wtorek, 24 kwietnia 2018

My On-Arrival Review (by Sergio)

One of the most difficult things to do as human beings is getting out of the comfort zone and find ourselves in new situations, changing friends, changing the place of work or changing the country we live in are some of the examples of changes that challenge us and allow us to grow, but what happen when we expose ourselves to all this situations at the same time…

Leaving your country, changing the stability of your work, arrive to a place where you don’t understand a word, where the customs are different, the food is different is a huge challenge even for people who called themselves “independent”.

Well, that’s exactly what I did, I leave my country, my family and my language behind to be a part of a volunteer program and frankly there’s no handbook to teach you how to overcome the change and although the experience of every person is unique, is always good to have someone giving you an advise from time to time. That’s how I see the on-arrival training, as an opportunity to share with people who is living the same experience as you, people who could became of great help during difficult times that may come.

It lasted 6 days where we received a small introduction the polish culture and the polish language, we received a series of tools to plan, prepare and do workshops, we had a cultural integration between 12 different nationalities, we worked on teamwork and also we received advises on how to face the problems and solving conflicts. This last part, in my opinion, was the most relevant one because during the volunteering time we will have problems, it could happen at the project, with the people we live with or where we work and it’s good to acquire this skills in order to face this kind of situations properly and therefore be able to cop the volunteering year (or months) in the best way possible.

The training took place in Warsaw and we stayed on the “Agrykola” hotel, a place that although is located in a big city, it allows you to somehow disconnect of the city life style. The schedule was simple: breakfast at 7:30-9:30, then the first session from 9:30-13:00, lunch time from 13:00 to  15:00 and the second session 15:00-18:00 and “dinner” at 18:00-19:00. During each session we also had a coffee break. All sessions were held according to the schedule, and with a dynamic that managed to attract the attention and managed to keep the group’s energy always high, something that is not easy when you work with a group of 26 people of different ages and different nationalities in the same room, but we had really good trainers, two people that you can see that they are well prepared and that they actually like what they do.

Six days, twelve nationalities, two trainers, many activities... ONE experience that allows you to find people who has the same goals as you and gives you a series of tools to make your experience as a volunteer even more meaningful. 

Sergio Perez

piątek, 6 kwietnia 2018

A New Volunteer

Hola... My name is Sergio, I'm a 25 years Colombian guy and I'll be staying in Pultusk for 8 months. I studied Chemical Engineering and I will working in a high school and a day care centre. Before came to Pultusk I was working and thinking where to do my master but I decided to take a break before continuing with my professional career and now I'm doing my EVS here. My hobbies are basically all sports, I enjoy playing from football to chess. My second passion is cooking, I love to cook every kind of food, specially is there is some seafood in it.

piątek, 30 marca 2018

Easter - Sunday or Monday?

Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!

Lets talk about Easter differences.

Everyone celebrates the Sunday, I know I know, and you go to church and spend time with family and that's all very nice but let me tell you how much more exciting Easter can be 😉

As you may know Czech republic is one of the least religious countries in the world so Easter Sunday and the resurrection is not so important for us (except the more less 10 procent Christians) and all the fun happens on Monday which everywhere else is just a day of rest after Sunday.

So what happens?

Men and boys go around the village, from one house to another and whip the women with a special whip called "pomlázka" made from young willow pouts, they recite Easter carols and in exchange they get painted eggs, some sweets and for the grown-ups usually a shot (or several shots) of ideally some home-made strong alcohol. So you can imagine how it gets even after the visit of just a few houses...


A girl who gets whipped will stay young and fresh for the next year

And all the drunk man going around was actually the reason why my aunt started a tradition with her friends of a small Easter hike finishing with a lunch. So that's what we do in our family. There are also shots before the walk, but in moderation.

We also have the tradition of pouring water as in Poland but only the girls do it as a kind of revenge on the boys for the whipping. But it is not so common. And every leap year the roles change and girls go around and whip boys and boys can pour water on them.

Other traditions contain coloring the eggs and baking a lamb cake which has to be already ready on Monday so you usually do it during the weekend.



Hmmm, doesn't it sound great? 

środa, 21 marca 2018

Promoters Wanted!

Have you participated in a workcamp, youth exchange or any other international project? 

Would you like to share your experience with others and motivate them to volunteer as well?

Do you want to improve your presentation and promotion skills?

Join our Promoters group!!!

What we expect from you: 
  • previous voluntary experience (can be also campleading, mentoring)
  • motivation and will to share your experience
Examples of tasks:
  • participating in fairs where we are invited to have our stand
  • presentations at schools 
  • help with organization of events
What we can offer you:
  • a half day seminar/workshop about our activities and presentating in general
  • certificate of cooperation and gained skills (to make your CV more impressive!)
  • priority to apply for youth exchanges or international trainings
  • practical workshops on various topics
  • IF you organize at least two events until the end of June, you can get 50 % discount on inscription fee for a workcamp

The first introduction seminar/workshop will take place on the 7th April in our office in Pułtusk (in case you don't know, it is HERE, above Magdalenka). 

If you are interested, please fill in your contact information in this short form.

But that is not all yet...

poniedziałek, 12 marca 2018

A change is gonna come...

Yes, it is here! 🌞🌞🌞🌞
Temperatures rising, days getting longer, the sun honors us with its presence. The spring is just behind the door. You can feel it in the air. Nature is waking up. Birds are singing again 🎵🐦

Sunday was amazing! We went for a nice walk with Liza and Gizem. And we were all so happy about the weather 😊😍 For me it was the first day since I arrived in Poland that I could put away the winter coat and go outside just with a light jacket. The first I day I actually felt warm outside and had to take off a layer.
Chilling by the river, sun in our faces 💛
Winter in Poland is hard. Yeah, of course, no new information. But it shouldn't be such a difference from Czech republic, right? Well somehow it felt so much longer and more depressive or tiring..
Is it colder? Possibly a little. Are the days shorter? Probably yes, but can't be that big a difference.. Was this winter especially cold and long? I wouldn't say so..
What can it be then? I think a have a hunch!

Winter in a small town is hard! I come from Prague, ok? Even after we moved to a village near by, my social life has always been happening in Prague. And in big cities the temperature, the season do not matter so much, there always something going on. But in small town it matters. I would say small towns and villages are closer to the natural cycles, energy rises in spring, peaks in summer and then fades.. In winter they are like bears, they sleep... 😴

I know, I chose to come to a small town because I was fed up up with the stress and hostility and I stand by my decisions, I actually believe this life suits me better. Still, it is a change, it is something different and it can be quite challenging. Sometimes you just can't prevent the winter depression.
But now it is over, we made it through!💪

Ice slowly melting 😉
No offense, but Pułtusk during winter is kind of a dead hole.. But from what I've heard in summer it should be lively 😊 So now I am super excited and imagine all the picnics, grilling on the balcony or in the park and just hanging outside in general 💚

Good times are coming! Mam nadzieję!


poniedziałek, 26 lutego 2018

Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment Part 4

From 22 to 25 February we had a pleasure to organise an evaluation meeting of the project "Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment" and host our lovely friends from Keric from Slovakia and Maailmanvaihto from Finland. The first working day was dedicated to visiting our local partners: Zespół Szkół im. B. Prusa in Pułtusk and Biblioteka Publiczna Gminy Pomiechówek and presenting our cooperation to the guests. In addition to the visit, in the library we tested our artistic skills during the workshop on making Easter palms.

The second working day was spent on summarising the project and discussing its results. Unfortunately, the weather (-11 degrees) did not let us enjoy walks in Pultusk.

The project was co-funded by Erasmus+.

wtorek, 2 stycznia 2018

Workcamps in 1976? Of course!

Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

We have a new year 2018 and everyone is wondering what it will bring, many people make resolutions and generally we tend to look at future at this time of year. But I would like to take a moment to also look in the past..

Specifically to the year 1976. Because recently we found a hidden treasure in the office. It is a newspaper/magazine/booklet made by volunteers (including one Polish thanks to whom we can now see this wonder!) who participated at a workcamp in Dannish city Odense. You can read what was the project about from the scanned original Camp news 😊

I think it is amazing that there were 7 participants in wheelchairs, especially given the workcamps topic. Who else could know better how to make a city guide for handicaped then those who live this struggle every day. What a wonderful example of volunteering for all!

We can also see that the workcamp attracted the local newspaper. Unfortunately I don't know what exactly is written in the article because I cannot speak Danish 😄

For those interested in the issue of handicapped people in Denmark, you can read what the volunteers wrote about it 42 years ago.

 As you see, workcamps and volunteering are with us for a while and even if the form may change over the years, the importance of having and active and involved society will never fade!

So if you need some inspiration for your New Year's resolutions, I advice you:
Volunteer! Home or abroad, just do it! Be an active citizen! Be the change you want to see in the world 😉

Much love to you all and in 2018 I wish you the strength to not let anyone or anything stop you to follow your dreams, wishes, desires and passions!!! 😘