FIRST REAL CULTURE SHOCK

About a week ago I thought that all my days are the same now that I have nothing to write about any more. Well, I forgot – it’s about life… Something happens all the time; things go wrong, sometimes everything goes perfectly well. My room mate arrived and we have had a lot of fun the last weekend. But… then I also faced for the first time the first real culture shock!

Some paintings

Usually don’t go out to have a dinner or to the cinema with somebody. One evening, my room mate and I decided to go out for dinner. As I’ve been in Faenza for about two months already, I took her to a place that I quite like myself. It’s a nice place near Piazza del Popolo. We entered the room. The first problems started even before we could sit down. The reason is quite clear – my Italian is almost non existent and my room mate’s Italian is not better. Fortunately one of the waiters spoke a bit English. So we got a table for two. The waiter brought us a menu and explained what they have. Usually I’m not able to choose very quickly one meal between all these Italian choices of food, but this time I knew already what I wanted so we ordered a drink plus buffet aperitivo. Later, my room mate took another drink. I always try to spend as few as possible, so I did also this time. The place was very noisy, a lot of people and quite loud music. But, well, that was fine. Surprisingly. Finally we went to pay for our dinner. In my mind it’s funny that here you can eat and drink before and then you pay. What if I forgot my wallet at home and I have no money? Sorry dude, but I already ate your food… Bye then!

Anyway, in Estonia it’s normal and very common that when you go out with your friends, everyone pays for the things they ordered. But here they had put the bill together, but we wanted to pay separately. And what did they do? They just split the final sum and I was forced to pay more than I should have paid!!! Ok fine, the sum wasn’t that huge, but this is a question of principle and I have to say that it was a shock for me…

A nice breakfast few days before the culture shock

Another time my room mate and I decided to go to the cinema. It sounds funny that two foreigners who don’t understand a sh*t of the language go to see a film without any subtitles… Well, probably one way to learn a language, but still… It was surprising that actually I did understand quite a lot. At least in my mind. And as weird as it sounds, but it is one of a few places where I can actually hear Italian (and hopefully learn at least something). Very soon I’ll start my personal project. I hope to be able to do many personal projects, but this time I’m going to do a language exchange. I don’t really know yet how it will work, but hopefully I can finally learn a bit Italian and in return help with some English and/or French.

Coming back to the previous topic. Again, a cultural shock hit my in the face even before I could enter the auditorium. At first, we had to buy tickets (hahah, at least here we need to pay before can actually see the film). As we went to see a film in Italian, I thought it would maybe be a bit too weird when we happily announce everyone that we speak no Italian at all. So I tried to use some few words that I managed to remember and surprisingly the booking clerk didn’t switch to English (I assume his English might have been even worse than my Italian, so he just let me suffer). I asked for one ticket, but as I was there with my friend, the booking clerk automatically asked about both of us. And as my friend don’t speak Italian yet, I did answer for both of us. Again, according to my Estonian background, I naively thought that each of us is going to pay its own ticket, but, you can already guess how did it go… The booking clerk asked me 9€. So it was obviously me who had to pay for both of us again!!!!!! At least when I saw the tickets I discovered that we both got a discount, but the fact that I always need to pay for someone else makes me so angry!!! So this is the price when you try to “speak” Italian!? Now I’m absolutely terrified to go anywhere with somebody again…

Tutto il mio folle amore (2019)

A few words about the film itself. The title of the film we were watching is Tutto il mio folle amore (2019). It’s a drama by Gabriele Salvatores based on a true story that talks about family relationships. At the heart of the story are an autistic boy called Vincent, Elena, his mother, Mario, Vincent’s stepfather and Willi, boy’s natural father. One night when Willi comes to the house of Elena and Mario after having a concert, he’s drunk. It’s the first time when he sees his son. Elena is furious at Willi and kicks him out. The next morning, Willi leaves to go to perform in another city. When he stops his car in the middle of nowhere, Vincent jumps out of it and starts running. Willi is shocked. He informs Elena that their son is with him. Elena wants him to bring Vincent back at home, but Willi decides to continue his trip with Vincent. They have a lot of problems, accidents and worries, but this adventure also makes the relationship between the father and the son much stronger.

Suddenly, there was a pause for 3-5 minutes… In a cinema!!? I couldn’t believe that, I’ve never seen something like that in a cinema before. Only possible in Italy… 😀

Elena didn’t give up and she went to search for her son with Mario. At the end, all of the family members meet. I quite liked the ending of the film which was a bit sad, thought-provoking, not like all of the Hollywood movies with an eternal happy endings… Although I think that this film had also a happy end.

In my opinion, it’s a good film, worth watching. I’s a bit sad, but beautiful. The actors were very good. I liked the main character’s acting, in my mind, the actor played well a person with a mental illness. And the music they used in the film, was also good. I really loved the Imagine Dragons’ song Next to me at the very end!

In conclusion, I really enjoyed the film and the fact that I was able to watch it in Italian! I definitely want to watch some other Italian films in the future.

Intervista con una volontaria spagnola!

Vorresti conoscere delle opportunità che esistono per i giovani attraverso l’Europa?
L’Unione
Europea gestisce ogni anno programmi per i giovani, con lo scopo di allargare i loro orizzonti, l’acquisizione di esperienze lavorative e l’opportunità di vivere in un altro paese e conoscere nuove culture e stili di vita.

Una persona che ha già provato questa esperienza è Raquel Covelo González. Raquel è una ragazza di 26 anni, viene dalla Spagna e in particolare dalla Galicia. La sua città si chiama Mos, ma adesso vive in Italia, a Faenza, con me – una ragazza Greca e un po’ pazza – e Greta – una ragazza bionda e Lituana -. Raquel adesso ha passato 2 mesi e mezzo a Faenza e la durata totale del suo programma è 3 mesi. Questo programma si chiama ‘’Galeuropa’’ ed è una cooperazione dell’Unione Europea con il governo della Galicia per aiutare i giovani a muovere i loro primi passi lavorativi.

*IL LAVORO DI RAQUEL*

Raquel aiuta bambini dagli 11 ai 14 anni a studiare. La maggioranza di questi bambini ha difficoltà di apprendimento come dislessia, iperattività etc.

Nella stessa area, Raquel ha fatto il suo post-laurea. L’iniziativa di ‘Doposcuola’, con il nome ‘’Learning is fun’’ è una cooperazione di varie organizzazioni come Pigreco, La Palestra della Scienza, A mani LIbere e Associazione SE.M.I. Si tratta di una progetto sostenuto con i fondi ‘’Otto per Mille’’ della Chiesa Valdese

*GALEUROPA*


Abbiamo un po’ parlato di Raquel, conosciuto il suo lavoro in Italia e adesso possiamo parlare un po’ del programma che offre questa opportunità.

In particolare, è un’iniziativa per i giovani Galiziani con lo scopo di fare un tirocinio all’estero (Internship), in un ambito che è collegato alla loro laurea. Dopo l’esperienza del tirocinio, la partecipazione a questo programma ha una grande influenza sulla ricerca di lavoro, è una carta forte per il curriculum vitae. 

Ma come si entra in questo programma?

*HOW TO…*

Chi vuole partecipare a questa iniziativa è obbligato a essere iscritto a ‘’Garantia Juvenil’’.

Iscriversi è possibile in due modi differenti: si può fare il tirocinio individualmente, trovando un posto di lavoro e un appartamento senza aiuto. Oppure si può partire con un’organizzazione che si occupi di tutto (lavoro e appartamento). In tutti e due i casi la durata è la stessa e anche i benefici finanziari.

Ma il primo e forse il più importante passo del programma è la tua decisione. 

Sei sicuro che vuoi fare questa scelta?
Questa esperienza influenza radicalmente la vita del partecipante sia in modi positivi che negativi. Un cambiamento così grande logicamente genera paura e insicurezza. Devi parlare prima con te stesso, armarti solo con energia positiva ed essere pronto per affrontare ogni difficoltà nella tua strada. 

Nel caso di Raquel il cambiamento non è stato così difficile. La cultura spagnola assomiglia molto a quella italiana e lei non sentiva mai ‘’mancanza di casa’’. All’inizio, l’ostacolo della lingua le ha creato difficoltà ma adesso è capace di capire l’italiano e prova a parlare senza paura anche se fa errori. Comunque, alla fine della giornata, tutti facciamo errori linguistici anche nella nostra lingua materna.

”Raquel con i ragazzi di doposcuola”

A parte le difficoltà, è stata per lei un’esperienza memorabile! Ha fatto molti viaggi in Italia ma anche in altri paesi europei; ha trovato il modo perfetto di vivere da sola e stabilire la sua quotidianità; è indipendente e libera anche se è stata in un paese straniero. Ma la cosa più importante è la sicurezza che ora sente nel suo lavoro attraverso questo tirocinio.

Firenze: Una città bella ma ”piena come un uovo”…

Ciao a tutti,

Sono qui per ancora una volta e con un nuovo travel blog! Or better I can keep going on with English. Sooo, I am still here, still living, working in Faenza and still travelling. For this week I have a really special city to talk to you about, but as you already understood we are going to speak for Florence!

One of the most famous cities in Italy, that I am sure everybody have heard about it, is Florence. Is a city with a huge history background from Medici and Renascence until the Modern Italian Ages. Easily can somebody say that while walking around the city seems like you are moving through the rooms of a museum. There is something to see in every corner of this city and you can easy fill your camera with beautiful pictures of Florence.

I think these are enough as an introduction for this town, so let’s move smoothly on my personal experience.

Here in Italy the 1st of November is actually a bank holiday and lucky me, happened this year to be a Friday. As you can imagine it was the perfect opportunity for me to start my trip from Friday, since I didn’t worked. I took a train at 10.00 o’clock in the morning and after two hours of an amazing route with the train, between mountains and cloudy autumn trees, I was finally in Florence. I had a date with a friend, in which house I stayed these days, in the central station of the city and from the first minute we started to explore Florence.

After a quick look in the city center I realized that Florence is a touristic destination, but a REALLY TOURISTIC DESTINATION. People were everywhere and it is getting extremely difficult to see the famous sights of the city. People are everywhere, you can’t move easily and of course in every place you have to wait a long to drink, eat, order etc.

One of the first things I actually wanted to do in Florence it was eating because I hadn’t had breakfast -as usual as we are talking about me- and I was pretty hungry around 2.00 o’clock. So, we tried the most famous place to eat in town, ”All’ Antico Vinaio”, and from the very first moment I was scared. There are three shops under the same name in the same street and the people were making huge lines to wait for a panini. Of course, I started complaining and begging my friend to find something else, but eventually she convinced me and I don’t regret it. After an 1 hour waiting we finally got our Panini and it was really delicious, maybe the best thing I ate in Italy so far.

After that really long waiting, we visited some of the sights in the town but I didn’t actually enjoyed them enough because of the people who were everywhere and in big, big numbers. The last thing that we did and it was maybe the thing I liked the most, -even though it was a little bit far from the city center-it was to visit the Michelangelo’s Square which is up to a hill and you can see all Florence from up there. The view is incredible and even though the people was pretty much for another time -I know you are bored for reading this today-, I enjoyed my time up there, listening to smooth music and drinking beer.

We went back home at 8.00 o’clock and we had plans to party a little bit in Florence by night, but as you can imagine all my energy was spent in only one morning in the town and just dealing with this huge number of people.

The next day we were expecting an other friend for ours, a fella volunteer as me and he was in town around 10.00 o’clock. Also he had a problem with all these people as me, but a bigger one. Our original plan was to stay in Florence since Sunday so we can visit for free all the famous museums in the city -because every first Sunday of the month you can enjoy a free entrance in all museums-, but after all we felt really tired in this town and I was started getting pissed off with this crowd of tourists.

We started our trip back in Saturday evening and around 9.00 o’clock in the night we were back in our quiet and rainy Faenza. We decided to make a common dinner and we drunk our two bottles of wine in the peace and quiet of our apartment, while enjoying quiet and calm conversation.

Yes, you got it right, it’s pretty crazy down there in Florence. I am voting ”Pass”, but I really don’t want to influence you, just take a visit too and tell me your opinion.

Until the next time…

Ci vediamo,

Danai, Greece

Un po’ di mare, non fa mai male!

Ciao a tutti e a tutte,

Come state oggi? Or if you prefer in English, how are you today?

Here the winter is upon as. I think that I am repeating myself, but I am cooooold! Thankfully the past weekend the weather was sunny and I felt a little bit like home, even though I wore a jacket and in Greece you need only a T-shirt and you can still drink cold coffee. Never mind, I was happy just for the sun.

As you may already understood, I am planning to talk with you about my weekend because I did an other, new and adventurous trip, I visited Rimini.

But first things first, this Saturday two Spanish friends came in Faenza and stayed with us for a night. They arrived here in the afternoon from Florence and we had the time to see all the city sights, because our pretty Faenza it’s really small. After our walk to the streets of the city with the company of ice-creams -which I have to stop eating at some point-, we decided to take pizza and wine and do an only-between-us-party.

** Ice-cream, pizza, alcohol you might think that I am living the dream but I can’t stop thinking about the calories. Thank God, I am sending photos to my friends and family every week so they could recognize my fat face in the airport.

The next morning we already had planned our trip to Rimini. I am sure that the most of you know the city, but for those who have no idea, Rimini is a city by the sea, high touristic destination in the summer and with a traditional Italian city center.

We started our trip at 9.40 in the morning and after 45 minutes and with the only cost of 6 euros, we were in Rimini. The day was sunny and warm so we decided first to visit the famous Rimini Beach. Even though we have almost November there was a lot of people in the beach, maybe not swimming, but enjoying the sun, drinking, having fun or exercise.

After an hour we decided to move and visit also the city center. I wrote in my Google maps the most famous square, Piazza Cavour, and after 20 minutes we were there. The city center is traditional with high and imposing buildings that I have noticed in all the Italian cities that I have been so far. We saw a lot of the cities sights such as Arco D’ Augusto, Templo Malatestiano, Ponte di Tiberio, Piazza Tre Martini and Caster Sismondo.

**Unlucky me, they have a market every Sunday in Rimini and I don’t have money. It was really difficult for me but I walked through it successfully and I didn’t bought anything.

We went around the city for hours and hours and of course we got hungry and tried a Piadina, a traditional food from Emiglia Romagna. The lady that made them was really, really, but seriously really slow moving and we waited for about 45 minutes but eventually we ate and it was worth the delay.

Although, to the others didn’t liked so much Rimini, I could imagine myself living there. It’s a pretty big city, with a lot things to do and new adventures to live.

We started our trip back to the cold but still loved Faenza at 5.00 o’ clock because our friends had to take the train back to Florence. It was an interesting weekend, full of people and new images. I hope also this weekend will be like this. I am currently planning to visit Rome and Naples, because we have a bank holiday in Friday 1st of November and I have to take this chance and travel!

Untill the next time,

Keep calm and travel the world!

Danai Nakou, Greece

Spooky Halloween Arrived!

It’s today, it’s official, Halloween is here. Have you prepared your best costume? Are you ready to be scared and also scare people? If not then don’t read this article. I am just kidding, I am only here to bring some more international info for this spooky and creative festivity.

Halloween as a holiday is most known in America with the famous tradition of trick-or-treat. All the Americans going crazy around Halloween, they buy a lot of candy for the kids that will knock their doors tonight and decorating their houses with huge scary pumpkins and spooky lighting.

Except the America this festivity arrived also in Europe the past few years and there are a lot of countries that celebrate the idea of Halloween and they organize big, memorable parties with people wearing scary costumes. A lot of movies also are dedicated to this holiday and you can actually start to be scared watching them.

In the other hand, expect the imitating of the Halloween festival there are actually some countries that already have similar traditions in same date.

So, let’s talk a little bit about International Celebrations

CHINA

In China they don’t use the Halloween name of the day, but they calling this festivity as ”The festival of the Hungry Ghosts” or ”Yue Lan”. This festival has some differences with the american one. The americans all scared are trying to hide themselves, with the use of costumes, from the dead who came to life for just this night. In the other hand, chinese they are not scared at all. They prefer offering gifts to the Hungry Ghosts, so they don’t harm them. Even though, if you are asking me, if I am dead, don’t like the present and I can’t change it, I might be harming you!

IRELAND

Did you know that originally the Halloween idea came from Ireland? The name was ”Samhain” Festival and it was a tradition of the Celtics. The idea and the celebration changed through the years and the Halloween is the result. Even though, in Ireland still celebrating the ”Samhain Night’‘ in the some way that the Celtics did, lighting up bonfires and fireworks. That may be the most difficult day for emergency services, but it sounds like fun.

JAPAN

This may be one of my favorites. The name of the Japanese holiday is ”Bon Festival’‘ and is a Buddhist holiday that honors the deceased. The festivities include grave meetings and cleaning, but the thing that I really like is that they are lighting lanterns to flow down bodies of water, symbolic for the spirits returning to the underworld.

ROMANIA

I am sure you know about that.. Who is the most famous man in Romania? Dracula, of course and he is pretty spooky that’s so seems logical to have his own celebration in the Halloween period. The story is that the scary Dracula lived and terrorized in Romania’s small villages because is pretty dark there and a lot of witches excited too. He felt like home, he stayed there. I can’t blame him!

Cronache di un luglio rovente a Nea Moudania

Cari amici, eccomi di nuovo per raccontarvi la mia esperienza di volontariato in Grecia, a Nea Moudania, Halkidiki, presso l’organizzazione You in Europe.
Oggi voglio concentrarmi su ciò che ho vissuto durante il secondo mese trascorso qui, nel pieno dell’estate greca.

Innanzitutto posso affermare che luglio sia stato un mese molto movimentato, per molteplici ragioni: per prima cosa, la presenza di più di venti ragazzi provenienti da cinque diversi paesi europei arrivati per uno scambio di un mese (short term ESC) con You in Europe, impegnati nell’organizzazione e supporto di un festival locale insieme a un’associazione del paese. Sin dai primi giorni ho avuto modo di instaurare un rapporto di amicizia con molti di loro, per poi trascorrere insieme la maggior parte del tempo durante tutte le settimane successive.
In occasione di questo scambio è stato organizzato un corso di greco di due settimane, a cui io e gli altri due volontari di lungo periodo abbiamo partecipato con piacere, dal momento che qui molte persone, ma non tutti, parlano inglese, e non conoscere nemmeno una parola di greco ci stava rendendo la vita molto difficile! Così, insieme a questi venti ragazzi e un’insegnante molto carismatica è iniziato il nostro viaggio dentro alla lingua greca, e a lezioni concluse tra un kalimera e un kalispera avevamo imparato a leggere, scrivere e ordinare un caffè e una birra, praticamente tutto ciò che serviva per la sopravvivenza in una località di mare.
Sempre insieme a questo gruppo è stato divertente scoprire il territorio, andando ad esplorare nuove spiagge e nuovi paesini della penisola Halkidiki, oppure trascorrere le serate a chiacchierare davanti a piatti di ottimo cibo greco.
Insieme ai ragazzi dello short term ESC

Tutto sembrava procedere per il meglio, quando purtroppo il progetto dei ragazzi ha visto una battuta d’arresto dovuta ad un terribile tifone che si è scagliato sulla zona di Salonicco e la penisola Halkidiki il 10 luglio, colpendo principalmente Nea Moudania e Nea Potidea, un comune limitrofo, con vento e pioggia fortissimi. Questa catastrofe naturale, probabilmente causata dalle temperature altissime che si stavano registrando in quei giorni, ha portato ingenti danni non solo al territorio (ad esempio tetti delle case crollati, pali della luce sradicati) ma anche alla popolazione e al turismo: il bilancio dei morti è stato infatti di nove persone. Questo terribile evento ha causato la fine del festival locale di Nea Moudania a cui stavano prendendo parte i ragazzi, dal momento che avrebbe dovuto svolgersi nel teatro aperto della città, e che ora aveva solo bisogno di aiuto per essere ripulito dalle sedie e i tavoli distrutti, impalcature a pezzi, scenografie da ricostruire, per non parlare dei danni elettrici causati dalla pioggia che aveva allagato qualsiasi locale chiuso come i camerini e i bagni. Allego una foto del luogo prima della tempesta.


Superato lo shock, i ragazzi si sono rimboccati le maniche e hanno dato una mano all’associazione organizzatrice non solo per ripulire il teatro, ma anche la spiaggia e le strade da rami, alberi e spazzatura trasportata dal vento. Il loro sforzo è stato ripagato da tutta la comunità locale che non ha mancato di ringraziare personalmente sia il gruppo di volenterosi che You in Europe.

Dopo aver raccontato quelli che sono stati gli eventi delle prime settimane, passerò ora alle attività del nostro progetto, che nel mese di luglio hanno infatti iniziato a prendere forma e consolidarsi.
I miei colleghi volontari e io infatti siamo stati parallelamente impegnati tutte le mattine nel lavoro di due centri ricreativi (KDAP), uno per bambini e un altro per persone con disabilità, luoghi in cui siamo sempre affiancati da operatrici e insegnanti, ma dove ci è data la possibilità di proporre delle attività originali e gestire da soli il tempo con gli utenti. È così che ho iniziato un piccolo corso di italiano con i bambini, attività che ho portato avanti fino alla fine di agosto, e un corso di yoga con gli adulti affetti da disabilità, devo dire con molta soddisfazione!
Il bilancio di questo secondo mese può essere quindi positivo, dal momento che abbiamo avuto modo di ampliare le nostre amicizie e conoscenze, ci siamo inseriti attivamente nel lavoro del nostro progetto e nel tempo libero ci era possibile viaggiare e goderci l’estate greca. Ho accennato al fatto che il caldo durante luglio era diventato insopportabile, ma d’altronde ci dev’essere sempre un piccolo scotto da pagare per vivere in un paese di mare.
Durante quelle settimane io stavo cercando di capire che forma stesse prendendo il mio progetto di volontariato, pensiero che ho portato avanti e sviluppato soprattutto nei mesi successivi e di cui vi scriverò più dettagliatamente nel prossimo articolo. Grazie per aver dedicato del tempo alla lettura di queste righe, a prestissimo, da Nea Moudania!

Federica

A LOT OF MUSIC

As the time goes on, the routine begins to take shape step by step. It means that during the week, I stay in the office, I write blog posts, deal with international project and go to the after school.

During the weekend, I try to find some places not very far from Faenza (mostly because of money) to travel a bit, although sometimes I feel very lazy, I would better stay home and sleep. But I don’t want to deepen my laziness, so I try to find something to do. On the other hand, I feel that during the week I have a lot of things to do, my daily schedule is quite full. So maybe there is some kind of balance after all?

This week I went again to Brisighella to visit an event called “Sagra dell’agnellone e del castrato Q.C.”. There was a market where products like meat, jam, etc. were sold; some musicians were performing onstage and a lunch was offered as well. I have to say that I really like Italian food, but the menu might be very confusing for me; and not only because of my inability to understand Italian, but also because the meals can be cooked so many different ways and it’s hard for me to choose which ones I might like the most. Also, I’m a horrible cook myself. Nevertheless, while in Brisighella, I also used the chance to enjoy once more this wonderful nature and picturesque landscape 🙂

There will also be other similar events in Brisighella which might me worth visiting.

Back to Faenza, I discovered that there was an event in the Piazza del Popolo: “Camminata del dialogo“. It was the final gathering of a walking tour organised by the “Centro di Cultura Islamica” (Centre of Islamic Culture) which was dedicated to the promotion of the coexistence of different religious cultures. A great cover band called Onde Radio were singing Italian songs of different artists and also some food and drinks were offered there.

I really love music and that’s a shame that I’m not really able to play any instruments myself. But I listen to music a lot. Usually I combine my love for music and my love for languages and so I mostly listen music in different languages. The following list of singers and songs is a bit long, but hopefully there’s something interesting for you too 🙂

First of all, some singers (and some of their songs) in French:

1. Zaz (Isabelle Geffroy) – a French singer-songwriter who mixes jazzy styles, French variety, soul and acoustic. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Je veux”, “Eblouie par la nuit”

2. Black M (Alpha Diallo) – a French rapper and singer-songwriter. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Sur ma route”, “Le plus fort du monde”, “French Kiss”

3. Maître Gims (Gandhi Bilel Djuna) – a Congolese singer, rapper and composer who grew up in France and who has worked with several international artists such as Sia, Pitbull, Lil Wayne, Stromae, Maluma, Sting, etc. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Est-ce que tu m’aimes?”, “Lo Mismo” ft. Alvaro Soler

4. Stromae (Paul Van Haver) – a Belgian musician, rapper, singer and songwriter. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Alors on danse”, “Tous Les Mêmes”

5. Christophe Maé (Christophe Martichon) – a French pop singer. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Tombé sous le charme”, “Il est où le bonheur”

6. Gaël Faye – a French-Rwandan singer-songwriter, rapper, writer and interpreter born in Bujumbura, Burundi. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “A France”

7. Grand Corps Malade (Fabien Marsaud) – a French slam poet and lyricist. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Roméo kiffe Juliette”, “Funambule”

A great Spanish-German singer-songwriter is Álvaro Soler (Álvaro Tauchert Soler). SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Sofia”, “Volar”, “El Mismo Sol” ft. Jennifer Lopez

Some great Danish singers:

1. Tina Dickow/Dico (Tina Dickow Danielsen) – a singer-songwriter. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Pigen ud af Aarhus”, “Alt hvad hun ville”

2. Rasmus Seebach – a singer, author and producer. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Øde Ø”, “Under stjernerne på himlen”

Some singers and songs from Iceland:

1. Friðrik Dór – an Icelandic R&B and pop singer and songwriter. SONG EXAMPLE(S): “Í Síðasta Skipti”

2. Gréta Salome & Jonsi: “Mundu eftir mér” (Iceland ESC 2012)

Some great songs in (Scottish/Irish) Gaelic:

1. “Cé a chuirfidh tú liom” by Arcanadh – a six piece traditional Irish vocal group of musicians from all over Ireland

2. “Cad é sin don té sin” by Caladh Nua – a band with origins rooted in the south-eastern counties of Ireland

3. “Hùg Air A’ Bhonaid Mhòir” by Julie Fowlis – a Scottish folk singer and multi-instrumentalist

Finally, there is a great Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara who sings in the Malian language called Wassoulou. I really like her album “Fatou” (2011) where she explores themes of war, abandonment of children and female circumcision.

This list is definitely not complete, there are a lot of wonderful singers and very good songs and I like to listen almost every genre of music, vocal and instrumental.

ABOUT BOOTS AND SHOES

New country, new experiences, new gladnesses and new problems. Possibility to grow internally, danger to have a mental breakdown. My life in Italy its has ups and downs, as everyone, as everywhere. One of my favourite writers Terry Pratchett has said: “Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.”

I have to say that Italy is quite a messy country – people are often quite disorganised, the traffic is crazy… But at some point I also kind of like Italian life style… sometimes. Lately I went to the market, because I needed new boots. I found one quite nice pair, not very expensive, but when I tried them, I discovered that unfortunately these ones don’t fit very well. So I asked for smaller ones. I have used to the fact that everything is in order and placed in a clear way – when you want to find smaller or bigger boots of the same type, you just go and take them from a place where you have all the same type of boots. Clear and easy, isn’t it? But how things work in Italy? Well, after I’ve told to the salesman that I would need a bit smaller ones, he tried to find them from the boxes that were under the boots I had tried. Then he went to the other side and searched them from there. He was looking for those boots almost everywhere and finally he came back and told me that he was sorry, but he couldn’t find them at that moment; and he told me to come back on Thursday… 😀

When I already started to talk about boots and shoes, there is another cultural difference that I’ve noticed: entering the room with your boots. In Estonia, it’s very impolite, disrespectful and even unthinkable to enter (especially somebody else’s) room/apartment/etc. with your shoes on; we always leave them in the corridor. There are some rare cases when the host asks you not to take off your shoes though. But here in Italy, it seems totally normal and usual thing to just to drop in with your shoes on. Well, in Italy or not, but in my room, I wouldn’t let people walk around like that. As my future room mate (who will arrive very soon) is from Finland, I hope that we share the same principles…

As the time flies by so fast and we’re always in a hurry, I feel that I need to charge myself and to take some time off. And the yoga classes are perfect for that! it’s the place where you can feel really calm and relaxed.

Also, finally I had the chance to practice again another activity which is one of my my big passions too – it’s rock climbing!! The last time I had the chance to rock climb was in the beginning of September. The climbing hall where I go here in Faenza is quite small, but at least it’s something. There is the possibility of climbing with ropes (lead and top rope climbing), bouldering and speed climbing (that I personally don’t like very much). Hopefully I will have the chance and courage to do more lead climbing in the near future as well.

Last but not least, last Sunday I visited Bologna! It’s also very beautiful city. I’ve always liked to watch some street artists from YouTube, but now I finally saw myself a wonderful drummer playing his self-made drum kit, a guy who was playing guitar and singing very nicely, an artist who was moulding a dog…

In general, it was again quite nice week full of different activities. Although you can never know what to expect from Italy and from the other people. But if it doesn’t kill me, I can manage it.

A presto!

Nuovi Arrivi!

Siete pronti per i nostri nuovi arrivi a Faenza?

Aspettiamo a Novembre i volontari Filandesi di Hyria, che si fermeranno un anno a Faenza con l’ Informagiovani!

Abbiano fatto il loro pre-departure training e ora sono un passo più vicino a Italia.

Non vediamo l’ora d’ incontrati!

Sono… malata!

Ciao a tutti per ancora una volta!

There are about 3 weeks and some days that I am officially living in Italy for a year. The EU picked me, SE.M.I picked me and I still don’t know the reason – I am kidding, I am getting some work done-. You already know my first impressions from Faenza, this small city that I am living now and for the next year. It’s beautiful, it’s pictural, it’s a medieval fairytale with the classic Italian architecture that makes you every time wonder if it’s really you that woke up today or Cinderella – even though you are not even blond-.

Anyway, the city of Faenza it’s my everyday mystery and I am giving my best to explore a small part every time. But, unfortunetelly, as beautiful it can be this city, it’s small and I am used to live in capitals, in big cities with big lights and nights that you are forgeting your name and nobody cares. I had to find a way to combain my preferences with my current state of living – Faenza-. I can thank for that my free weekends who gave me the solution to travel every Friday afternoon until Sunday and visit the big cities of Italy that have a special place in my heart.

That is in a few words my routine here. The week days I am working, shopping – I have to stop this hobby-, having fun and sometimes doing aperitivos so the week will pass easier. On the other hand, the weekends I am starting my adventures by visiting new cities, exploring the various architectural styles of Italy, visiting museums and getting to know the Italian lifestyle a little bit better.

One of the other things that happend to me during this change of country, change of routine and all these new information in my life, is that I… got sick! It’s pretty logical if you think about it. In Greece is still summer and when I came here I was also in a summer state of mind. But North Italy laught in my face. My first week here the weather was terrible. It was raining – I didn’t even had an umbrella and I took one in an emergancy situation, that so I paid for it 5 euros, the guy saw my need, he took advantage of it, I can’t blame him-, there cold got me unprepared also. As you can easily imagine I got sick in Italy from my first week. Maybe it’s the only time in my life that I had an autumn flu so early, in October. In Greece the cold weather usually comes in November.

I survived and that is the important thing of my story. An other situation that got me ungard and I really didn’t believe that it would be so difficult to get used to it, is the early morning waking up.

Maybe, I hadn’t the opportunity until now to explain you the situation in our house. After all these years of living alone, feeling secure, embrace my liberty, now I have two roommates. It’s ok because I was prepared, I know it a long time before coming in Faenza and I made my peace with it. Even though, the morning routine it’s a pretty difficult thing with just one bathroom and three girls who want to get ready for the office. The cherry in the weeding cake of course is that I am not even close to use this morning waking up at 8 o’ clock. I had like 3 years now that I was sleeping late and waking up at 12.00 o’clock in the afternoon, the same time that now starts my lunch break. Ok, I can say it really loud and proud, I GET YOU ORGANISM, IT’S A BIG SHOCK!

Anyway, I am trying really hard to get my organism to get use to the new lifestyle, the new food and especially the new enviroment. With the passing of the years I realized that the one thing that you have to love with all of your heart and respect it’s needs, is your body.

So, this blog we can say that is dedicated… to my body!

Arrivederci,

Danai, Greece