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!!! 😘


czwartek, 21 grudnia 2017

Check the Czech Christmas

Wesołych Świąt!

Christmas time is knocking on our doors and I am going back to see my family for the holidays. But before I leave I would like to present to you some Czech traditions and what Christmas looks like in my family 😊

Soo, where to start?

The main holiday for Czech people is the 24th December, we call it Štědrý den.

It should be a day of fasting (for some it means not eating at all, for some just avoiding meat) and there is a saying that if you manage not to eat, you will see the Golden pig (Zlaté prasátko). And Kofola (the Czech version of Coca cola but a bit spiced and much much better!) made a joke out of this saying in a commercial, it has been more than ten years and they have been playing it during Christmas time ever since, it has become probably the most popular commercial ever!


If you don't want to starve until dinner, you can cook a simple dish called Kuba, made from groats and mushrooms.

But be sure to keep enough space for the most important meal, the dinner - Štědrovečerní večeře. 

The protagonist here is carp fish. There are more traditions connected with carp than only the dinner so lets starts from the begining. A week or so before Chrismas the streets get flooded with barrels of fish where you buy a living carp or have it killed and unboned on the spot. Some people who buy alive, later put the fish into a bathtub, which is an old habit kept from the times when people did't have fridges.

Carp meat is cut into horse shoe shapes, deep fried in the triple layer crust (flour, egg, bread crums)
and served with potato salad as the main dish. The soup is also made from carp and you can use pretty much everything that is left from the fish so typicaly you make broth from the head and little cut offs together with root vegetables and later you add also the roe and milt 🐟😉

Me and my mom don't like carp so we prepare a different fish so there is only one traditional horseshoe carp on the table
And it goes even more "zero waste" because you don't even trow away the scales, you wash them and give to all family members to keep them in their wallets because they are supposed to bring you money! 💰 (You can also put them under your plate during the dinner)

Then comes the time to open presents. Normally "Ježíšek" (baby Jesus) brings them before the dinner, when the children are in another room and rings the bell, they run to the tree trying to see Ježíšek, but he is always gone. In my family we first eat and then all sit around the tree, eat some Christmas cookies and open the presents one by one throughout the whole evening.

Some people go to the midnight mass, but my family is not religious and we are lazy to move after all the food 😆 Instead we attend a midday singing in the town next to us where my aunt, uncle and sometimes also my cousins sing. It is a nice gathering where you meet many friends and acquaintances, wish them "Veselé Vánoce!" and drink some grzane wino.

There also many traditions for predicting future done during Christmas, some more known and popular. For example you can cut apples in half and if you see a star, everything is ok but if you see a cross inside, then you will die the next year. Not very positive. Or single girls kick shoes behind them and if the shoe is pointing in the direction of the door, she will get married and leave the house, if it is away from the door she will stay one more. Something similar works also with little boats made of nut shells with candles inside, if your boat separates from the others you will probably travel somewhere, if it drowns, bad things happen.

Some people celebrate only the 24th, some people also the 25th, some (like my family) even the 26th!

On the 25th we meet with my aunt, uncle and cousins for lunch either in their house or ours (depending on where is my grandma staying, because we take turns who will have her on the 24th each year😊), we drink some better champagne, eat stuffed turkey and open another round of presents.

On the 26th we all go to my grandmother's little flat and we eat goose with dumplings and sour cabbage. I love this meal so much!!! 😍 After that we go together to light candles at my grandfather's and a few more graves. Also we have a little tradition to light as many candle as possible at the INRI cross (the one that are already there). And that's it!

Ok, now I need to catch my bus home because I don't want to miss all of this!

I wish you all "Wszystkiego najlepszego", enjoy the holidays and see you in 2018!!!


czwartek, 7 grudnia 2017

What have we been up to?

Hello hello hello,

we are back! Last week has been very busy. We're been preparing for two events which have succesfully passed as you can see...

On Sunday we went to Pomiechowek to take part in the ArtBAZAR, organized by the local culture center - Pompa Pomiechowek, where an EVS volunteer from Spain, Susanna, works.

Susi as a raindeer

We had our FIYE stand there to spread awarness about volunteering and we also prepared some Christmas related intercultural games. You could learn how to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in many languages, find out who brings presents in different countries and see how the traditional Christmas meals look.

Who would bring those boys gifts in Sweden, Italy or Greece, hmm?

We also got on the stage to sing Jingle bells in Spanish, Italian, German and Czech. You can watch the video here.
Stefan from Costa Rica, Jenny from Germany, Christina from Czech Republic,
Ilaria from Italy and Susanna from Spain singing

On Tuesday was an important day! Do you know why? It was the international volunteer's day!

We went to Zespół Szkół im. B. Prusa w Pułtusku to present volunteering to the students. They decorated Christmas cookies, we packed them and Sylwia later brought them to institutions which help the community in Pultusk!

After decorating the students participated in workshops about volunteering with Sylwia, Grzegorz and Sveta.
Presenting the results

At the end I was supposed to have a presentation about my previous volunteering experiences but it didn't happen after all, there was no more time left. Hopefully some other time ;)

This event even attracted the TV that was there filming almost the whole day. They also made an interview with Johanna about her volunteering here. You can see the final video here.

The star of the day
Seniors from Senior Wigor also appear in the reportage, you can watch them getting their cookies on Tuesday, the other institutions had to wait until Wednesday but now everyone already have their cookies 😊🍪
Cookies in the day-care center

For more pictures, you can check out our Facebook.


niedziela, 19 listopada 2017

Meet the new voluteers

Dzień dobry,

We have a new volunteering season, Pułtusk is welcoming another four EVS volunteers and we would like to present ourselves to you...


Moin, my name is Liza, I am 18 years old and I come from Hamburg, Germany. I arrived to Pułtusk in the beginning of September and will stay until end of July. For my EVS I am working in a kindergarten with children from 5-6 years. So far, living and working here in Poland is a really nice experience. I don't really know what I want to do after this EVS but I am sure this year will help me to figure it out. Personally, I like to read, travel, cook and eat, clean and to spend  time with my friends here in Poland.


Hallo! My name is Johanna and I am from Austria. I live here in Pułtusk for two months while I work at the senior center and the day-care center. I'm 19 years old, so I just finished school last summer. I don't know what I want to do in the future, so hopefully this experience will help me a little bit. My hobbies are reading, riding horses, playing the guitar and watching TV. I also like to eat and cook.


Cześć! I am Gizem from Turkey and I am 22 years old. I arrived to Pułtusk on October 5th, it's been almost 2 months and I will stay until end of August next year. I am working at the kindergarten with kids aged 5-6 years. Before I came here I graduated at university at the department of psychology. I chose a project with children because I love to work with them and I love them! Also I want to work with them in the future so it is an amazing opportunity for me. I like to travel, meet different cultures and learn new languages so I am so happy to be here 😊


Ahoj! My name is Christina, I am 21 years old, half Czech, half Greek. I lived most of my life in Prague, recently I started travelling on my own and I love it! 💚
I arrived in Pułtusk last week and I will stay until November next year.I work in the culture center and FIYE office. I will be also in charge of this blog for the following year.
I am interested in democratic education, community living, self-sufficiency, sustainability, environmental issues. I make my own cosmetics and cleaning products 😊 I am trying to adopt handicraft skills like sewing and crocheting. Also learning to play easy songs on the guitar, 'cause I love music!🎵

We are looking forward to all the experiences that this voluntary service will bring us!

Do widzenia!

środa, 23 sierpnia 2017

My experience as a workcamp leader

Dzień dobry everyone!

I'm Tuğçe. At the beginning of July (from 2nd to 15th), I was leading the workcamp Przedwiosnie 01, in a centre for disabled people in Warsaw. I had the privilege of working with 6 awesome international volunteers from Ukraine, Spain, Mexico and Czech Republic.
For our first day of workcamp, we explored the old town of Warsaw and we were joined by the local volunteers, Iga and Kuba. We had an awesome first day. 

For the next two weeks, we had many trips to many places such as the beautiful Łazienki Królewskie Park, Praga and other beautiful places of Warsaw. 

And of course to one of the most beautiful cities of Poland, Gdańsk! 

Beside our trips, we also had an awesome time in our workcamp with the lovely patients and workers of the centre. The patients were so eager to work with us and the workers were so nice to us. Everyday from 9 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 15.30, we had various types of work. From 9 to 12.30 everyday, we had a day for each country and cooked its traditional dishes. I cooked a turkish salad called kısır with a yoghurt drink 'ayran' and a turkish dessert called revani, while others cooked other delicious dishes. Since making a dessert is fun, I wanted to do it with patients. And they were so eager to help me too. 

In addition to cooking, we helped them with their workshops and daily activities from 9 to 12.30. After 14.00 we had our own time and prepared activities for the patients of the centre. We did various kinds of games, songs, dances and mini quizzes about cultures. 

On top of having fun and learning something in the workcamp, we made great friendships. Each of us tried to teach the others something from our own countries. We had great relationships with the patients and some of the workers. I can say I was definetely lucky to lead this workcamp. 😊