Veloce e Facile..

Ciao a tutti,

Sono io, la volontaria greca, per ancora una volta! And as always I am continuing writting in English. How are you today? I am currently feeling melancholic, because we have a moody and rainy weather here today and I am always ready to hug my ”dark side” days like that.

It’s been almost two months that I am living in Faenza and ten more to go -if I go haha-. The volunteering work goes on and my days here passing by really quick while working with the communication part of the organization, the social media and organizing international projects. I like all of the parts, that I am currently working on, and I am pretty happy about it.

Usually, I am talking to you, my lucky readers, about my weekend adventures and the trips that I am doing every time. This time, the topic of the blog is a little different. It has to do with my weekend, but not with a trip, it has to do with Faenza.

This weekend I tried to save some money and I decided not to go away from Faenza. Also, the weather was rainy and cold so I and my roommates decided to stay put, in our beautiful and pretty warm house and enjoy a weekend in the moody Faenza.

Friday evening after our office hours and our Italian lessons we did the thing that is pretty much a tradition by now, we drunk wine -a lot of wine- and we ate pizza. At this point, I strongly believe in the therapeutic effect of this tradition of ours. It’s our own way to move away for the everyday life and leave behind the possible stress and negative energy. It is our way to say ”Hello weekend”. So, the Friday night went smoothly like that and we had all the Saturday morning to sleep.

So I did. I slept until 11.00 o’clock and full of energy I started my day. I went with my friends to the market to buy some vegetables and fruits -because after pizza always I am telling myself that I have to start eating healthy- but unfortunately the first thing that I am seeing when I am going to the market from my apartment is the stents with the clothes. I don’t know if I already talked to you about my obsession but I am a bit of a shopaholic. I can’t keep my eyes and my hands of clothes. It’s a problem -a REAL problem- especially when you don’t have money. Anyways, I bought two scarfs -which I needed and costed only 4 euros in total- and then moved on in the vegetable and fruits plan of mine. After this small walk, we went for a quick coffee and the evening for an aperitivo -I hope that you remember that is one of my favorite Italian traditions-. The most interesting part of this Saturday was that we managed to try some new things here. We went for dinner in a restaurant, which seems more like a drive-in restaurant, and we tried the traditional piadina, an other thing you looks like a calzone but it’s a little bit different and last but not least we tried a fried pizza.

As you can understand, I am on a diet!

Sunday morning went by with sleeping until late and then studying a little bit so I don’t feel like I am not doing something serious all weekend. After lunch, we went for a coffee and an ice-cream and out of the blue we found ourselves in a local catwalk that was also the highlight for the town and everybody was there. After a huge try to see some models and outfits we went back to our house a little tired and ready to chill some more.

This is pretty much my life in Faenza..

Until the next time,

Danai, Greece

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

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

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

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

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

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!

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

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!

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

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

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14

A due passi da Faenza…

Ciao a tutti,

I am here almost two weeks now, let’s start talking a little bit in italian, too! The ESC life goes on with more and more activities every week, new things to learn, new adventures to live and new people – especially Italians- to meet.

The office hours passing fast while dealing with European Exchange Projects – at least I am trying- and social media work. The italian language is becoming a friend of mine step by step and regarding my social life, we made a pretty good start with the other volunteers here. But, as good as it can be the everyday life, you always waiting and counting the days – the hours, the minutes- for the weekend!

I made a pretty good deal with myself for this year when they anounced me that I am accepted for this European Union opportunity. I decided to travel a lot this year. Don’t get me wroght, I also want to live in an italian lifestyle and get to know this small city that I am currently living, Faenza, but it is also a pretty good opportunity to travel around the courty every weekend. So, this weekend I made my first, small step and I visited Bologna!

Private moments with my friend in Bologna

I got into the traveler mind from Friday when my friend from Florence visited me in Faenza. After two – ok, maybe three- Spritzs as an aperitivo – I really like this italian habit- we decided to visit Bologna for one day. The next day, Saturday, me, my friend and other two volunteers as travel buddies, we woke up and took the train to Bologna. Ok, I knew it was really close to Faenza, but seriously it is just 30 minutes away and with the train you have to pay only 5 euros to go – that’s perfect because I don’t have money-. Almost at 11.00 we arrived in Bologna and start moving around these beautiful streets, visiting the local market and of course having breakfast as real Italians in the most lovely coffee shop in town. It was a weekend, so Bologna was full of people in the streets, shopping, drinking their coffees fast, having fun and enjoying their free time.

We moved as fast as we could to visit all the right places in only a day. We went to the center of the city, where the market is – of course I did a little bit of shopping and it’s one of the reasons that now I don’t have money for food-, but except the market you can see there the Two Towers, the Piazza Maggiore, the Cathedral and a lot of bars, restaurants and coffeeshops. The time passed as fast as the water flows and we got hungry, but who could expect that the weekend in Bologna it’s pretty hard to eat for lunch! All the places that we went at almost 1.00 o’ clock was full or had no more food and after 2.30 o’ clock they started telling us that they were close until the afternoon. We ended up eating at 5.00 o’clock but at least we tried the official spaghetti alla bolognese.

Of course, I couldn’t leave this full of people, full of life and amazing city without having an aperitivo first -yes, officially it’s my habit, too-. For another time, Bologna left me speakless and I am seriously in love with this city… So, after a little walking around the small streets of the center, we found a very, very small place, like a hole but full of people, in which bar you can drink a Spritz or a Campari with inly 2,5 euros. Take my money and give me clothes and Spritzs, SERIOUSLY! I was in heaven until we reallized that we have to go back to Faenza and of course we were late. As an authentic Greek one this time, I showed to my travel buddies how you can catch a train that leaves in 10 minutes and you are 15 minutes away and you don’t have a ticket, too. It’s pretty easy, you run, you run like hell, maybe the cars will hit you but seriously now, you have to run people!

That’s all folks! Just me, trying to leave me greek mark in Italy!

Ci vediamo…

Danai, Greece

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 14.23.14