared because never have I ever travelled alone before, but since that moment, I have done it several times…last one it was one week ago, and it’s the one I am gonna tell you here: My solo trip to the Baltic Sea.

Two weeks ago I had my Mid-Term Training and is still being online…So I just decided to don’t waste time, nor opportunities. And much less the sun -in Poland is priceless-. So I just decided to go Gdynia, in the north of Poland and my plan was basically going to the beach everyday after finishing the training…and mostly is what I did.

After an exhausted and long night travelling for 12h from Bielsko-Biala to Gdynia…finally I arrived there on Monday morning and after the training I went to the beach! I meet a friend there who was in Gdynia by accident and we enjoy the afternoon together.

HELKA Restaurant – Hel Peninsul

On tuesday I decided to go to Hel Peninsul (I thought it was 20 min away by train…BUT IT TOOK ME 2H 20MIN TO ARRIVE THERE)

Anyway, was worth it! I arrived there and walk a little bit looking for the beach…and suddenly I found an amazing restaurant -I hardly recommend- called HELKA. It’s cheap, portions are big and its yummy!

I ate salmon with baked potatoes and a drink, it was less than 15€

After that, I decided to walk until the end of the peninsul and I enjoyed so much the beach there, I didn’t swim because the water had many algae but I stayed there for a while. I was alone in 5-6 km of beach. Such an oasis of peace.

I read a book -reading at the beach is my new hobbie-, slept on the sand and just chilled out a little bit.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty the same, after the training going to the beach by my own and chill there. On wednesday afternoon I swam for the first time in my life in the Baltic Sea, I was there for 1h ish and I was expecting colder water but the Baltic surprised me, it’s the less salty water I’ve tried from the Ocean, and it’s pretty warm too. The weather those days was a bless, 25ºC, all day sunny, hot…it seemed a real summer!

I also meet some local people and I had a little chat with them about volunteering life and how is life in Gdynia. It was great!

This trip gave me a lot. I learnt about myself and how to enjoy time alone, I discovered great places and ate tasty food. I stayed in contact with local people and exchange oppinions and experiences, I also meet a friend from my home country and swam in to Baltic Sea!

Are you down for solo travelling now? Meet you there!

Summer tripping

Hey, this is Ondra with some stories from our short trip to Wien and Brno with Knarik, Chichak, Leila and me. The preparations for this trip weren´t easy as both Knarik and me got sick and had to stay in bed for the whole week until the Wednesday. On Thursday morning, I was still feeling a bit off but I had to drive the car.

When we landed in Brno, I was dizzy and feeling like the world around me didn´t make any sense. We managed to meet with my two best friends from Brno and went for a lunch. Fortunately in Czech at the time only 4 people could sit in a restaurant together, so we sat outside on a bar table which was decorated to be a car. Then we continued to our Christian student center where we had a café for free. I don´t know why but my friends started to discuss my relationships with girls, they spoke about my supposed wedding in Bialystok and everything. I felt somewhat awkward.

Then I went to celebrate my mother´s birthday to Kunštát. Having left the girls in Brno, I gave them the location to wait for me later. When I returned, of course they didn´t appear at the place and I had to search for them for half an hour, I didn´t have any data, so it was difficult.

After that, my friend´s hosted us in their new flat. Meanwhile they had a drinking session with another couple, so we joined them. What would you guess was the first hot topic, of course all my relations and me. I couldn´t handle it no more, but fortunately there was my favourite Czech spirit slivovice and after five shots I started to feel myself again, even the girls drunk with us. Vojta, our very extroverted friend, spoke with charm to my fellow volunteers and I was happy to leave a nice impression of my country by this dinner.  After this, I managed to sleep for only 3 hours, because I had to lie on a flat floor.

By some kind of miracle, I woke up fresh ready to drive to Wien. Even the dizziness died away, probably thanks to slivovice. We arrived at Wien where we just started to walk around the city and ended up in centre. The weather was freaking exhausting. After long searching for a place to dine, when we almost killed ourselves, we arrived at the hotel and fell asleep. The evening was the best part of our trip as we arrived to the river Dunay, which was full of young people enjoying the music and some sports.

In the morning, we made our way to the hill up the Wien, which I saw on the previous day. Little did I know what a nasty surprise has the seller of one market for me. When I entered to the market, he asked my nationality. I said that I am from Czech. He told me his grandparents were from Czech, but then he started to shout at me in German. He showed me on calculator how many people died while the Czech people expelled radically the Germans from their territory. How I was involved in that, I don´t know, but the man was very rude to me. Other than that, we only saw positive and helpful people in Austria, so I hope that this man was an exception.

Another problem happened when we received 36€ fine for parking even though we asked if that place was for free. On another parking place, I also dipped my shoe into a very smelly surprise, which I succeeded to clean by a leaf but felt that my foot was somehow unclean for the whole day.

In the end I felt very lucky to survive this crazy trip, with all the exhaustion, long walks, hot weather and many driving hours. In return, I brought back nice photos and very interesting memories.

Common things between Poles and Azerbaijanis

Some days ago I was reading some facts about Poland which totally reminded me of my country and I thought that it can be interesting to gather them and write about them. So here I share some facts or habits that are same in Azerbaijan and Poland.

1. Refusing is considered polite- when people are visiting you , they refuse to drink or to eat at your home.Even if they are hungry or starving, they consider it to be rude to agree on getting meal or drink for the first time someone asks. If you are host, you need to ask second or third time to make sure they don’t really want anything or they were just being polite.

Some people share their experiences about this topic saying that in another countries sometimes when someone offered them something and  refused just to be polite even if then wanted, but then they didn’t offer it again. And this is totally related to culture and traditions in my opinion.

It’s totally same in Azerbaijan, even if we are at our close relative’s house, we never accept eating for the first time

2.Hospitality- according to my personal experience polish people are so hospitable and when you visit them, they try to make food for you and give you warm, friendly environment. This tradition is also same in my country. When someone visits you, it doesn’t matter how many of them there are , we prepare food and we try to make them have fun and spend good time.

3. Home parties – after spending 6 months in Poland I realized that polish people prefer partying with their friends and flat which is similar to my country. We don’t even have a lot of clubs or bars because we don’t have party tradition. In Azerbaijan  you can see a few people who are going to the clubs or discos.

That’s all information that I know but I am sure that we have other similarities ,too. I will keep discovering and sharing.:)

Chichak from Azerbaijan, volunteer in Zespół Szkół specjalnych nr 4 in Sosnowiec.

The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

Common things between Poles and Azerbaijanis

Some days ago I was reading some facts about Poland which totally reminded me of my country and I thought that it can be interesting to gather them and write about them. So here I share some facts or habits that are same in Azerbaijan and Poland.

1. Refusing is considered polite- when people are visiting you , they refuse to drink or to eat at your home.Even if they are hungry or starving, they consider it to be rude to agree on getting meal or drink for the first time someone asks. If you are host, you need to ask second or third time to make sure they don’t really want anything or they were just being polite.

Some people share their experiences about this topic saying that in another countries sometimes when someone offered them something and  refused just to be polite even if then wanted, but then they didn’t offer it again. And this is totally related to culture and traditions in my opinion.

It’s totally same in Azerbaijan, even if we are at our close relative’s house, we never accept eating for the first time

2.Hospitality- according to my personal experience polish people are so hospitable and when you visit them, they try to make food for you and give you warm, friendly environment. This tradition is also same in my country. When someone visits you, it doesn’t matter how many of them there are , we prepare food and we try to make them have fun and spend good time.

3. Home parties – after spending 6 months in Poland I realized that polish people prefer partying with their friends and flat which is similar to my country. We don’t even have a lot of clubs or bars because we don’t have party tradition. In Azerbaijan  you can see a few people who are going to the clubs or discos.

That’s all information that I know but I am sure that we have other similarities ,too. I will keep discovering and sharing. 🙂

Chichak from Azerbaijan, volunteer in Zespół Szkół specjalnych nr 4 in Sosnowiec.

The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

Common things between Poles and Azerbaijanis

Some days ago I was reading some facts about Poland which totally reminded me of my country and I thought that it can be interesting to gather them and write about them. So here I share some facts or habits that are same in Azerbaijan and Poland.

1. Refusing is considered polite- when people are visiting you , they refuse to drink or to eat at your home.Even if they are hungry or starving, they consider it to be rude to agree on getting meal or drink for the first time someone asks. If you are host, you need to ask second or third time to make sure they don’t really want anything or they were just being polite.

Some people share their experiences about this topic saying that in another countries sometimes when someone offered them something and  refused just to be polite even if then wanted, but then they didn’t offer it again. And this is totally related to culture and traditions in my opinion.

It’s totally same in Azerbaijan, even if we are at our close relative’s house, we never accept eating for the first time

2.Hospitality- according to my personal experience polish people are so hospitable and when you visit them, they try to make food for you and give you warm, friendly environment. This tradition is also same in my country. When someone visits you, it doesn’t matter how many of them there are , we prepare food and we try to make them have fun and spend good time.

3. Home parties – after spending 6 months in Poland I realized that polish people prefer partying with their friends and flat which is similar to my country. We don’t even have a lot of clubs or bars because we don’t have party tradition. In Azerbaijan  you can see a few people who are going to the clubs or discos.

That’s all information that I know but I am sure that we have other similarities ,too. I will keep discovering and sharing. 🙂

Chichak from Azerbaijan, volunteer in Zespół Szkół specjalnych nr 4 in Sosnowiec.

The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

Kraków – my favourite place in Poland

Hello! In this article I want to share with you my experience and knowledge about Cracow. I think it’s a charming and beautiful place, for sure worth to visit at least once!

My story with Cracow began when I was a little girl. I would say that it’s my family tradition to go every year to this city with my family. When my mother was young they were visiting our family members and spend whole day with them. I have never met them but my granny was telling me stories about my aunts and uncles from Cracow. Now I can only visit them on Rakowicki Cemetary (it’s one of the biggest Cemetary in Cracow and a lot of well known people are buried there, for example very good poetess – Wisława Szymborska). Then we were going to café and ate ice cream. We were taking a walk on market square, watched beautiful things in Sukiennice, such as jewelery especially with amber, handmade wooden and painted boxes in folk style and souvenirs.

Every time we had to go to Dragon’s Cave which enter is next to the Wawel Castle (way down has about 140 steps – I was counting it as a kid always). 

Sometimes we were taking a trip on Wisła river (it’s taking from 30 minutes to 1 hour). Two times I was on Kościuszko Mound – really nice view. You can see almost whole city from this place – I also recommend that. On the market square it’s underground museum – I have never been there but It looks nice and interesting. https://muzeumkrakowa.pl/oddzialy/rynek-podziemny you can check an offer and photos on this website.

This is me when I was maybe 7 years old, in Cracow of course 🙂

Between a castle and market square you can find a building where lived our polish pope – Jan Paweł II. You will recognize it by his photo, polish flag and pope flag (it’s yellow and white).

As I remember every year near to the center were a lot of people in costumes – many different ones! For example woman wear all in silver or gold, clowns etc, everyone had interesting and catching-eye uniforms. They didn’t move – only when you wanted take photo with them and put some coin in their hat J. Usually in the center or near to the monument of a dragon there are some attractions for the youngest tourists like soap bubbles.

Near to the castle you can see a knight and take a photo with him. Last time I also heard 2 men singing and wearing folk, traditional costumes. It’s really climatic and you can feel an old Cracow style.

On Grocka street is a lot of interesting places – mostly café and candy shop.

1. Candy factory – there you can see the process of making candy and buy some for yourself.

2. Harry Potter café – if you haven’t been there and you are a fan of this story – you totally should go there! Next to every coffee table you can see a picture of wizards from Harry Potter, and when you are ordering you should tell to a waitress with which wizard you are sitting J You can buy there a fortune cookie and play some games which are available in the bar. I will not say more – discover on your own when you will have an opportunity 🙂

3. I don’t remember the name of this place but… I’ll add a picture of this shop. It’s also candy shop and when you will enter, a lady will give you paper bag and you can pt in there every candy which are in this shop and mix. 100g costs 12zł. Jelly, lollypops, chocolates! Magical place for those ones who have sweet tooth.

Curiosities about Cracow:

1. Cracow was a capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596

2. You can hear a bugle call every hour from Mariacki church (Iheard that new bugler is needed there, every year it was a man, but last time one woman wanted to take that job. Bravo!)

3. About 200 thousands of citizens are students from all over the world!

4. Market square in Cracow is the biggest one in Poland

5. In 1993 in Cracow “Shindler’s list” have been recorded

Greetings guys!

Martyna from Poland, volunteer in Special Need School no 4 in Sosnowiec

#eusolidaritycorps

#activewomenassociation

#cracow

 Cześć, z tej strony Dominika!  Znacie to uczucie, gdy postanawiacie przeżyć przygodę życia wbrew przeciwnościom losu? Ja znam i chciałabym się z Wami ów przygodą podzielić.

Mianowicie na okres wakacji 2020 zdecydowałam się wyjechać do Włoch, na wolontariat, z Europejskiego Korpusu Solidarności. Uczestniczyłam w krótkoterminowy projekcie “Europe for Solidarity”, którego  głównym celem była promocja europejskiej solidarności poprzez wzmacnianie spójności społeczności Nursji. Nasze działania były o tyle ważne, bo odnosiły się do mieszkańców miejscowości, w której doszło do trzęsienia ziemi w 2016 roku. I wiecie, bez cienia przesady stwierdzam, że był to czas niezwykle piękny, pełen samorozwoju, jak i solidarności z drugim człowiekiem. 

Przed przyjazdem na wolontariat nie miałam wielkich oczekiwań wobec organizacji przyjmującej – KORA Associazione – jak i wobec samego projektu – Europe for Solidarity. Po prostu posłuchałam swojej intuicji, która po raz kolejny mnie nie zawiodła, pozwalając przeżyć niesamowitą przygodę.

W związku ze światową sytuacją epidemiologiczną na świecie, pierwsze dwa tygodnie wolontariatu spędziliśmy na edukacyjnej farmie La Buona Terra wraz z innymi wolontariuszami organizacji KORA. Żyjąc razem, wspólnie gotując posiłki, piekąc chleb, zbierając lawendę, ucząc się tworzyć wideo, i wiele innych. Nawiązaliśmy silne więzi, wzajemnie się inspirując oraz wspierając. Poza tym uczestniczyliśmy w zajęciach z edukacji nieformalnej, co w następstwie pozwoliło nam na przygotowanie warsztatów dla mieszkańców Nursji. Ponadto był to także dla mnie intensywny czas powrotu do nauki języka włoskiego.

Gdy dwa, magiczne tygodnie nad jeziorem Trasimeno dobiegły końca, ruszyliśmy do Nursji, na południu regionu Umbria. Miasteczko położone w parku narodowym Monte Sibilini zauroczyło mnie od pierwszego wejrzenia, zaś skala zniszczeń spowodowanych przez trzęsienie ziemi w 2016 roku dała motywację do działania. 

Już drugiego dnia po przyjeździe zaczęliśmy naszą pracę. Odwiedziliśmy Monello, przedszkole, w którym udzielaliśmy się w dwóch grupach wiekowych (3-5 oraz 6-10). Co więcej zapoznaliśmy się z grupą osób niepełnosprawnych, z którymi także mieliśmy przyjemność współpracować. Ponadto zorganizowaliśmy plan działania w social mediach, jak i zajęć pozalekcyjnych dla dzieci, tj. warsztaty języka angielskiego. 

Następne tygodnie upływały w podobnym rytmie – każdy z wolontariuszy pracował rano oraz po południu. Poza tym pomagaliśmy w organizacji wydarzeń kulturalnych – Estate Nursina 2020 – podczas których odpowiedzialna byłam za relacje fotograficzne. 

A jako że nie samą pracą człowiek żyje, wiele czasu spędzaliśmy na integrowaniu się w grupie, organizując m.in. poniedziałkowe wieczory z pizzą, wypady w góry, czy imprezy w stylu karaoke. Co więcej w wolne weekendy wspólnie poznawaliśmy najpiękniejsze zakamarki regionu, tj. Perugia, Asyż, Spoleto czy jezioro Fiastra.

Udział w projekcie był dla mnie niezapomnianą lekcją życia, za którą jestem bardzo wdzięczna. 

Przede wszystkim mieszkając w kontenerze, wybudowanym pierwotnie dla osób poszkodowanych przez trzęsienie ziemi, a także mając codzienny kontakt z ofiarami tego zdarzenia, uświadomiłam sobie o najważniejszych wartościach w życiu. Przestałam przejmować się mało istotnymi problemami doczesnymi, kładąc nacisk na kolekcjonowanie wspomnień oraz doświadczeń, a nie rzeczy materialnych. 

Współpraca z osobami niepełnosprawnymi bardzo pobudziła mnie emocjonalnie. Przypomniała, jak mały gest, serdeczność wobec drugiej osoby jest ważnym elementem współistnienia w społeczeństwie. Jednym uśmiechem czy słowem możemy zdziałać cuda, a niestety we współczesnym, zabieganym świecie szybko zapominamy o ludzkiej życzliwości.

Poza tym obserwacja opiekunek grupy osób niepełnosprawnych zmotywowała mnie do pracy nad swoją cierpliwością i empatią.

Po raz kolejny okazało się, że mowa ciała może dużo więcej powiedzieć niż słowa, szczególnie podczas aktywności z dziećmi. Uważam, że praca z Nimi jest bardzo ważnym doświadczeniem, bo odblokowuje w nas, dorosłych pewne mechanizmy funkcjonowania w społeczeństwie. Bawiąc się z dziećmi, obserwując je, sami możemy znów poczuć się jak kilkulatki, które nie wstydzą się zadawać pytań (nawet z pozoru banalnych), bycia spontanicznymi i ciekawymi drugiego człowieka. Poza tym uświadamia, iż najłatwiejsze rozwiązania potrafią być najlepszymi. 

Zyskałam również niezwykle cenne doświadczenie zyskałam również w dziedzinie fotografii. Chciałabym w przyszłości przekłuć moją pasję na pracę, dlatego możliwość pracy podczas wydarzeń kulturalnych pozwoliła mi na podszkolenie warsztatu i poszerzeniu swojego portfolio. 

Nie mogłabym pominąć lekcji tolerancji oraz solidarności zaczerpniętej z możliwości mieszkania, pracowania, a także spędzania wolnego czasu w międzynarodowym towarzystwie. Każda osoba z naszej czternastki była tolerancyjna i otwarta na świat. Od każdej z nich mogłam się wiele nauczyć, zainspirować na przyszłość i znów mocno uwierzyć w ideę solidarności. 

Myślę, że wszystko w życiu dzieje się po coś. Nawet jeśli plany biorą w łeb i wydaje się, że wszystko sprzysięgło się przeciwko nam, warto uwierzyć, że za kolejnym zakrętem czeka nas coś niesamowitego. Dlatego gdy koronawirus zatrząsnął moim światem, spokojnie postanowiłam poczekać na dobry moment. I jestem wdzięczna za udział w projekcie, który był dla mnie przepiękną przygodą oraz źródłem wiedzy. Tym bardziej się cieszę, że miał on miejsce we Włoszech, w kraju, który uwielbiam nie tylko za jedzenie, ale i kulturę, mentalność, historię oraz język. Grazie mille!

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