czwartek, 23 marca 2017

Mid-term training in Toruń


Dzień dobry,

In February and March, it was time for our EVS mid-term training! 

This time, this one week meeting was taking place in the beautiful city of Toruń, famous for its delicious pierniki (gingerbreads) and for being the birthplace of Mikołaj Kopernik.


Marie had her meeting first, at the beginning of February and Tuğçe and I (Julia) a few weeks ago, in March. The mid-term training is an occasion for volunteers to look back on the first part of their EVS and to reflect on what they have achieved and on how they can enjoy the rest of their EVS to the fullest. It is of course also an opportunity to meet new people and discover a new place in your host country. And this is exactly what the three of us did during one week!

We explored Toruń through group activities, such as questioning the inhabitants of this medieval city on history and legends, or else on the occasion of an epic WhatsApp quest/ treasure hunt in the streets and museums! The cultural part was an important part of this meeting and our lovely trainers also took us to the theater for a puppet show, to the gingerbread museum, to an art museum… We were of course also given the opportunities and tools to reflect on our experience so far though creative activities -individually and in groups – as well as on the rest of our project and our future after EVS. Thus, we exchanged numerous advice and ideas of activities we could implement in our projects.The trainers also made sure to bring into light the work and study opportunities that exist in Poland and abroad, as well as the other volunteering possibilities we could do in the future.


 
Here are Marie’s thoughts on this meeting:

What struck me first was the awesome atmosphere within the group. We all got along well really fast and we were a real group – meeting in the evenings, doing things together without excluding anyone. Then, I really liked this town full of legends and nice places appearing in random little streets. Under the snow it was magical… What I also appreciated is the material the trainers put at our disposal: workshops to think about our volunteering experience and fun activities in the town (WhatsApp quest!!!) were as many ideas that we can reuse as volunteers… or later in our professional life. ;-) That’s how I would describe a week outside of time…

It was such an enriching week for the three of us and we left Toruń full of energy and ready to enjoy our last months of EVS!



Na razie,

Julia

piątek, 24 lutego 2017

Winter holidays' language café


Hallo, merhaba, bonjour!

It is Winter Holidays in Pułtusk and therefore, we decided to organise a language café at the Pub/Restauracja Magdalenka last Monday. And this time, it was open not just to students, but to anyone who was interested in languages, cultures and games.


We promoted it in Pułtusk through posters and advertised it on social networks as well. It is always hard to know in advance how many people will come and we had to be ready to adapt our activities, depending on the number of participants. We were a bit worried that we will only get a few ones but from 4pm, Tuğçe, Marie, Saskia, Sylwia and I were happy to see a nice group of twelve people join us for this language café.

We started by getting to know each other through the game “Find someone who… We had to go around the room to find people who fitted the criteria we gave: someone who has a brother and a sister, who has never seen the movie “Home Alone”, who has lived in three countries, who broke a bone and so on. And the three fastest to find someone for each box won a price (sweets of course, you know us!). 




We then decided to make people discover a bit more about the Turkish, Belgian and French cultures through a quiz on traditions, customs and gestures. For instance, did you know that shaking your hand in front of your eyes means that someone is crazy in the German-speaking part of Belgium? Or that in Turkey, the groom has to drink a coffee with salt, prepared by the bride, to show his love? Or again that in France, pulling the bottom of your eye with your index means that you don’t believe the person? We had a lot of customs and gestures to share and it was also the occasion for us to learn more about the Polish culture, as most questions could be applied to Poland. So it really was about exchanging and we learned as much as our participants did!



Afterwards, Tuğçe went on teaching us a Turkish dance, traditionally danced at weddings. We did not have much space but we managed it and we are now ready to attend a wedding in Turkey. Or a prom ball in Poland! Thus, the Polish participants decided to teach us the prom dance, an important tradition in Poland. Dziękuję bardzo! 




Finally, our language café ended with games and we played Jungle Speed and Dobble - both rapidity games - that had us shouting and laughing. 




It was a really fun evening, which was all about sharing. We taught people about our cultures, as we planned, but we also learned so much about other cultures and I think that it is the purpose of our language cafés: a mutual exchange. So thank you to everyone who came and we hope to organize another event like this one very soon!

Na razie,

Julia

środa, 8 lutego 2017

New volunteer in Pomiechówek

Cześć,

We are very happy to announce you that a new volunteer joined the FIYE team on the Erasmus + volunteering adventure! 😃
Saskia arrived from Belgium a week ago and just started her EVS project called “Read, learn and have fun” at the Public Library of Pomiechówek, a small town close to Warsaw. She will volunteer there for the next seven months, until the end of August 2017.

This is the first time the library welcomes an EVS volunteer and for having previously met the workers, I can tell that they were all very enthusiastic about welcoming Saskia on her first day!

We will tell you more about her project in a future article but in the meantime, let her introduce herself:


Hello,

My name is Saskia and I'm coming from Eupen (East Belgium). I was born on 11 December 1995 and I have two younger siblings. In June 2016 I made my A-Level. My mother tongue is German and in school I studied also French, Dutch and English.
Since 2006, I'm playing theater with different groups and wrote an important part of a new theater play, which will have their Premiere in May 2017.
Besides the theater I've been writing short stories, poems and even song lyrics since my childhood. At the moment I'm trying to write a book, which I want to publish after it is finish.
Because I'm a huge Nirvana and Foo Fighters Fan I started to play guitar in October 2016. Music is generally a very important part of my life and I can't live without it.
After my time in Poland with EVS I will try to go to the USA, because I've been dreaming about emigrating to California my whole life. And of course I will study something, maybe creative writing or history or English.

                                                                             *****************

Tuğçe, Marie and I also had the pleasure to welcome Saskia in Pułtusk last Friday to show her our workplaces and daily lives, before having a Polish lunch and her first EVS volunteer meeting with our coordinator Sylwia.

We took this opportunity to discuss our progress in the various competences EVS brings and for Saskia, it was the occasion to think about what she expects of her project. During the weekend, we also celebrated all together the French pancake day, “la Chandeleur” ...



... by eating of course a lot of crêpes!

Stay tuned to hear more about Saskia's project and see you soon,

Julia

środa, 25 stycznia 2017

Volunteering at Senior Wigor


Cześć!

This is Julia and today, I am here to tell you more about a very important part of my project: the time I spend at the amazing activity center for seniors calledDzienny Dom "Senior-WIGOR" Miejskiego Ośrodka Pomocy Społecznej w Pułtusku", or more simply “Senior Wigor”. 



Two days a week, I take part to the various activities offered to the seniors: singing, dancing, workshops, baking, cooking, discussions, excursions, visits, manual activities, etc. I also offer my own activities such as presentations on a variety of topics, baking of French cakes, workshops such as scrapbooking, French lessons, etc.

I have been going to Senior Wigor for more than four months now and it is genuinely a pleasure to spend time with the seniors and the people who work there! They are kind, funny, energetic, open-minded and welcoming. I am learning everyday with them and I could never thank them enough for making me feel like home!😊




It is of course not always easy to communicate and understand each other, as I did not speak a word of Polish when I arrived. But this has been a great motivation and help for me to learn the language of my host country. The seniors and the workers are always willing to teach me and encourage me and I feel like my Polish has improved thanks to them. And of course, I have Ola, who works there and who speaks English, willing to help me at any time!

This project is of course about the reciprocal discovery of each other’s cultures, customs, languages, the intergenerational rapprochement, etc. But there is also another million of little things that come to my mind when I think about my time at the centre: the smiles of the seniors and the “Juuuuulka” that goes with it when I arrive in the morning, discovering more about their life through their photo albums, managing to have a conversation in Polish about a topic, their enthusiastic “merci” when they leave my French class, our dancing sessions, the numerous cakes, sweets and teas we share, the kindeness of the staff, creating Christmas decorations together, learning new skills from them and so many more anecdotes.

When you do not speak the language of the people of your project, it can sometimes be frustrating, intimidating and you can feel held back by it, but that also pushes you to be creative, to improvise, to mime, to find resources you didn’t even know you had. To learn.
I really enjoy volunteering with the seniors and I hope to be able to offer them more new and diverse activities in the future!

Stay tuned and na razie,

Julia