La nostra Web Radio!

Carissimi, qui la volontaria italiana di SE.M.I. in Grecia. Quest’oggi voglio raccontare in cosa consista un progetto a cui la mia organizzazione ospitante, You in Europe, ha preso parte e ha reso partecipi anche noi volontari del Corpo Europeo di Solidarietà. Si tratta di una web radio creata per iniziativa di un’organizzazione italiana nell’ambito della Key Action 2, azione del programma Erasmus+ che mira alla cooperazione per l’innovazione e lo scambio di buone pratiche; questa tipologia di progetti è indirizzata a tutte le associazioni e ONG che lavorano all’interno di progetti Erasmus e che vogliano iniziare delle collaborazioni, anche di lungo periodo, con altre organizzazioni europee. È questo il caso del progetto “Broadcasting Europe”, questo il titolo scelto, che coinvolge quattro organizzazioni e le loro web radio. L’idea del progetto “Broadcasting Europe”, nato nel 2018, parte dal desiderio di creare una rete di cooperazione e scambio transnazionale tra diversi enti europei situati in quattro stati: Italia, Grecia, Polonia e Spagna. Lo scopo del progetto, globalmente, è quello di promuovere abilità e conoscenze dei partner coinvolti e metterle in atto attraverso tale rete internazionale, in modo da sviluppare sempre di più la consapevolezza sulle proprie competenze condividendola con altre persone.

Ma a livello pratico, che cos’è una web radio, e come funziona? All’inizio, non appena i nostri coordinatori e il nostro mentore hanno iniziato a parlarci di questo progetto, non ci è stato chiaro sin da subito come potessimo fare per mandare in onda il nostro programma, dove registrarlo e come farlo. Poco a poco però ogni cosa è apparsa più chiara, quando ci è stata mostrata l’apparecchiatura che sarebbe servita al nostro scopo. Tutto ciò di cui si ha bisogno è un mixer a cui vanno collegati un microfono, delle cuffie e delle casse, per poi collegare a sua volta il mixer ad un computer, tramite il quale verrà mandata in onda la puntata radio, o registrata e poi caricata sul sito dedicato. Broadcasting Europe si serve infatti di un sito internet, Spreaker (https://www.spreaker.com/), dove ogni partecipante può pubblicare le puntate del proprio programma, che rimangono poi visibili e ascoltabili da tutti.

In questo modo è quindi iniziata anche la nostra collaborazione con questo progetto, e insieme agli altri volontari ESC con cui sto condividendo questa esperienza abbiamo iniziato a pensare a un titolo per il nostro programma, i contenuti, come lo avremmo strutturato e via dicendo. Data le nostre diverse provenienze e nazionalità, ci piaceva l’idea di trovare un punto d’incontro tra i nostri paesi, che ci permettesse di aprire dei confronti e scoprire in ogni puntata qualcosa di nuovo riguardante Italia, Polonia, Portogallo e successivamente, all’arrivo del quarto volontario, Spagna. Il risultato finale delle nostre riflessioni è stato “The Random Show”, un programma casuale, senza un tema fisso ma con un argomento diverso in ogni puntata, in cui ognuno di noi avrebbe raccontato le proprie tradizioni, usanze e costumi, e in questo modo tutti avremmo potuto sentirci inclusi nella discussione e avremmo potuto portare le nostre opinioni e idee. Gli argomenti trattati sono stati i più variegati, dal cibo alle vacanze, dal cinema al Natale, il tutto condito da canzoni sempre legate al tema della puntata.
Random Show

Abbiamo quindi caricato sul sito web la prima puntata all’inizio del mese di agosto, con l’aiuto indispensabile del nostro mentore, membro dell’associazione You in Europe, il quale tra noi è l’unica persona ad essere in grado di utilizzare l’apparecchiatura necessaria. Abbiamo stabilito che avremmo registrato gli episodi ogni due settimane, per un totale di due al mese. Durante la prima registrazione l’imbarazzo e l’agitazione ci hanno accompagnati, ma poco a poco abbiamo preso familiarità con questo tipo di lavoro e adesso è diventato un gioco in cui ci divertiamo e riusciamo davvero a parlare delle nostre diverse culture in un clima informale ma al contempo con la consapevolezza di star contribuendo ad un progetto europeo molto più grande. Per ascoltare l’ultimo episodio dedicato alle tradizioni natalizie e per trovare tutte le puntate del programma seguite questo indirizzo: https://www.spreaker.com/user/broadcastingeurope/the-random-show-episode-8
Insieme a You in Europe abbiamo poi organizzato una festa nella piazza principale di Nea Moudania, il paesino dove sto svolgendo il volontariato, per promuovere non solo il nostro show ma tutto il progetto della web radio. Durante la serata abbiamo presentato il nostro lavoro, preparato e offerto cibo tipico dei nostri paesi a tutte le persone che si erano riunite in piazza e attraverso musica e balli abbiamo provato a promuovere questo progetto.
WEB Radio Party
E per l’occasione abbiamo anche stampato delle magliette con il logo della nostra radio:
WEB Radio Party
Da sinistra: Igor, il nostro mentore e Bartek, entrambi polacchi, Federica, ovvero l’autrice di questo articolo che state leggendo, Sofia dal Portogallo e Jorge dalla Spagna.

Per concludere, quindi, creare una web radio non è difficile, tutto ciò di cui avete bisogno è la giusta strumentazione! Vi saluto con l’augurio di aver reso l’idea di cosa sia una web radio e con l’invito ad ascoltare il nostro show in onda ogni due settimane. Stay tuned!

A presto,
Federica

Brisighella sei bella!

Ciao carissimi lettori,

We are here to entertain you for another time! Well, let’s see want is going on this week. We don’t have a lot of changes, the everyday life goes on pretty smoothly and I am working in different things.

As you can easily understand in this point, I am usually talking about my weekends so I can describe better the life in Faenza. The weekends I am going out, I am travelling and actually enjoying some alone time.

Something like that happened this weekend, too. Friday night we had our traditional dinner with pizza and wine, as we do every Friday. Thankfully, we found a cheep pizza place and also we don’t have preferences in our wine, so we don’t spent a lot of money every time. The difference of the past Friday with the previous ones is that finally I convinced the others to go and dance a little bit. So we did! Faenza is small -fact that I am repeating in every blog- but it has things to do and places to go out and also has a place that you can go and dance until the morning. After some hours, at 4.00 o’clock in the morning we returned home with my Lithuanian and blond friend to sleep until the next evening -because is Saturday and I don’t care if I am waking up late.

Saturday wasn’t a lot fun and it was certainly chill. I had a breakfast with my roommate and then with chilled all day in the apartment watching Netflix and eating. It is not ”party hard” kind of weekend, but I was really needed to stay in my warm couch all day and do nothing. I love myself, I have to respect its needs.

Sunday on the other hand was pretty interesting. We planned a small visit to Brisighella, a picturesque, tiny city near by. We spent only 10 minutes in the train and we were there, somewhere between 21th Century and Medieval Times.

Brisighella has the tittle of the most beautiful small city in Italy and I can’t give them wrong. Within 5 minutes walk from the station we were in the city center, which was full of little shops and restaurants. It is easy to notice from the first minute in this city the beautiful towers around its hills. Using the stairs we got to one of them and after 10 minutes we got to the highest point. The view from up there is certainly breathtaking and combined with the warm and nude colors of Autumn it was one of the best things I saw lately.

After a small walk upon the hills and enjoying the view, we decided to take a break and something traditional. As you may know one of the traditional dishes of Emilia Romagna is the ”piadina”. It is a kind of wrap, but a different one depending the area, stuffed with whatever you want. It is delicious, I love it, I ate it in 5 minutes.

So, that was it for today, I don’t have anything else to describe you.

Until the next time, have fun and eat italian food..

Danai, Greece

URGENT! Call For Participants!

Attenzione, attenzione, c’è la possibilità di un’ esperienza memorabile!

In Bulgaria, a Lyaskovets dal 29 di Novembre fino al 5 di Dicembre 2019 ci sarà lo Youth Exchange, “Digital competences- key for youth employment” e cerchiamo 2 partecipanti italiani.

Forse questa è l’esperienza che tu aspettavi!

Nel progetto sono inclusi: – alloggio e cibo – costi del viaggio fino a 275,00 EUR – NO TAX

Se c’è qualcuno che vuol partecipare può compilare il modulo di domanda e invia un e-mail a: mladeji_lqskovec@abv.bg

Per più informazioni si può leggere l’Info-Pack.

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.

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

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!

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!

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

VOYAGE VOYAGE

Elif Şafak has said: “I love commuting between languages just like I love commuting between cultures and cities.”

I’ve been in Faenza for a bit more than a month by now. The lingua franca is still English; sometimes I can use French, but not very often (and speaking French one of the things I miss a lot). Lately I went to the laundry. I was quite afraid to do that because I knew that probably they don’t speak English there (which was the case by the way). I wasn’t able to understand what they said in Italian, but as a little surprise, one if the ladies said that she spoke French! So, thank god, we were able to communicate!

Faenza

From time to time, I try to use some words or expressions also in Italian. Here are some examples of my attempts to use Italian:

– One day, I was ordering a coffee in a bar. I was alone, so I didn’t have a wiser and braver friend to help me out with the language. I have to say that I was quite proud of myself that I used no English, although I said only one short sentence in Italian. Nevertheless, it’s extremely hard for me to speak in a foreign language if I don’t speak it well, and especially with native speakers.

– The other day, I was trying to say something in Italian to the kids in after school, but it’s still too hard for me, because my level is not good enough for that. Sometimes I do feel myself like Mr. Bean on his holiday in France: “Oui. Non. Gracias.” (Mr. Bean’s Holiday, 2007).

– Sometimes when I’m in a shop, I don’t ask the salesperson to use another language when I’ve understood the price for example. However, if they decide to say anything else besides the price, I need to ask them to say this in English or to answer in English that I didn’t understand this or just smile, nod my head and to pretend that I’ve perfectly understood them (although this wouldn’t be very smart thing to do).

All these small things make me feel good, but they also make me overcome fear and break out of my comfort zone.

Piazza del Popolo, Faenza

I’ve been talking quite a lot about languages now. Last but not least I need to say that I’ve finally started my Italian classes. I decided to try B1 level which is pretty crazy, because normal people don’t usually skip all the basics when they start to learn a new language. I mean, after a bit more than one month in Italy, I can already understand a little bit more than when I arrived here (which is quite logic, I think). Still, I know nothing about Italian grammar and it’s too hard to create a normal and understandable sentence. In general, I quite like the challenge and I do feel that A2 level is a little bit too easy and the progress might be a bit too slow. Hopefully I will be able to survive in B1 level classes…

Concerning the activities, there are not many changes. Things are going to be more calm and stable now. Twice a week I go to after school classes and once a week I work with international projects. I also write blog posts and follow some courses related to art therapy and teaching in Udemy. Hopefully I will soon start to develop my personal project as well.

In my free time, I finally have stable yoga classes and I really really hope to go soon to rock climbing too! Mostly when I come home, I’m quite tired; I like to spend time alone in my room, to relax, to listen to music and sometimes practice ukulele.

Ukulele

So much for my everyday life and for “commuting between languages”. Just like Elif Şafak, I also like “commuting between cultures and cities.” During the last weekends, I’ve been travelling to the towns and cities near to Faenza. I started with the town closer to Faenza and every time I went farther. As a picture is worth a thousand words, I will add more photos than text in the following part.

So my first destination was Brisighella which is undoubtedly my favourite place so far! This lovely small town just about 10 minutes from Faenza by train is a real paradise! I really love nature and the hills. It’s so green and lively everywhere. I felt very calm and very grateful among all this beauty and I’m very happy that I had the chance to visit such a wonderful place. Besides the nature, I also saw some towers: I visited La Rocca and La Torre dell’Orologio wchich were very beautiful as well.

My next destination was Ravenna which is a very nice place too. I visited some museums and mausoleums. It’s weird that they don’t sell any single tickets, you have to pay about 10€ and then you can visit all of the places there. But in general, the city was nice.

Lastly, my third destination was Florence (Firenze). It’s a very beautiful city and very popular among tourists, so it was too crowded. Still, I really liked the Ponte Vecchio (the Old Bridge) and the river. While walking around the city, I saw statues, street art, the panorama of the city, etc. I also went to a bar for lunch. I really like Italian cuisine, it’s definitely one of the world’s best. However, it is not very pleasant for Italians to see how I try to eat long pasta (if possible, I try to avoid that). As I haven’t acquired (yet) the right technique, it’s very painful for me to eat this kind of food when I try to twirl a kilometre long spaghetti to the damn fork… But well, maybe I will learn how to do that one day. Anyway, I try to give my very best.

Definitely I’d like to get to know more about this culture, to continue learning Italian, to travel more and to discover other closer and farther cities. It’s so easy to fall in love with Italy with all its beauty, weirdnesses, vivacity, architecture and impressive nature!

From Estonia with Love,

Triinu

Arrival Training

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After a crazy week that was the arrival training, I finally have time and strength to say everything that my roller coaster of emotions couldn’t let me do it by the time Frederico asked to “relate that card with our experience”. I was absorbed with silence tears of facing goodbye once more and realizing that is something that will happen more often. Rather I like it or not, rather I’m prepared or not.
Three months ago I made the decision of packing my things, take my cat and go to Italy to live for a year. A country that always called me somehow. The need of starting a new chapter got the happiest “yes” I ever told.
Saying that this train is an illustration about my nomad way of living is so little as literal it can be. This train isn’t just me. This train represents everyone that I met last week. We may travel from different backgrounds, seeking for different destinations, but somehow our paths crossed. Our paths crossed and we are now a part of each other, a little part of me was enchanted for a little part of you. Along this road we will see things that cameras are not able to catch, meet people that understand love not only as a feeling but as a way of living, realize that the differences between us aren’t that big. And having that little “travel bug”. I hope you keep finding songs worth to sing along, even if it takes your breath away. I hope you keep feeling humble, I hope you try so much things that you run out of wishes. And along the way between the green trees and the brownish meadows, I hope you keep in mind that the one who are driving the train is you. There is no such thing as “goodbye”, when is worth to say “hello” again. See you, Carmen Alcobio.

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