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

Il primo addio…

Hello from the other siiiiide (a little bit of Adele suits this sad article),

I am the Greek one, the known, the entertaining one that likes to speak about her weekends, Italian food and drinks. This blogging thing is starting to kinda like me…

My last blog was a travel blog, giving you some new information about Brisighella, a small but beautiful city of Italy, just ten minutes away from Faenza. So, I covered the travelling part and I am coming for another time to talk to you about the drama part of the everyday life of a volunteer in Faenza.

Brisighella

Well, we are doing international projects and taking this amazing opportunity that European Union is giving us. Of course, there are a lot of good things to tell about this experience, but there also some bad things and this is the main reason that I am writing this article.

Let’s start from the good parts so we can proceed to the sad and difficult parts…

One of the best things is the contact with the new culture. For me the Italian culture wasn’t so unknown. I was studying Italian Language and Literature back in Greece and I had a basic knowledge of the language, the culture and the Italian lifestyle. In this way, you might never read from me that I have a huge cultural shock or something like that. Also, as the time passes by I am realizing more and more how similar are the Italians with the Greeks. Regarding the lifestyle it is like I am still living in Greece, going out the same amount of time, be socialized and it is not a big deal if I talk with people I don’t know. The only difference is that I am speaking Italian.

Another really interesting fact is the job that I am doing here. It is not a regular work, you don’t feel like you are having a boss upon your head that anytime can start screaming at you. Also, it is pretty cool the fact that as a volunteer there are a lot of things that you can do. I mean, I am a volunteer, if help is needed and I can contribute, I will be there. In this way, the activities that I am choosing are a lot and different also. I am really enjoying this variety of occupations.

But, sadly I have to move one to share with you a really difficult part of the ESC life and in general of the life living away from your home. There are times that you are feeling home-sick and that’s logical. Your friends and your family are away, you are talking with them on phone or Skype but there aren’t next to you when you need a hug. Especially the first days of the arrival in a new country, a new city and society you have this feeling all the time. You are feeling alone…

Here comes the EVS opportunity to shine up your day and put some other volunteers beside you to share this experience and of course these emotions. When you are with people, even unknown at the moment, that you are sharing all these new things; it could make you feel more safe and loved and can help you to overcome a little bit your loneliness.

So, one of these guys, next to my side, sleeping in the next room of mine and sharing the everyday life in work and in the apartment, was Raquel. She was a Spanish, crazy and really interesting girl that we lived together for 2 and a half months. We became friends from the first moment -but no, to be sincere, we needed about a week to be sure-. We used to study together but in the middle of studying we started talking and stopping at midnight. Raquel was the reason that I put apart my fear and stress to talk in Italian and I actually started communicate with the locals. She, Greta -our other flatmate that I am promising that I will write something about her, too- and me had a lot of fun, a bunch of amazing moments and an extraordinary everyday life.

But, in conclusion, and of course the reason that I said that this is one bad and sad parts of the international volunteering experience, the project of Raquel finished and she had to return to Spain. We had a party, an after party and a tearful goodbye session. I still can’t realize that she is gone and I am expecting her to return for a trip in another city of Italy or something like that. In any case, I hate goodbyes, I am really bad at those…

Goodbye -the irony-,

Danai, Greece

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

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.

Arrivederci,

Danai, Greece

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

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

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

Cerchiamo volontari SVE: Architetti del Cambiamento (15/11/2017 – 15/06/2018)

7 mesi per lavorare con bambini e ragazzi a Focsani, il capoluogo della regione Vrancea in Romania.

Il progetto prevede 4 volontari SVE (da Spagna, Italy, Turchia e Armenia).
Si lavorano 25 ore a settimana, con 2 giorni liberi a settimana + 2 giorni di ferie al mese. I biglietti di andata e ritorno vengono rimborsati, casa e bollette sono pagate, il volontario riceve soldi per il cibo + €60 al mese per le piccole spese.
Per candidarsi: mandare CV e Lettera di motivazione (in Inglese) in risposta a questa email.
Se conoscete qualcuno di interessato passate la voce!
Maggiori informazioni nell’Infopack: Infopack EVS Architects of Change

Aperitivi linguistici all’Art cafè (Faenza)

aperitivi-linguistici-febbraio-2017associazione-se-m-i-seeds-for-more-interculture

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.