Story: Together for Change (or: Meet Lavinia!)

Story: Together for Change

EVS in Special School


Introduction

While reading this Story, you will discover how a cloudy day can turn into a joyful one; how workshops could bring good mood for cooking and eating delicious food because Thursdays bring “Europe on Plate”; why best way to start a week is always English lesson, why European?s projects are part of our daily life, discover “Who? Why? What?” Q&A section and photo sharing session.

 

Beginning of the Story?

Once upon a time, the morning awakening was totally different than usual. Looking and walking around I found myself in front of Czerwone Maki kitchen window, staring on big city called Krakow. In this Story important decisions are made by Time. It decided that best stories have new beginnings, every morning means exploring simple things but powerful enough to bring life into light and happiness, right place, time and people surrounding you. Sharing these mornings, eating becomes the colorful tasty art of connecting people; the joy of preparing came along with the act of sharing.

The right people surrounding has an important part in the Story. They are the ones that inspire. They bring smiles every day.

Teachers from special school, international friends and life among them have taught me not to like what I?m doing, it taught me to love it!

Far away countries and neighboring ones: Ukraine, Germany, Hungary, France, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Romania – all are members of IB?s big family. We are the EVS of this year, we write the Story here in Poland, great people with different cultures and languages, stories and experiences to tell.

From once upon a time till now morning awakening is my favorite part of the day. I get to live this morning over and over again, enthusiastic for a new day, realizing that World starts to be smaller with every person who takes part in the Story.

 

Back in present?

Getting very often the “Who? Why? What?” questions I decided to write the next part as a Q&A session. Let?s see the answer to the first question!

 

Who??

Hello!

My name is Lavinia. I am an international volunteer doing an EVS project in one of Erasmus+ Programs.The country that I represent is Romania, country witch I was born in, my sweet home country.

I am the link between a European Union project and a Polish Special School.

 

Why??              

To answer to why question the story of past must break through: I have degree in Psychology, Speech Therapy and Educational Audiology; I did Psychodrama and studied Animal Assisted Therapy.

Before coming to Poland I worked as a speech therapist in Special School.

My interests include education and youth development I worked with children and teenagers in different projects involving ADD, intellectual disability, social and integration problems, speech and language delay and disorder, autism, emotional interaction with family, friends, I have had success in school, art-therapy, camps, movies, trips and visits, personal development, tutoring, homework, sports, games, relaxation techniques, creativity development activities, pro-social behavior, recovery speech, language development and Special Olympics Games, deglutition rehabilitation for head and neck cancer.

Today I work in Polish Special School.

 

What??

What EU is doing?

Making projects, enabling people to collaborate and work together, braking countries? myths and stereotypes, bringing change to everyone who want to get involved and showing that?s possible to have friends all over the world.

The language barrier was a big obstacle at first, causing grey days in the beginning. Now I?m sure it was just Krakow?s non-stop rain, because people around me did not give up at the first barrier. Their patience pushed me not to give up too and solutions for communication started to appear. Polish is still mystery but not obstacles anymore and my days are very sunny.

From Romania, Spain, Italy and Germany people decided to join the project, work together, making it possible and developing in the process of lifelong learning.

Thank you Poland for welcoming us and being open minded!

Our work in the special education field began in autumn and will finish in summer. Sharing and gaining new experience, offering our help, being happy that we are here are few things that contribute to our life-style. Staying here also involves lots of intercultural activities and events that we prepare. We brought our culture and started to exchange it with Polish one. Learning how to become Polish means straight rules, one of them being no noise after 10 p.m. I did not believe it till police came at 22:30 knock, knock knocking on my door. But I also got to discover history, museums, cities, traditional dancing, food and beautiful people, tongue- twisting while trying to learn Polish, especially for Latin language speakers. From the positive experiences a lot of positive feelings were born during the last 6 months.

 

Photo sharing: Mondays and Thursdays activities.

 

Tasteing Europe every Thursday.

Today is such a cloudy weather that makes you fall asleep by standing but you know what day it is?

It is Thursday.

Do you know what that means?

We bring pieces of Europe into Polish kitchen.

How?

Very simple. Every week another country, this week’s stop was Romania.

What could be more interesting than two different cultures getting together in the kitchen?

The lesson that we had was complex, mixing languages, history and geography, sharing culinary secrets, cooking and of course eating together.

For me it was a real challenge to bring Romanian flavors into Polish cuisine. My choice for cocking was fasole bătută ? mashed beans ? a traditional Romanian dish, a healthy and nutritious food often eaten during this period of year (Lent). The dish is made of beans, onion and garlic. Ingredients are boiled except the garlic and mixed together at the end. Simple and delicious!

 

So we start. Bring the ingredients!

 

Working hard together and voil?!

fasole-day4

The cooking team: Kamil. Małgosia, Gabrysia with Karolina, Wojciech and Lavinia.

Foto made by Arek.

 

Mondays are for English?

Europe made us part of itself, so we bring it into our everyday life trying to learn a common language.

When sun goes up and Monday comes I meet Darina. Three words to describe her are: active, smart and confident. Darina is from Ukraine doing EVS in the same place as me. We teach English together to students and what had happens next is amazing- they shape my day and put bright colors inside.

Monday morning?s interaction makes my day. Discovering English through different activities and topics, stories, cartoons, songs, computer, games and many other things makes time fly and lessons are too short but with a lot of fun. I am happy to have this opportunity and lucky to be part of this team.

What better way to start a week?

Every new word learned gets us richer and closer.

 

The English team: Ewa, Konrad, Piotr, Agnieszka, Darina, Lavinia.

 

Acronyms:

EVS ? European Volunteer Service

IB ? Internationaler Bund Poslka

Q&A ? question and answer

EU ? European Union

 

This is not The End of Story!

 

Meet Daryna!

Daryna 1As usual, the most interesting and important things in my life come to me by accident. Same happened with my EVS experience in Poland. If I would say about my project in few words, it would be like that: ?Hello, my name is Daryna, I am from Ukraine and I am doing my EVS helping in special school in Krakow?. And the reality behind the words is much more – it?s all about helping others but mostly helping myself to adapt, learn and explore. To break the stereotypes and sometimes the rules 🙂

Now few words about what I actually do! All the days at school are same and different at the same time. Usually it?s English and floristic/handmade classes and help with all the lessons and everyday activities. Apart of it we prepare a play in the theatre, visit museums, play boccia (Paralympics sport) and attend different workshops. Some of my EVS friends here are working in the school, some in kindergarten, some in social center, some in museums…

So everyone has different projects and different lifestyle here.Daryna 2

 

Aside of 6 working hours per day, you also have time for a lot of other activities. Krakow is known as a cultural capital of Poland, and I feel very lucky spending my time here. And in fact in any city, town and village there are always a lot of things to do – you just should ignore all your fears and doubts about being involved in the life of local community. And remember that you always will be interesting for locals as a foreigner and most of them also will be willing to help you.

  Daryna 3(playing boccia)

The time of long-term volunteering is a time to learn a lot about yourself. You move abroad to change the lives of others and the first one to change ? is you! Everyone gets the chance to start everything from the new page in new city.

I cannot say that European Volunteer Service is good or bad experience ? everyone will make it his/her own way. But for sure I can say that it is worth trying!

ArtyCrafty : workshop dreamcatchers and Mandalas

From now on every EVS’er in Cracow will sleep well…

On Thursday 21th of may the workshop ‘dreamcatchers and Mandalas’ took place in the art Gallery Melanż Sztuki. Together with all the volunteers and other participants we learned how to make a dreamcatcher and a Mandala. We made the dreamcatcher out of  a thin branch, string, pearls and some patience. The making of the mandala was a moment to relax or to go back to their childhood. If you still don’t sleep well or you are in a need of a rest. Do come to out next events from our volunteers! Dream on …..

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A big thank you to Kasia from Melanż Sztuki for the amazing hospitality!