DomEQ

Even in Corona times we will not stop meeting new people, may it be via Zoom, Skype, or any other video messenger. So did we with Dawid Wojtyczka from the Equality House, or DomEQ, in Krakow.

 

The EQ-House is a place that was founded in 2016 to create a place that is offering a safe space for the LGTBQ+ community here in Krakow. LGBTQ+ is the shortening of the words Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, and every other sexual orientation which there is e.g. Pansexuality. 

 

By meeting Dawid we had the chance to talk with someone who is working in the DomEQ (Equality house) so, he could give us some insides into what the organization is doing and what they are standing for. Read more

Rethinking Refugees- A meeting with Sindhuja

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal, and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.[1]

It is important for your understanding to define the term “refugee” first so that you know on what base we were talking about this topic together with one of the founders of “Rethinking refugees”, Sindhuja Sankaran.

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The Founder of the Special Schools

Let me tell you of a woman whose compassion led to the foundation of the well-known special schools here in Krakow. A woman not afraid to take matters in her own hands, not fearing any obstacles. A woman who never intended to do something like this and ended up in a different profession than she ever thought. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares 3

The following week we were invited to take part in a project of a special kind. Our organization Internationaler Bund Polska, yes, it is a German name due to it’s founding back in Germany. Of course, not the Polish office was founded in Germany, but the idea and the concept of the Internationaler Bund institution originates in Germany. Anyway.

Mentioned Project was about dancing with seniors. If you think about it the first time maybe adjectives like “Cute, slow or lame” might come to your mind, but believe me what awaited us there was everything but boring.  This group of elders rented a place in Tychy a city near to Krakow but besides a factory for beer nothing seems really worth a visit there and the city by itself is also not what I’d call a beauty. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares 2

Eventually we managed to get to Rocio’s and Anthi’s flat all together, loaded with pizza and other snacks, because sometimes you got to enjoy life to the fullest. It is always amazing, when we meet all together, at least for me and not having that one week made me realize that I really missed those moments. Emelyn will, in faraway future, say the same to me, that is that every time we are together, she is looking around into all the faces, seeing them laughing and arguing which makes her and me too unbelievably happy. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares

Gvantsa found us immediately after we left Galeria Krakowska, a place that awakens panic in me. Always overcrowded, thousands of stores and in the end, you just hang out there because you are bored, watching people passing by while thinking of their stories.

It is quite an amusing thing to do and come to think of it, isn’t it fascinating to see a city less as a place far away from nature and older days, but a gathering of stories of thousands or millions of people. Somehow you are connected to a lot of them, playing just an unimportant role in the background, but for this time you shared the same story with a stranger. Read more

Welcome to Poland- Welcome to On-Arrival 2

Gvantsa and Emelyn in Baccarat

Being sick is always a pain in the ass, even more when you are participating in a project which is supposed to be quite entertaining and active, so there is only one solution for this problem. Mama did not raise a weakling, we got to go through it and give everything we got.

The first real group activity was a tour through Warsaw by a former ESC volunteer and his dog. Saying dog might let some hearts beat faster, but this precious little furball was not in the mood of being touched and frankly, I totally understand it. Imagine you do this tour every freaking week with your owner and then all anew a group of wild volunteers appears, and 20 pairs of hands try to pet you. The tour was fairly interesting, and we learned a lot about the city and how destroyed it was, while constantly getting told that Warsaw is nicer than Krakow. It Is definitely not and every person living in Warsaw knows that. Read more

Welcome to Poland- Dawn of On-Arrival 4

The next day, while Ania was already in the bus, we met at Anthis and Rocios Flat, I mean they have a living room, so its optimal to meet. We decided to try something like food evening again, because our newly established tradition became, due to the absence of several people and the lack of motivation, more a wish than something which actually happens. Anyway, on that day, Theo and I decided to cook something typical German, especially for the east. Read more

Welcome to Poland- The dawn of On-Arrival 3

I don’t know why the thought of somebody peeing next to a car disgusts me that much for it is nothing more different than peeing next to a tree. But anyway, we won’t lose time by talking about who pees how and in which way.

For their return of our three beloved group members, we had the idea of baking some muffins and then afterwards going to their flat and hang out together, which worked out perfectly and seeing them again made clear that the whole group was completed again, resulting in joy and the long wanted moments to spite out mentioned tasteless gum. Read more

Welcome to Poland- The dawn of On-Arrival 2

While Fabian, Theo and Dylan took off for their on Arrival training we tried to fill the grid they left, making it one of the longest weeks of our project, t least for me and Pia. I finally understand now how a dog must feel seeing the person he appreciates the most leaving for something to buy. You know it might’ve been only 10 minutes but for it, it feels like one week. So, this week without our three boys felt like at least a month.

During this time two new volunteers arrived. Rocio from Spain, best compared to snow-white with her deep black hair and snowish bright skin and Anthi from Greece, easily to be detected by her hair which always is put up into a bun and with her perfect nails, which she knows how to do by herself by the way. The special thing is, that Anthi already knew how to speak polish, due to studies she completed here. Read more

Welcome to Poland- The dawn of On-Arrival 1

photo by taken Ania Druczak, on the main market square in Krakow

Speaking of our time here in Krakow requires the mentioning of Ania, a polish girl from Warsaw which accompanied us in the first 3 weeks, by taking pictures of Krakow and us volunteers. We had a lot of fun posing and once in our life felt like super models. Of course I don’t want to implify that we won’t feel like that in the future, because maybe one of us will be walking for Victoria’s secret, you never know, but let’s put it that way, that in this year the chances are quite low to be discovered by a scout, while you are laying on the main market square, taking the perfect volunteer pictures. It really was a fight to get everybody down to the floor, especially Fabian, who was freaking out about some bird leftovers, that had dryed ages ago and probably already became part of the stone they were laying on. Read more

Beginning of a new adventure- welcome to Poland Part 3

The Core – posing with Obwarzanki and being touristic.

One is maybe asking himself now: “Well whatever, she’s 17 if her parents agreed then where is the problem with that?”, well let me tell you something. Before ESC became ESC, it was called EVS, which stands for European Voluntary Service. In that service it was fine if you were 17 as long as you turn 18 during the year but that is not how ESC works anymore, thus opening a discussion between the national agency and our office so that Pia could stay here because the ESC concept is brand new and somebody did not notice that Pia was actually too young. Read more