Here we are - twelve months have passed and our project is officially over. Most of us are already back in home - Dragan in Macedonia, Živa in Slovenia and Erwin in France. Only me - Anna - got a little bit stuck in Croatia. There's always that one person, who just cannot move on, right? ;D
It's been a truly colorful journey that, I believe, have changed us for the better. And, possibly, when all of us will be old and grey, will change into a story that we will tell to our grandchildren about the crazy year that we spent volunteering in Croatia. Sleeping under sky full of stars, hitchhiking around Balkans, attending crazy music festivals and meeting amazing people of Outward Bound Croatia team who made all this real. Huge, huge thanks to them. :)
I won't go into any more details now as you can read more about each of our personal experiences in the section "Volunteers", so I'll just end with a video about our year here prepared by our Frenchie - Erwin. :)
We are a little bit more than half way through our Outward Bound Croatia EVS exchange. After spending our time out of the city of Zagreb, we were ready to go to an EVS mid-term meeting in Split to get some vitamin sea and for new inspiration. Even though it was raining on the first day when we came, during next days sunshine was greeting us at every opportunity. After getting to know each other more closely with other participants, we shared our experiences during walking by the beach. On the second day we had international dinner, which everybody enjoyed very much. We were also dancing by the beach and the most furious ones went for a swim. Who would thought that would be girls?
Later we had workshops on topics we chosed ourselves. We were presenting our hosting organisations and picking up ideas from each other. We shared insterests and realized how similar they are and we decided we will be motivating each other still, after the meeting finishes. This can be quite easy, since a lot of us lives in the same city. At the end we made individual reflections on what do we still want to do during our last months of our EVS adventure. We can still create a lot of opportunities for ourselves and try to do things we still wish to do while we are in Croatia. We created a nice group atmosphere during this meeting and got motivated. We are prepared to do our best for the next step we will take.
It’s been 1 month, 4 days and 5 hours since we started our EVS in Outward Bound Croatia. One month has passed - 11 more to go. So what has happened during this time?
Yes, yes, I know that we haven’t really been the best example of friends/kids/etc. as we haven’t really contacted anyone outside of Zagreb as much as we would need to BUT I can halfly blame it on the lack of internet in our apartment (yes, we used 25 GB in one week, don’t ask me how) AND it’s been a month full of adventures, newly met friends and bonfire nights. So that leads to the correlation between two elements – the better we are doing, the less time we have for contacting our friends and families back home. .
What actually happened during April? Firstly we moved in our apartment – super nice four-room apartment in an area of Zagreb called Tresnjevka – name that comes from word “tresnja” that actually means cherries as there used to were a lot of cherry trees in this area. Haven’t seen any of them yet, but maybe we should go on a serching expedition as the cherry time is just around the corner.
Secondly – we got to know official office of Outward Bound Croatia. Besides the staff of OBC – Lana, Duda, Lovorka, Matea and Tvrtko – it’s also a home for five fishes (or maybe four? I’m still not sure as some of them are always hiding). We also have a future plan to get some more animals, creating OBC mini Zoo. Dogs, cats, maybe even a small giraffe..we'll see.
And, of course, - Zagreb. It’s been great to live here so far – many parks, “free” public transport, smaller and bigger bars, Thursday karaokee evenings, cheap beer and bakeries everywhere. Basically everything that EVS volunteers need. :)
Oh, and we also had our first project – ten days long youth exchange “Back to the roots” that happened in a smaller city nearby – Samobor. Place with not so many people but huge amount of bars, bridges and big castle ruins. During the project we visited the nearby area, stayed outdoors, burned some scarfs, had three bonfire evenings, met some dogs, learned new things about collecting and using herbs, got to know the dangerous side of rakija, laughed a lot, smiled a lot and made a lot of circles. In overall – great experience with newly met friends that, luckily, we still can’t get rid of (we love you, girls!) and are even planning to make an extra apartment key for them.
And tomorrow we’re going to our EVS arrival training in a small city called Orahovica. So in overall - we're alive and doing great! Vidimo se!
Hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs!
So here we are - four volunteers from four different countries (Macedonia, France, Slovenia and Latvia) - starting their EVS experience in Outward Bound Croatia.
The motivations are different - exploring our possibilities and boundaries, looking for something that can take away our breath or, maybe, just a wish to do something new, something different! We're in the beginning of a journey and it's up to us, where it's going to take us.
Stay updated to hear more about our adventures and maybe we'll see you soon in Croatia!