It is a really hard time for everyone, especially for young people. when everything is closed and you must stay at home. We came to Poland at the beginning of Autumn and so far we have not been able to enjoy the city and discover all its excellent sides.
Our host organization tries everything to create comforts for us and the last week they offered us to spend Friday evening at the Trampoline, which is a huge place for burning calories and having fun. After several months of being at home and eating Zapieanka which is a traditional polish food, this idea seemed cool. This place was amazing to spend an hour with the people who are parts of our Polish family. Read more →
For a foreign person, everything is new and strange in the new country. Despite that Poland is not very new and different from my country, I can boldly say that sometimes I am also surprised by Polish culture and differences.
Last week, the coordinator wrote to us about an opportunity for helping local people to clean the house of an elder guy, who has some health problems and can’t walk. Read more →
After mentioned event it was time to relax and what else could be more relaxing than having a picnic at a lake enjoying the probably last warm rays of the late autumn sun before rain, wind and coldness take over the rule. We decided to meet all together in a park which is more or less next to Krakow. From our flat your able to just walk there, thus we did so or at least we tried. Emelyn, Kübra and I started our journey to Zakrzowek, a former quarry and now that it is filled with water one of the most visited places by locals and tourists. The reason for that is not only its perfect location but also the fact, that police won’t control that much over there who is drinking in public and who not, resulting in a gray zone where people gather and have a cold one together. Read more →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
The next morning Pia and I met in front of Galeria Krakowska. Met in that case means, that I was waiting for her. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or just me, but if there is an important appointment or meeting, I’m always at least 10 minutes before the agreed meeting time there. It is just to be safe, to get to know the surrounding maybe or to prepare for the next steps. In that way, it is already guaranteed that you’re not late and that you won’t have to stress out because the bus is stuck in traffic because you took the Bus 40 min before anyway, in case you will be stuck. Organized through and through, prepared for every situation. Read more →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →