After having written my first blog entry in German, I have decided to continue in English from now on, for my friends and family all over the world. You give me the energy to keep on in this horribly beautiful tragedy, this painfully hilarious comedy, this one-act play we call life. Thank you.
When talking about family and friends it is inevitable for me to think about my on arrival training, which is connected to the EVS programme to get in touch with other volunteers, ask questions and clarify the duties of the participants. During this one week in the thermal spa resort of Dobrna close to the city Celje I have found a part of my family I did not known about. We shared all our feelings, fears, doubts, expectations, dreams and many more things probably none of us has ever told to anyone before. It was one week full of love, happiness and inspiration. The concept of letting the on arrival and midterm training take place at the same time was a success though and through, at least in my opinion. We had the possibility to hear about general advices (for travelling, etc.), do’s and don’ts in Slovenian culture and must see places in this lovely country and the ones around.
On the project day, in the middle of the training, we freshmen had the task to make a little presentation after gathering any information about Slovenia with the only limit that in the end it should transmit some knowledge in any case. After 24 hours there was a great presentation of the Slovenian view on the other European nations with all the stereotypes, a lovely movie about a farm producing home-made deer meat and bread and our shabby but funny movie about what people in Slovenia think about the EVS programme. After all it was a successful day which improved our senses for team work and strengthened our bond of friendship. Of course we had some parties together and were hung over the next day as well; we laughed together and cried, grief-stricken of the fact that our training is over, as if we could never see each other again, but with the subtle feeling that something magical has happened in the thermal spa of Dobrna. Even though two people of the on arrival crew had to leave very soon after the training the rest of us is continually meeting in each of our new home towns. So I had the possibility to visit Maribor, Velenje and Ljubljana having a great time with all of my beautiful new friends.
On the first of September the two other German EVS volunteers finally arrived at our place to join us in the Gunpowder City Project. To be frank, I would have loved it to have the experience living with people from all around Europe but now we all have to deal with this situation and maybe it is not too bad to have some kind of shelter in shape of people from your own country in the apartment. Moreover, we had some time off in the beginning of September, so I could visit my relatives in Romania as well as my cousins wedding which was a blast, even though the journey was a bit exhausting… Leaving Kamnik at 5:20 in the morning with the very first train and arriving the next day at seven in the morning, due to delays, works on the rails and a broken locomotive, was no fun at all. But in the end it was really nice just to relax for some days, not to think about work and gaining energy for the upcoming events. But after coming back to Kamnik, one of the many places I can call home, there was not that much to do, unfortunately. We spent some weeks renovating the first floor of our working place, the Dom Kulture Kamnik, and we had big cleaning action in the youth centre but besides that we had lots and lots of free time, which we, of course, used to see some things in Slovenia. Our coordinators either invited us to visit concerts in Ljubljana, to join them to a football match in the first Slovenian league (NK Domzale vs. NK Olimpija Ljubljana), or just to travel around by ourselves.
Now I am incredibly excited about the upcoming weeks, as we will finally begin the Slovenian language lessons with a former librarian, who is a really nice old lady; nevertheless the language is in my opinion extremely hard to learn, especially for a person who only learned Romance languages so far. But still, there is some motivation to learn at least some practical phrases besides: “Hvala!” (Thank you!) and “Eno pivo prosim.” (One beer, please). Moreover, next Friday there will be the first concert in the youth centre Kotlovnica, to which I am really looking forward, (hopefully) to see the place crowded and to meet more and more young people from Kamnik and the other towns around to spend some time and maybe start some projects with. But finally our very own project will start as well. The revitalisation of the old gunpowder factory in Kamnik is up to us; next week we can start with researches and the documentation, we will have a guided tour and probably we will try to build a miniature edition of the place just to have a better view over this huge(!) area.
As for me, I feel quite ok, not yet satisfied with my achievements, which should be an output of my art, due to lack of motivation and creativity, not of possibilities and support. Concluding, there have been moments of depression and questioning, sleepless nights with sad music and self-contempt in the most brutal manner; but not more than otherwise. But if you have a good idea, no matter how crazy it might sound in the beginning, the people around here in the DKK will definitely help you, however they can and that is one of the many things I appreciate being in this project, this environment with such great people who basically care about the youth, culture, realising dreams, contributing to the piece of art every life is, without interest in profit but in making a difference.