Aperitivo con altri volontari…

Ciao carissimi lettori,

and continuing in English as usual…

So, here I am, the Greek volunteer, to entertain you and keep you posted for another time. The life here in the beautiful and small Faenza goes on with calm and happiness. I am really appreciating that I am working for an organization (SE.M.I association) that keeps me motivated, find all the time new things to occupy me and I am never bored.

I mean, I was used to work a lot back in Greece and there was a time last year that I was doing three different works in the same time and I managed to handle it and enjoy it in the same moment. As you could understand in the start here I was afraid that I might be bored. A job with specific working hours and not many to be sincere, in an office like a normal human being and without the necessity to run like crazy all day, all of these things made me wonder if I could managed them. I know that sounds crazy but I was used to it, to run like hell and change two jobs everyday, then come back to my apartment with my energy levels in the lowest possible point.

Likely, the situation here is not like that. Even though, I work in an office the most of the time and I have specific work hours, I am occupied the most of the time. The association finds new things for me to do everyday and I feel like they understood me from the first moment, I am an active and a little workaholic person, I am finding new activities to do all the time.

Another thing that I am, is a communicative person. I mean, I have too my personal daily limits in communication, but they are pretty high. I love communicating and meeting people for the first time. And for another time, SE.M.I didn’t let me down…

I am almost two months in Italy now and I socializing with the other volunteers that we work together and also with some Italians that I met through my activities. The things is… I wanted more. One part of the ESC experience is travelling all year, explore the new country that you are currently living. So if you combine these two you can easily understand that I want to meet volunteers for other cities in Italy. And the organization saw that need of mine, but need of other volunteers too.

Our coordinator organized an aperitivo in a city near to Faenza, Forli. Forli has a big team of volunteers and also we met other three guys from Cesena. All together, a team close to 25 people, we managed to find a table in a place a little away from the station, but really nice.

The majority of the volunteers were Spanish or at least spoke the language because they were from Ecuador or Argentina. At this point I have to note that Spanish people in Italy are sooooooo many. We have two in our team too, but in Forli there were too many. Also, you have to know that I love Spanish people. When you do programs like SVE you are dealing also with cultural gaps and differences, which is truly interesting if you are asking me, but also can create problems. To conclude, with Spanish people I feel really close and I can communicate easily, they are cool and fun in every situation, I am enjoying their company and I made already a lot of Spanish friends.

Back to the aperitivo after a small pause, it was amazing knowing all these new people from all around the world. We shared our stories, we talked about our jobs in Italy, our experiences here and of course we exchanged number so we could meet again. As the true face of a party animal, I may be in Forli this weekend to party with them to an event that they recommended me.

Pretty much that’s it for this week, I think I shared enough with you my lucky readers. I think that there is no need to highlight that the ESC experience is the best and you certainly have to try it.


Danai, Greece

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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


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!


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.


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.


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!

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Autumn Celebrations From All around the World

What a beautiful time of the year! I was always a little bit in love with the fall… the leaves are changing, the weather is becoming colder and an atmosphere of new beggings is in the air. But another thing that I really adore about Autumn is the different traditions and celebrations that anyone can find around the world.

Now my lucky readers, I will move a bit northern, but in general close to our beautiful Italy. We are going to visit the known to all Germany and talk about the Oktoberfest celebration, which is really something worth writting for… So, inside the European borders, in Germany they host a big festival with the duration of 16-18 days and which starts at mid- late September until the first week of October. People from all around the world arriving in Munich to the biggest European Beer Festival. The event originated in 1810, when the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. As anyone can understand in a weeding celebration there is a need for food, music, dancing and of course a lot of beer! This is the way that they keep celebrating the OktoberFest so many years after the actual marriage and it seems like it became a worldwide tradition that everyone has to try it at least one time in its life.

After Germany I will move around Europe again and we will visit England. I really enjoy the Victorian England and the stories around it, so I am pretty happy that we are going to talk a little bit about this island. Let’s say ”Remember, remember the 5th of November” because we are going to talk about the 5th of November in 1605. This was the day that a groups of catholics, Guy Fawkes and 12 other people, made a failed attempt to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament in 1605, which came to be known as “The Gunpowder Plot.” But in early November Guy Fawkes got caught and the plan felt apart. On that night, bonfires were set alight to celebrate the safety of the King. Since then, every 5th of November the British people are celebrating with bonfires and fireworks. It’s also a nice opportunity to try some traditional bonfire foods like baked potatoes, toffee apples and marsmallows that they serve in this fest every year.

Now, let’s travel further away to the colorful and full of life India. Every autumn in India they celebrate the ”Festival of lights” or ”Diwali”, which is a celebration of abundance and light over darkness. They offer 5 days in October or November and they are lighting oil lamps and candles around their houses, setting off colorful fireworks, designing vibrant patterns of sand, and shoping for gifts. Another thing that they do is to pray for good luck to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Are you ready for some dead people celebration? Yes, you may guess it right, we are in Mexico now and we are celebrating ”Dia de los Muertos” or ”The Day of the Deads”. The two first days of November in Mexico they believe that the dead are coming back to life just for a night and they are organising a big celebration about them. This festival might seem to you a little dark and macabre, but in reality is the opposite of it. It seems like a celebration of life. Mexicans are putting on colorful costumes, they are drinkins and dancing in parades and decorating their homes with painted skulls. Also regarding their dead friends and family members, they use to visiting their graves, leave them flowers and food and praying for them.

I hope that you will find the chance to visit all these beautiful and special in their own way festivals. Either of them you will choose, I am pretty sure that you will have the time of your life and the only things that you will need is all your positive energy and your biggest smile!


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M.E.I Music Festival in Faenza

Hello my lucky readers,

I can’t believe that I am already a week in Faenza, the time passes by really quick here…

I am currently working in the S.E.MI organization as a volunteer and every day I feel really lucky for this opportunity that the European Union has given to me. We have different activities, creative office hours and italian lessons so we will can interact with the local community really soon. In this way, the days of the week are full of new things to do and learn untill the weekend comes and it’s the proper time for… party!

I am from Greece -as you already know my little readers- and one of the things that we know to do best, is party! I finished work at Friday afternoon and I was ready to go home, eat and then going out to discover the nightlife of Faenza. The thing that I didn’t expected was the music that was played in all the city center.

What was that?

After a quick walk in the center of the town I realized that there was a music festival for independet and alternative artists, M.E.I Music Festival. The setting was perfect! There was like 4 or 5 different stages with all kinds of music and for all the ages. At the main square, Piazza del popolo, anyone could find a book market that also had second hand books – perfect things for me given that I am trying to learn italian so I could use an old book for practice- and they had a market with handmade clothes and accessories, too. The demons of consumerism inside me went like crazy and I think I lost a little bit in this small makret, I TOOK A LOT OF THINGS!

The next day, Saturday, the setting was the same but the musicians kept changing and offered all kinds of music to listen, dance and forget the stress from the week that passed. The streets of Faenza was full of people and the city was beautiful in every part of her, like she was wearing her best costume!

As it comes for me and my attitude this weekend, I tried to enjoy every little part of this festival. I am still pretty new in this town and I want to try all kinds of new staff, like tradition foods -PIZZA, PIZZA, PIZZA- and drinks. So, I did it, I ate a pizza, I drunk a spritz and I was happily dancing in the sounds of every band that we were meeting in the little streets of Faenza.

Untill the next time, Ciao…

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Aperitivi linguistici all’Art cafè (Faenza)


Partono 2 aperitivi linguistici all’Art Café (Viale Baccarini 42, Faenza, fronte Museo delle Ceramiche).

Giovedì 16 e Giovedì 23 Febbraio 2017 alle ore 18:30.

8€ a testa inclusa una bevuta (birra, vino o succo di frutta). Con 10€ è inclusa anche la tessera dell’associazione SE.M.I.!

Parleremo di volontariato in Spagna, lavoro in Inghilterra, coinquilini, case, shock culturale, cibi diversi… tutto in Inglese o Spagnolo.

Sono tutti i benvenuti, giovani o dal cuore giovane! Non è necessario parlare bene la lingua per partecipare, anzi, è una buona occasione per migliorare 😉

Non è necessario prenotare, ma ci fa piacere sapere chi è interessato. Potete scriverci su info@associazionesemifaenza.com o su Whatsapp al +39 389 8443025.

SEMI on a mission [alla Festa delle associazioni]

Vice-presidente e Segretaria SEMI alla Festa delle Associazioni. PresidentA bloccata al lavoro.

Vice-president and Secretary SEMI at the Associations’ fair. President stuck at work.

Missione: conoscere altre associazioni, fare contatti, pensare possibili collaborazioni, distribuire volantini.

Mission: get to know other associations, make contacts, think of possible collaborations, hand out flyers.

Risultato: missione completata con successo! Abbiamo dei nuovi amici e in particolare:

Result: mission accomplished! We have new friends, in particular:


Mani Tese svolge un lavoro di sensibilizzazione e mobilitazione della società civile italiana ed europea sulle cause degli squilibri nord-sud del mondo con l’intento di generare una spinta dal basso ai cambiamenti necessari per creare una società nuova basata sulla solidarietà, l’equità, il rispetto dei diritti delle persone e dell’ambiente.

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-20-15-59L’Associazione persegue il fine della solidarietà, è apartitica, non ha finalità di lucro e ha durata illimitata. Si propone di svolgere un servizio di volontariato socio-sanitario e dipromozione umana nel Sud del mondo e alle frontiere della povertà che attraversano al loro interno ogni società, rivolgendosi agli ultimi.

Also, we contacted people from different countries, we distributed flyers and talked about SEMI. We asked people to think of ideas and activities to share at our inauguration and we think that the response was great!

So… stay tuned. Soon we will have a time and place for our first intercultural activity!

Are you interested? Do you want to receive updates on the upcoming events?

Do you speak Italian? Or not? French? Spanish?

Do you want to leave your comfort zone, write something, meet new people?

Do you want to suggest an event or activity about your country or something creative that you like to do?

We need you, CONTACT US!

elisa.emiliani.86 @ gmail.com

+39 389 8443025