Quarantine Diaries: And now what to do?

Hello, Hello again from the beautiful Faenza that I’m currently see only for the window of my room. Sounds a bit depressing isn’t it?

The truth is that the situation is depressing and boring and sometimes so frustrating, but you can’t do anything to change it. I mean you can do a lot and we all heard plenty of things that will help improve the current situation and all of them end up pretty much in the same way, ”I’m staying home”, ”Resto a casa” and ”Μένουμε σπίτι” -I had to write something in Greek after all this time-. So, we have to stay in and find new activities every day to do. Okay, to be honest there is no need to change activities every single day, but if there is anyone out there that is as much active as I am could understand that I need to change activities frequently because either I’m finishing everything really fast, either I’m getting bored after a while…

After almost a month in ”quarantine mode: ON” I arrived to one and only conclusion, you have to chill. Yes, it’s the only way, it’s easier and you have to do this. You can combine ”chilling” with plenty of activities, for example the well known ”Netflix’n’Chill” or ”Working’n’Chill” -recommended more for ESC volunteers all around Europe, that the work isn’t so much and not so obligatory-, ”Studying’n’Chill”- especially for university that even though the online courses have started still you don’t know how is gonna be this semester’s exams-, ”Eating’n’chill” -because all of us, guys, we eat a lot these days, so let’s just chill while eating so will metabolize it better” and last but not least ”Exercise’n’Chill”-because with the quarantine a new, profound love for gymnastics started, but if you’re like me that all my life I wanted to join the gym and I never did, you certainly have to chill and exercise otherwise next morning the only you could do is ”Bed’n’Chill”-.

In conclusion, Chill, Chill and Chill and everything would be all right!

As for me, I pretty much do these kinds of chilling that I gave as examples above. The first weeks I was hooked to Netflix and I was ready to finish it all. This was my first hint to start ”Chilling”. Now, I’m only watching Netflix after dinner and it works for me. Next activity is the association’s work that isn’t a lot, but it helps the time to pass. I’m currently working and elaborating with other volunteers to write an International Mobility project (Youth Exchange), I’m always thinking new stuff to add in our social media and I’m working on things that I want to implement after the lock-down -when I will feel the sun in my skin and I will dance in the rain like the influenced by movies girl I wound become-. After, I’m cooking and cleaning, but always in a chill mood because you really can’t cook all you fridge in one day and then need to go to the supermarket the next one and the same with cleaning, if you clean all the apartment once the next day you’ll have nothing to do. I also discovered Playstation lately and I can assure you that is a good way to spent some meaningless time. Last, I’m trying to study a bit for my exams, but in this case I was chilling before the lock-down and I’m still doing it -after all these years I grew up wiser and I realized that I’m a last minute kind of person regarding studying, so I’m respecting and loving my self, no need to push me-.

Currently chilling

My beloved readers -if you exist- I think we’re done for today. The lock-down lifestyle isn’t the fancier but it’s necessary. To avoid mental break-downs my advise as I told and retold above is to ”Chill”, in any case and with any activity of yours.

Until the next chilling time,

Danai, Greece

Another Week, Another Story

Ciao a tutti,

Sono Danai venuta da Grecia e come ogni settimana, sono qui anche questa Venerdì per raccontarvi le mie nuove esperienze!

And continuing in English, because it’s easier…

The truth is that this week I didn’t do a lot of new things. After my mini trip in Brussels, for which I talked in the previous blog of mine, I back in Faenza and back to work. I continue being poor, because I’m spending all my money to travels and aperitivos, but I’m having a good time regardless the money in my pockets.

I decided to talk to this blog about a new activity of mine -association activity- for which I didn’t talk enough, I think. So, after the Christmas vacation and when I finally came back to Faenza, my coordinator asked me if I want to do a new activity and of course I told yes! Before holidays I was pretty focused on writing a youth exchange and with International projects in general, but after finishing my work and send it to the National Agency, the thing that left me to do was to waiting for their answer -and that reacquires time-. In that moment, when they asked me to start something new, I ran fast to answer ”yes, yes and yes”.

My new activity takes place every Thursday from 14.30 o’clock until 19.30 and is something I was already familiar with, after-school. I’m doing some after-school also here in Faenza, every Wednesday and Friday, but after the new year, the organization started an after-school also in Brisighella. Brisighella is a small city near to Faenza- only 10 min away with the train- and is really beautiful. The after-school there has kids in the first classes of high school, which we help to study for the next day in school- and after them we have younger kids around 7 years old, with whom we do creative activities in English.

 

 

To continue we have to talk a little bit about my relationship with kids. Four years ago, I couldn’t even be in the same place with a little kid, I mean I couldn’t stand the screaming, the curiosity and the unstoppable urge of playing, I was tired even thinking about it. But the time passed, I grew up and I had to make some money. I have a degree as a teacher of the Italian language so it was easier to find a job as one. I started doing private lessons, to adults and after the kids came looking for me. Last year I rebuild my opinion about the small people, the kids. I did private lessons to some of them and I enjoyed it. Yes, I’m still tired every time after 1 or 2 hours with them, they are so active that they can take all your energy at once, but I’m having fun and I’m feeling useful.

 

 

Knowing all that, you can assume two things about me and about the new activity of mine. First, I enjoy it and second every Thursday I’m sleeping really early, because I’m so tired every time. In Brisighella’s after-school with the younger kids we are doing a so many creative and fun activities. Every Thursday we are planning new ones and we are focusing in the English language. We’ve done already the clothes, the body parts and the seasons. As you can easily guess the next should be carnival related.

And briefly I’m saying you goodbye, my lucky readers…

Soon you next week…

Danai, Greece

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Il ritorno a Faenza…

Ciao a tutti,

It’s me, Danai and as every Friday from now on I will be here giving you details about my ESC project and my life in Faenza. If you read and remember my last article, I was talking about January, my little first taste of 2020. We are only watching the previews and I am already tired, like really tired…

Brisighella

I spent my January between two countries, Italy and Greece, while studying and actually dying from boredom and of course travelling and changing zones of hour. After, the first difficult weeks, I returned, for good this time in Italy, but it is just for 2 weeks since I am flying to Brussels at the start of February -you will learn all about it with plenty of photos and a huge blog post.

In any case, since I came back to Italy, I am feeling really empty regarding my energy batteries. Living like a nomad for only a month made me realize that I am getting old. You can laugh as much as you want, but since my birthday -2 weeks ago- I am feeling a grown-ass woman of 25 years old, that I have to eat healthy, before 8.00 a.m and sleep a lot. This is a clear sign that I need some rest, it’s not logical for me to feel old.

Office, office, office

But guess what… my body might need some rest but my head is all about the outgoing side of life and is yelling at me all day YOLO (You Only Live Once). So as you can imagine, it’s been 6 days now that I am living again in Faenza and I was out the 5 of them.

First, when I returned I had to see some friends that I has been literally a whole year since the last time I saw them. We went to a sushi place in Faenza, which I love from the first glance. It’s an all you can eat place with 20.00 every person and you can literally take everything on the menu. In the start I though that the quality will be low, but nooooo, everything was delicious, really really tasty. I ate until I was ready to pass out on that little table, still full of food and I return home only to realize that since I returned in Italy I have to get use again the waking up at 8.00 o’ clock every morning. I got over in as a drunk a glass of water trying to digest all the food and went to sleep.

Sushi Life choose me…

Since that moment the 8.00 o’clock awaking became again a habit. And so on my days kept passing with coffees, aperitivos, pizzas and drinks that gave not only calories, but also a bigger need to sleep and relax alone, away from all; ”JUST GIVE ME A BIT OF SPACE” I was saying to myself while I was getting ready to go out again. Yes, I have to say that I am an irony with a pair of feet, really you have to stop taking me seriously.

The weekend came and my bed was waiting for me. Saturday free, Sunday free, what could it gone wrong? Yes, I forgot I am making plans without even thinking about it, without consciousness, without checking…

Long story sort, I spent the whole Saturday in the streets, the bars and the restaurants of Bologna. It will be unfair if I say that I didn’t had a good time, I love Bologna as a city and I had a really good time with plenty of friends this Saturday. The only black and bad thing is as usual Trenitalia with all the train delays… I had to wait almost an hour to the cold and melancholia station.

Aperitivo?
Yes, please…

‘TGIS” (Thank God Is Sunday) was my new moto before even start walking in Faenza after Bologna. And finally, I stopped. I stopped making plans, I stopped going out, I stopped changing 5 outfits per day and I had my Sunday to sleep, rest and chill on Netflix. I did nothing -except an aperitivo, but it was really close to my house, doesn’t count-. It was nice and relax, but to keep on grumble a little bit more, as I told you before the awaking at 8.00 o’clock has became a habit again, so even though was Sunday, I woke up around 8.30… but all good, really tutto bene!

Alla prossima,

Danai, Greece

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Il ritorno dopo Natale…

Ciao a tutti,

and a Happy New Year!!

I am back here to start the 2020 with a lot of energy, new experiences and food, of course. For the Christmas holidays I went back in Greece to see my family and my friends and enjoy some time in my home.

My feelings were mixed…

 

2019 memories photo

 

Before even leaving from Faenza to start my trip back to Athens I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to return. I had to stay in Italy to see how is Christmas time for the Italians and have this experience, too. But, my tickets were already paid and I couldn’t chance my mind so easily -after all, I think I already told you that I don’t have that much money to spent…-.

So, I returned in Greece and I landed in Athens. After a long journey I was finally home, in my bed sleeping during the afternoon because I was really tired from the flight and the change of the environment. I woke up at the right time to start my first night out in Athens and meet my friends. And that is how everything started….

 

I spent a week in Athens going out every single night and having fun. Of course with a bit of sleep and a lot of food. I saw all my friends and we had so much fun that after a point I almost forgot that I live in Italy now. After this fun and exhausting at the same time week, I took the bus to visit my parents and surprise them. They had no idea that I am going to my hometown to see them, even though they were literally begging me to go I was always telling them that I don’t have the time. Their reaction was precious!

I spent New Years Eve with them in our small village, in which they have a small, beautiful and traditional coffee shop. It was exactly what I needed after the previous week. I relaxed near the fireplace, I drunk coffees and hot chocolates, I took long walks with my dogs and I ate a lot for an other time. I also helped them if it was needed.

 

 

After 4 days with them, I returned to Athens to start getting ready to come back here, in Italy, in the magical Faenza. But, I never expected that for another time I didn’t wanted to go away. I got comfortable in Greece, with all these people around me that I love and it was really hard to come back here. I had to sit and think about all the positive and negative things to realize for another time that the opportunity to be here is amazing and I don’t want to change a thing.

 

 

After all, I am going back in Greece soon…

Danai, Greece

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Vacanza Studio All’ Estero

Have you seen your friends on Facebook and Instagram having fun all summer abroad?

Are you ready to live an extraordinary experience which combines the study of your interests and the chance to live abroad for an amount of time?

A.N.S.I (Associazione Nazionale Scuola Italiana) is here to give you the chance to live the experience that will follow you the rest of your life. If you already have found a summer study program that interests you or you haven’t but you want to join one, A.N.S.I is there to help you.

The search of a program that suits to your needs sometimes might be stressful as well all the bureaucracy around your departure for another country. This organization will be by your side and give you all the right information so nothing negative will come in your way.

A.N.S.I is an association that organize and informs about summer study projects abroad and with an experience of years in this field is the best organization to make you fell safe, well inform you and help you to find your path.

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.

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

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Ragazzi… ci siamo costituite!

Prima o poi dovevamo confessare, certe cose non le puoi tenere dentro troppo a lungo e quindi… abbiamo aperto un’associazione!

Non è stato un processo doloroso, e nemmeno lungo (grazie a Marzia e Denise di Per gli altri che ci hanno risolto tutte le questioni burocratiche). Ma forse è così che si fanno le cose a 30 anni: ci pensi, ti piace, lo fai.

Ci chiamiamo SE.M.I. (Seeds for More Interculture), siamo un’associazione di volontariato e vogliamo organizzare attività culturali e interculturali, creative e sociali, locali e internazionali.

Perché?

Perché le nuove idee nascono dal confronto e dal dialogo, perché la diversità è una grande ricchezza.

Perché il linguaggio e gli idiomi non costituiscano una barriera ma uniscano persone e siano strumento di cooperazione.

Perché il dialogo interculturale e la cittadinanza europea sono centrali nella nostra società in divenire.

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Domenica 2 Ottobre saremo in Piazza del Popolo a Faenza a girellare tra gli stand e presentare il nostro progetto!

Per saperne di più e/o collaborare: elisa.emiliani.86 @ gmail.com [presto avremo un’email ufficiale, promesso!]

stay tuned 😉