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scr ipta man ent ----------------------------------every volunteer has a story to tell


scr ipta man ent -----------------------------------every volunteers has a story to tell


Scriptamanent #4


Link | Book

© 2013 - Associazione Culturale Link www.linkyouth.org - www.scriptamanentproject.eu Partner internazionali / International partners A.C.T.O.R. (Romania), Activar (Portugal), Eurocircle (France), La Vibria Intercultural (Spain), LinkYouth (United Kingdom), Yasar University (Turkey) Coordinamento / Coordination Mino Vicenti, Lucia Creanza (Associazione Culturale Link) Ringraziamo / Thanks to Birgit Atzl, Carles Cunill, Caterina Guerrieri, Gocha Gelashvili, Raffaele Lamacchia, Ilaria Di Martino, Sante Perrucci, Dushko Talevski, Vito Tafuni.

Con il supporto di / Supported by

Progetto grafico / Graphic design Michele Colonna Composizione tipografica / Typesetting PT Serif e PT Mono – www.paratype.com, 2010-2011, RossaniStencil – Giuliano Chimenti, Silvio Lorusso, Filippo Taveri, 2008. Stampato su carta / Printed on paper Freelife Cento e Sirio Color delle Cartiere Fedrigoni This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Nota: I racconti sono stati volutamente pubblicati nella lingua in cui sono stati scritti. Qualsiasi tentativo di traduzione avrebbe rischiato di snaturarli. Allo stesso modo coloro che hanno utilizzato una lingua diversa dalla propria, hanno in alcuni caso commesso errori che ci siamo guardati bene dal correggere, per lo stesso motivo. La varietĂ linguistica presente in questa pubblicazione va intesa non come un limite ma come un elemento di ricchezza culturale. Note: It was a purpose of the editor to publish the stories in the original language because any attempt to translate them would have been a distortion. We also did not change anything of those texts written by some authors in a language different from their own. The linguistic variety in this book has to be understood as cultural richness, rather than a limit.


index / indice

8 Introduction / Introduzione

6

13 Malgorzata Sendek [en] 19 Costache Oana [ro] 23 Aleksandra Wieczorek [en] 25 Diana-Adela Ionita [en] 29 Marion Amalie Teigseth [en] 33 Nihan Kіlіnç [en] 37 Diana Nedeva [en] 39 Pierre de Bellevue [en-it-fr] 43 Maja Panevska Hussey [en] 45 Andreea Crudu [en] 53 Volkan Yuca [tk] 57 Johanna Lohrengel [en] 61 Ruxandra Borca [en] 67 Madalina Mihai [ro] 69 Daviti Odikadze [en] 75 Halaseh Desiree [ro] 77 Mariangela Angelastri [it] 81 Alessia Sirangelo [it] 83 Bilyana Yordanova [en] 87 Aeksandra Siljanoska [en] 91 Berardino Guida [it] 97 Cristina Merisoiu [en] 101 Lilit Gevorgyan [en] 107 Mirela Stoian [ro] 109 Miriana Squillaci [it] 113 Cristina García Vega [es] 119 Zuzana Grochalová [en] 123 Daniela R. Stoian [ro] 129 Lusine Olshevskaya [en] 133 Aleksandra Belina [en]


139 143 151 155 161 165 169 177 179 185 189 193 197 201 203 205 207 209 211 215 221 223 225 229 235

Mitjans Núria [es] Boba Baluchova [en] Liam Rooke [en] Oana Baloc [ro] Steve Craddock [en] Nona Simonyan [it] Victor Bober [es] Lorena Dumitrache [it] Noémie Clémenceau [fr] Silke Mooldijk [en] Aurélia Indrieri [it] Adriano Antonacci [it] Jessie van Erp [it] Johanna Reger [en] Zsuzsu Szánthó & Sasha [en] Ivan Llop Huete [es] Paulina Jaskulska [en] Hocine Hamlaoui [fr] Oğuzhan Gürsoy [tk] Şule Gürle [tk] Hande Alagöz [en] Ilhan Irem Yüce [tk] Büşra Güder [tk] Olimpia Quattromini [it] Melike Kalkan [en]

238 248 250 251 254

Notes/ Appunti The project / Il progetto The promoter / Il promotore The partners Youth in action / Gioventù in azione 7


Introduction The 4th edition of Scriptamanent is Plus. Link and its international partners, through accepting the invitation from the Youth in Action Programme to present projects in the field of innovation, thought to implement a multimedia project for promoting the international volunteer activities, the active European citizenship, the young people participation and the intercultural dialogue. Today we believe that languages, far away from being incompatible, should rather integrate each other and give strength to their message. With this edition, we accept the double challenge of getting back the power and the expressive value of a traditional language (the written form of the story) and the languages of the new media, with the aim of a dialectical and synergy meeting, in order to affirm an idea of innovation that doesn’t have to deny what it’s good to be so.

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Introduzione La quarta edizione di ScriptaManent è Plus. Raccogliendo l’invito del programma Gioventù in Azione a presentare progetti nel settore dell’innovazione, l’associazione Link e i partner internazionali, hanno pensato di sviluppare un prodotto multimediale per la promozione del volontariato internazionale, della cittadinanza europea attiva, della partecipazione giovanile e del dialogo interculturale. Oggi riteniamo che i linguaggi, lungi dall’essere incompatibili tra loro, dovrebbero piuttosto integrarsi e dare così maggior forza al messaggio. Con questa edizione raccogliamo la doppia sfida di recuperare la potenza e il valore espressivo di un linguaggio tradizionale (la forma scritta del racconto) e i linguaggi dei nuovi media.

Scriptamanent #4

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---------------------------Scriptamanent#4 / stories


Once upon a time somewhere in Poland…

---------------------Malgorzata Sendek 24 years | Poland 33EVS in Romania, 2012

Hello. My name is Gosia. I am from Poland. I want to introduce you with someone. Actually I want to tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortable? With a cup of tea or coffee? No? Ok, take your time, we are not in hurry. Now it's better, no? Of course, it's always better to read a story while drinking hot cup of coffee. Let's start… Imagine a room. Not very small, but not so big. Normal room of a girl – walls painted in yellow, green curtains, a bed, a desk, some shelves with girly stuff, a guitar in the corner. And a girl. Normal girl sitting in front of her computer. Long hair, glasses, calm, warm looking. Nothing extraordinary. Ouch, I almost forgot! The Cat. Black and white pet which makes her life a bit more crazy. He's not just one normal cat. He is The Cat living in his own world. But now he's sleeping on her knees, so let's go back to the girl. Yes, she is sitting in front of her computer but soon she will go to work. Look, she is moving The Cat to the bed, taking her stuff and going out. Outside is sunny, we’re in the beginning of August. She is taking a bus. She's a bit nervous; her boss will work with her today which always makes her uptight. Everything will be fine if he will be in good mood. If he’s not - worst. She never knows what to expect from him. She arrives to the place. Yes! Judging by his face it's his good day, so maybe it will not be so bad. Now let her work. During that time it's good to tell you few words about her. She is Polish. She studies pedagogy and works in the playground for children. I'm not sure if she likes her job. She has there nice friends but her boss is a very difficult person. Sometimes he could be very rude, he is unpredictable. But he's The Boss, which means he will never be nice. She lives in the capital with her sister and one flatScriptamanent #4

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mate. She is completely independent – she works for her needs so her parents don't have to help her. When she has a free weekend she visits them in the countryside. In the capital she has few friends but she doesn't have so much free time to see them. She works a lot and she really needs some free time for studying. Like now. Look, she came back home and she is reading something. For sure those are the pages which she should prepare for the next day for her University. Isn't it a bit boring? Studying and working, working and studying… No time for anything else. Let's go to another day from her life, maybe something will change. But… Just a second. How is your coffee? Do you need short break to make another one? No? Ok, let's continue our travel. Oh, look! This is the day when her flat-mate forgot to close a window and The Cat decided to go for a walk outside. Actually he decided to run out from the safe house. (I have told you – it's not a normal cat). It's a second hour when she's trying to find this crazy pet. It's hot, she is about to cry, walking so fast that is seems like she is almost running around the building and calling him. No results. You should know, she considers this cat as her best friend. Maybe it's a weird animal but still a part of her life so she doesn't want to lose him. Fortunately after few hours her neighbour found him somewhere under the desk and informed her. It was the first time when something in her life could have changed. She could lose something what was a part of her maybe boring but safe everyday life. And it wouldn't be a good change. You can thing It was only a cat, she could have another one. No, no. She built something and she didn't want anything to destroy it. And now I wish to stop in this point of our story. But we have to go farther. We have started to know her better so we have to go farther… I wish to stop now because it's starting… 14


Look, she's in the bus on her way to work. She is a bit nervous like always when she goes there. But something is wrong. Can you see? It's still August, it's a sunny day. But around her… Can you see now? The darkness around her? Now it's not so visible and it's quite far from her but it appeared. And it won’t be gone for a long time. You will see. Few days after, she is at University. You can see the dark circle around her. Now you can, right? The darkness is more visible now and it takes more space around her. No one can see this, even she cannot. One week after… She doesn't know why and what but she feels that something has changed. She has no energy to work, to go to the University, to wake up in the morning. Now she thinks that maybe she is just tired. She needs to go to the countryside to visit her parents and there she can rest. Tree weeks after… She is more tired. She doesn't like her job anymore and her studies as well. She doesn't want to go out but she has to. Every day is the same. How is it possible that days are so dark even if outside is sunny? Fortunately she has The Friend. He knows her, he can see that something is wrong. 'You need a change. Change something in your life, otherwise you will be eaten by being grey everyday'. How are you now? We passed the worst part of the story. Now we will put more light in her life, do you want? Yes, I know, she is again in front of her computer. But now she is trying to change something. Her Friend gave her new energy. He was like sunbeam which won his way against the clouds. She decided to change everything, so she is searching for an EVS project. She doesn't know that yet but right now, in this precise moment, she is starting to build her own rainbow. Now everything is going very fast. Interviews on Skype with the president of her future association, the announcement of the decision that she is one of the chosen people for the project, flyScriptamanent #4

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ticket, last hours with her family, last tears on the airport and WELCOME TO ROMANIA! She is in the car on the way from the airport to her new flat with two Portuguese people. She cannot say even one word. She is scared. She doesn't know what will happen tomorrow. She doesn't speak English very well. She left everything what was safe for her, what she liked, everyone who she loved. She left The Cat! But she knows that tomorrow will be different than during the last year. It's again the beginning of August and this August will change everything in her life. First meeting with all the volunteers. 'I don't understand. I don't remember their names. It's hot. How can I buy water if I don't know how to ask? I remember this guy from Facebook. No, no, no, I don't want to say anything about me! WHO ARE THEY…?' First origami training. 'I am a genius, I made an origami ball' First visit in hospital. 'No, no, no, stop crying Look, this is a bird. And a monkey…Yes, she is smiling!'. First lesson. 'Improvisation is my second name'. Yes, first days in the project were like a big surprise for me. Actually, still, each new day surprises me. I met new people who I couldn't have met if I stayed in Poland. And I'm sure I can call them My Friends. Not two or three of them but almost 20. And you know what? I finally feel useful. There is someone who needs me, needs my origami ball or maybe just my smile. Do you know what is the first memory I have from the hospital? There was a small girl in her room. We were five new volunteers, a bit shy, without any knowledge of Romanian language. I tried to play with her using puppets but she was afraid, she started to cry. I didn't know what to do, I didn't have any words to express myself. I started to play with my hands with her. And she stopped crying - she smiled. That is my first memory – tree year old girl smiling because I played with her. 16


Sorry? Ah, you are asking where is the girl from the beginning of this story? I'm sorry but she will not back any more. Actually I'm not sorry at all. That girl from the beginning was me more than one year ago. Do you know what? I don't like her anymore… I like much more me after 9 months in this EVS project - more open for new experiences, for new people, more self-confident, speaking English, more sure of what I want to do in my life. More sure that life is not about money and work and sure that people who are around you are the most important. Sure that if you want you can do everything even if someone tells you that you are not able to. And now I'm sitting in front of my computer (again:)) and I'm thinking that when I will make 1000 origami birds and I’ll be able to have a wish, I would like to wish to you to experience the EVS volunteering. So are you telling me that you want to make an EVS project? Perfect! But, be careful… It will put more colours in your life. So open your mind and go ahead! :)

Scriptamanent #4

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Va urma Începutul este întotdeauna greu dar acum când mai am două luni de voluntariat, sfârşitul îmi pare mult mai greu. Pe măsură ce îmi aduc aminte de prima zi când am văzut Gdansk-ul şi recitesc paginile scrise în septembrie, luna când am devenit oficial voluntar EVS în Polonia, mă simt copleşită de ce a fost, ce este şi ce va urma. De şapte luni încerc să mă împrietenesc cu un personaj, aş spune dificil şi curios, pe care l-am cunoscut oficial în septembrie când am ajuns în aeroportul din Gdansk, într-o zi senină cu multe emoţii, parcă toate adunate în acelaşi loc din stomacul meu. De atunci în fiecare zi îl aud cum se mişcă dintr-un loc în altul, schimbând o vorbă sau două cu oameni care par să-l placă foarte mult, unii chiar imi dau impresia că-l iubesc. Iar eu de fiecare dată când îl aud îmi doresc aşa mult să-l pot înţelege şi să-i răspund, dar tot ce reuşesc să scot pe gură sunt câteva cuvinte stâlcite frumos cu accent românesc. După şapte luni de „świetnie”, „bardzo dobrze”, „cześć, jak się masz?” pronunţate în toate felurile şi accentele posibile, am avut timp să mă obişnuiesc cu acest nou prieten şi să încep să-l cunosc. Chiar sa-l înţeleg şi să-i răspund când îmi vorbeşte încet. Din acea prima zi din septembrie am ştiut că va fi pentru mine cel mai important din proiect, uneori mai important decât ceilalţi voluntari, şi că va fi nevoie să-i acord cea mai mare atenţie şi grijă. Mi-a marcat experienţa de aici în moduri atât de diverse, cum nu-mi imaginam când mă gândeam prima oara la Polonia. Prima dată când am vorbit pe Skype cu coordonatoarea de proiect, Kasia, eram atât de absorbită de ideea de a pleca, încât am răspuns naiv „că în final, nu este nevoie să cunoşti limba că să zâmbeşti”. De atunci am zâmbit de foarte multe ori în cele mai diverse situaţii, dar de înţeles cu adevărat ce se află în spatele zâmbetului polonez, încă nu. Personajul dificil şi misterios de la început s-a 18


--------------------Costache Oana 30 years | Romania 33EVS in Poland, 2012

transformat într-un prieten fără de care viaţa în Polonia ar fi foarte grea. ”De ce Polonia?”. Pentru că nu ştiam nimic despre ţară iar ca turist erau şanse mici să o vizitez. Ce a contat foarte mult a fost proiectul care părea să fie scris special pentru mine: urma să lucrez cu adolescenţi, cu vârste între 13 şi 18 ani, într-un centru after school. Un al treilea motiv, curiozitatea lingvistică: limba poloneză este considerată una dintre cele mai dificile de învaţat din Europa. Acestea erau motivele de la început, după şapte luni însă, mi-a devenit foarte clar de ce am ales un proiect EVS - în afara ţării - pentru că am vrut o pauză de la cei 29 de ani petrecuţi în Bucureşti, o lungă pauză de la „ce trebuie” şi „nu trebuie”. Pe masură ce scriu, mă gândesc la întoarcerea acasă ca la revederea unei persoane dragi de care m-am desparţit printr-o ceartă urâtă. Pe măsură ce se apropie momentul reîntoarcerii, am fluturi în stomac care îmi aduc aminte de cum mă simţeam în ziua când am plecat spre Polonia. „Oare nimic nu s-a schimbat?” Ca voluntar european totul a fost altfel, cum mă asteptam şi îmi doream să fie, un mediu complet diferit de ce ştiam. Dacă în unele cazuri diferit însemna neprietenos sau dificil, mai ales datorită „prietenului necunoscut”, per total niciodată nu m-am simţit mai în siguranţă sau mai relaxată ca în proiectul ăsta. De unde a început totul? Cu un uşor zâmbet spun că de la gelozie. Eram teribil de geloasă pe o prietenă care urma să plece pentru trei luni în Luxemburg într-un proiect cultural. Cele trei luni au trecut, ea s-a întors şi eu eram în aceeaşi stare de „stop cadru” ca în momentul când a plecat. Aşa că am început să întreb, să caut, să pun toate întrebările stupide şi mai puţin stupide, mi-am imaginat toate scenarile posibile despre ce voi găsi şi am spus „paaaaaaa!”. In prima zi eram ca un burete care absorbea cele mai mici detalii din ce mă înconjura: mirosuri noi, arome, sunete, clădiri, forme, oameni, culori. Atât de mulţi oameni! Proiectul de Scriptamanent #4

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voluntariat este despre oamenii pe care i-am întâlnit şi îi plac, oamenii pe care i-am cunoscut şi nu vreau să-i revăd a doua oară şi oameni pe care îi admir şi îi doresc mereu aproape. În final, fiecare persoană întâlnită mi-a influenţat experienţa. Cum încercarea mea de a mă împrietenii cu limba poloneză era stângace şi greoaie, majoritatea timpului încercam să compensez izolarea lingvistică fiind atentă la detalii şi la chipurile noi. Aşa puneam cap la cap gesturi şi reacţii care alcătuiau portretele persoanelor din jur, mai ales cele de la centrul unde lucram, un fel de joc de-a “Psihologul”. Am început să cunosc şi să descopăr poveştile celorlalţi şapte voluntari din proiec, cei care formează de fapt experienţa EVS-ului meu. Sunt poveşti despre fascism şi libertate din Belarus, despre mesele în familie şi aromele din Italia, despre prietenii alături de care ai crescut din Ungaria. Despre mama care are nevoie de ajutor din Germania si fetiţa care nu vrea să crească din Armenia. Locuim în acelaşi apartament, mergem la aceleaşi petreceri, învaţăm împreună limba poloneză dar percepem fiecare secundă din EVS „diferit” surprinzător de diferit. Când se întâmplă să vorbim despre modurile în care trăim EVS-ul simt ca am în faţă o carte imensă de istorie şi călătoresc din Turcia în Ungaria şi mai departe, prin cuvintele lor. Pentru că vorbind despre noi vorbim puţin şi despre ţara din care venim. In proiect am simţit ca niciodată până acum că sunt româncă şi vin din acea ţară din Europa a cărei formă seamană cu un frumos peşte sau un buchet de flori pe orizontală. Vorbind despre ce imi place şi ce nu îmi place în Polonia am vorbit mereu şi despre limba română în care mă exprim altfel decât în poloneză sau engleză, despre oraşul Bucureşti, care şi-a lăsat amprenta asupra felului în care privesc un oraş, despre imaginea României în Polonia şi în celelalte ţări din Uniunea Europeană care se suprapune peste imaginea personală, deseori fiind prima care este observată şi apoi persoana. Râd mereu când sunt întrebată dacă în Transilvania sunt vampiri sau dacă toţi românii sunt „cyganie”. Pentru că se mai 20


întampla în unele cercuri să fiu prima româncă pe care o întâlneau, am avut parte de o porţie sănătoasă de râs auzind stereotipurile despre România sau spunându-le stereoripurile mele despre Polonia. Sper sa am mereu acelaşi simţ al umorului. Trecând peste şocul lingvistic care m-a lăsat fără speranţe într-o comunicare autentică, am început să devin din ce în ce mai atentă la toate accentele şi cuvintele noi pe care le auzeam, de la cele specifice limbii poloneze până la maghiară şi belarusă. Cu toată dorinţa mea de a învaţa limba poloneză, am ajuns să fiu o ascultatoare excelentă şi mai puţin o vorbitoare. De multe ori m-am simţit ca un copil care învaţă pentru prima oară să vorbească şi visează că are puteri magice de a învaţa orice limbă în 10 zile. In fiecare dimineaţă respiram adânc şi îmi imaginam cum va fi când voi putea să rostesc o propoziţie întreagă în poloneză, cap coadă, fără greşeli. Ce nu puteam să înţeleg şi să exprim în poloneza, cumunicam în engleză, italiană şi franceză. Râd cu hohote când mă gândesc cât de mult uram franceza în liceu iar acum imi sună atât de dulce. Una din surprizele frumoase ale EVS-ului a fost posibilitatea de a descoperi atât de multe limbi, învaţând într-o lună ce mi-ar fi luat un semestru la şcoală. Insă ce a fost extraordinar cu ceilalţi voluntari datorită diversitaţii lingvistice, a fost apăsător şi greu cu copiii centrului unde lucram. Atunci aveam nevoie de cele mai multe puteri magice să reuşesc să comunic cu tineri între 13 şi 18 ani, nu foarte râbdători, care repetau mereu „vorbeşte în poloneză, vorbeşte în poloneză”. Aş vorbi în poloneză toata ziua şi noaptea dacă aş ştii măcar cât ştie un copil de 5 ani. Aş desena şi aş dansa dacă ar ajuta să mă exprim mai bine. Atunci îmi veneau în minte orele de joc când învaţam copiii de la gradiniţă să vorbească. Pe scaunelul de plastic, eu eram cea mare şi ştiam ce e corect, iar ei cei mici. O lecţie de umilinţă nu (prea)strică! Cum am mai spus de multe ori în scurta mea povestire, limba poloneză a devenit personajul principal din povestea SEV-ului mea, făcâdu-se simţit în permanenţă. Scriptamanent #4

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Când se întâmpla să fiu întrebată „Ce fac în voluntariat?” povesteam cu lux de amănunte despre serviciul european de voluntariat având surpriza ca la final, să se înţeleagă doar că este vorba despre a munci pe gratis (voluntar) într-o altă ţară. Şi colac peste pupăză, nici nu ştii limba respectivă. Cineva chiar m-a întrebat de ce aş face o asemenea nebunie? Cred că vroia să spună prostie. Eu m-am simţit mai degrabă invers, că ţara gazdă îmi face mie o favoare iar tot ce am de facut este să mă bucur de ce primesc, mai exact condiţii propice şi tot ajutorul de care am nevoie pentru a experimenta noi situaţii, învăţa noi limbi ştrăine sau pur şi simplu pentru a te relaxa. Da, se poate să fie chiar numai asta! Momentul meu EVRIKA a fost în timpul trainingurilor, toate cele trei. Nu ştiu ce m-a fermecat aşa de mult, însă cât eram în training, mai ales cel de la mijlocul proiectului, mă simţeam bine în fiecare secundă şi redeveneam bureţelul care vrea să ştie tot. Lăsam banda să înregistreze în mintea mea tot ce se întâmpla şi puterile magice păreau chiar posibile. Aşa că m-am dus mai departe de dorinţe magice şi în ultima zi de training întrebarea mea a fost „Cum pot fi şi eu trainer EVS/Youth în Action?”. Cum spuneam mai sus, sfârşitul îmi pare mult mai dificil. Imi este greu să pun în câteva cuvinte tot ce am trăit aici, mai ales când pentru mine povestea nu s-a terminat încă. Poate, la finalul celor nouă luni, va semăna cu povesta unui mut ajuns într-o ţară străină sau cu povestea unui copil care pleacă să se descopere, neştiind de fapt că fuge de sine. Sau o poveste despre curajul de a reveni acasă.

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A letter to a future volunteer

-------------------Aleksandra Wieczorek 24 | Poland 33EVS in Italy, 2012

If you are just wondering if the EVS is for you, don't spend too much time thinking over this matter. Actually, get to work, fill all the necessary application forms and get ready for what is going to happen. Don't think. We all know that thinking can bring nothing positive but insomnia and excessive consumption of sweets. That is why I did not hesitate for a while when I saw an announcement that a volunteer is needed for the project in Italy. I didn't give any time for my thoughts to start working. I filled out the application form, I sent it, and two hours later I had Magda calling me and telling that I was going. I put the phone down and I thought: 'Aleksandra? What the hell have you done? Where are you going?' But I knew it was only the argument of my reason. My heart was sure: 'You must go.'Whatever your attitude is then, don't hesitate. The EVS is not only for people who are self-confident and know what they want from life. In fact, it's even better if you don't, because, believe me, this experience is going to change you. It will help you to discover a lot of things you've had no idea before and when you'll be coming back to Poland, it will turn out that you're not the same person. I know what I'm saying. You'll be better. Rich in other people's hearts, rich in smiles of your friends and strangers, rich in numerous tender good-byes, rich in new homeland. But remember, the EVS is not easy. It's not a life in a demo version. It can hurt and if it does, it hurts for real. You have to be ready for failures, for alienation resulting from the initial unfamiliarity with the language, for fear of foreign culture, for a longing for home you're leaving at the other side of Europe. You can be sure that all your nightmares will come out and attack you at night. But don't worry. You can do it. I'm sure of it. I've gone through it and without this experience I wouldn't Scriptamanent #4

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know now how much motivation, strength, and passion is hidden inside of me. It's now I know I'm a strong woman and that I can handle everything. Each day, just as I did, you'll be becoming stronger, more self-confident, and more entrepreneurial. You will take the lead of your project. My EVS is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. Thanks to it I've met wonderful friends and I've been a part of projects I've used to only dream about. When I came to Altamura I was immediately engaged in the JAM II project, which revolved around the topic of recycled music. Together with the international team of participants we were constructing musical instruments out of waste materials and we experimented with their sounds to prepare a wonderful concert for the final event. The music was however only a pretext for establishing international friendships and getting to know different cultures and traditions. I can still remember how we ran out of water and went taking a bath in a nearby lake, how I was learning to dance flamenco with Nery and Maria, how I've found a sister in Marion, how persistent I was in learning Turkish, how we got the mattresses out of the tent to sleep under the sky full of falling stars, how we jumped into the lake in pyjamas, and how we were surprised with the marvellous sunrise over the fields though we had been expecting it at the bank. I remember also how after the JAM project, I set out for the north of Italy with other volunteers, hitchhiking, of course and for the first time, of course, without a tent, of course. It's truly impossible to put down in words how many wonderful adventures and drivers we've encountered on our way; Sleeping at the bank of Trasimeno Lake. Going through Tuscan countryside with Italian tourists, a guy called Cristiano, who took us home for a coffee, dances on all possible roundabouts, sleeping at the doorstep of the Florence Cathedral, taking showers in public fountains, sleeping in a playground castle, Escaping cignali. Then the next project; a dizzying pace, food sounds culture, more lovely people, 24


peeling the fish for Pipsa and Mathilda to cook the Finnish fish soup, cooking risotto for fifty people, teaching Eve English, together with Aga and Theo gorging ourselves on fresh figs at the stairs of the Altamura cathedral, excursions to Matera and to the countryside, making my own pasta, learning Greek, And then, Materadio – The Festival of Radio 3, helping at the festival information point, relating to the local community, taking care of Bulgarian classical music band, their concert in the light of the full moon. I remember all these happening and can you imagine that I'm sitting now here in Opole writing this letter? Sounds like my EVS is finished? Nothing could be more wrong. I've come back home with a changed heart which is now patched with the hearts of other people. I keep in it memories, which are my everyday strength and when I'm scared of something, when I 'get the mean reds' or when I'm too shy to ask for something, I tell to myself: 'Aleksandra? And do you remember the time in Italy when you got a shower in a public fountain during a hitchhiking trip? So don't try to tell me there exists something that you cannot cope with!'I'm telling you, GO! Aleksandra. Aleksandra.

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Storm in the city of the sun The chemistry of Lorca (known as the City of the Sun), with its warm light, dusty orange flavour, and its mysterious life under construction after the earthquake that hit it roughly in May 2011, changed myself. No, I haven’t start smoking, nor coloured my hair (OK, I admit, I had a brunette wig though). After nine months, I still had trouble with remembering that stores are closed during siesta, I wasn’t drinking so much coffee (only Frappe from time to time, thanks to my Greek colleague), my skin was of the same uncertain yellowish white and my relationship with “El Subjuntivo” was, however, complicated. I can imagine your raised eyebrow that says “So..??”. Well, the change was more subtle, as I lived there times of unexpected, of unknown, of daring the impossible. Hahaha... what a cliché, right? Except that it is true. Step by step, I've learnt that I can find the balance, walking on the wire, redefining my limits and finding solutions in crisis situations (during our afternoon of 'Tirolina' in the last day of on-arrival training), that I must trust myself and trust the others in order to build something on common ground (participating in 'Castells', human towers, an extremely appreciated tradition from Catalunya, declared UNESCO patrimony), that to motivate the youngsters you have to give them the chance to express their creativity (being part of 'Radiografiando Lorca' Project, that offered local young people a free range of workshops and alternative activities), that asking questions or help is not shameful (through my tasks as a support person in 'Net. working' TC and 'Silk roads to EVS' Networking seminar), that not remembering the name of the nicest guy on the Earth after asking three times and talking half of the night with him cannot stop me from dreaming of a wonderful love story because miracles are made in the heart (so during our first date, while he was using my real name and me all the cute Spanish nicknames I 26


-------------------Diana-Adela Ionita 26 years | Romania 33EVS in Spain, 2012

knew, he somehow mentioned it in a story and I had a flashback with the moment when he whispered to me: 'Yo soy Pablo'), that children can be the best teachers (yes, I've learnt a lot of Spanish with them, by teaching them English), that I should never give up, but try and try again instead (our initiative, 'Intercambio de idiomas' didn't work the first time, but after re-thinking and re-designing and efficiently promoting the activity, it was our successful project that keeps functioning long after we left) and, nevertheless, that borders are man-made and should never stop us from starting beautiful friendships. Maybe I have thousands of other similar lessons learnt during my EVS, but I would like to tell you about the moment when it rained heavily in the City of the Sun: 28th of September 2012; it was pouring for two days and, after almost 60 years, there was a river in Lorca. And no, this is not a joke. Although my short description might make it seem an episode of a cartoon, it was actually a dramatic moment. At first, electricity and Internet connection stopped in the office. In the middle of the day it was dark as at midnight. We were still laughing, as we had the 1st of October deadline approaching fast for our projects, but couldn't finish anything. Moreover, we didn't have any umbrella, nor raining clothes or shoes. We went to the closest bar and enjoyed the rainy weather chatting while having 'cervecitas y tapas'. When it stopped, under some pale sun rays, we could see the sad reality: the streets were full of mud and garbage, buildings were full of water, people were missing. And bad news kept coming from outside the town. The entire region was flooded, around ten people died - including children; houses, cars and fields were destroyed, one highway broke in two and the railway was damaged. Of course, 'Feria' (the second most famous celebration after 'Semana Santa') was also cancelled. No smile now, huh? The same happened to us. Scriptamanent #4

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Immediately, a small group of people decided to give a hand to those in need. Me and my crazy ginger colleague from Poland were two of them. We went with small buses to some families, whose houses were totally destroyed after the floods. Dressed in white overalls, wearing three or four size bigger rubber boots, we had a tough physical work, but no one complaint. We couldn't understand at first their regional Spanish accent, between the sounds of the workers and through the protecting masks that hidden the lips and seemed to shut our ears too. It was really impressive to see those people throwing away all their books, photos, and documents -, all their work - ceramic, paintings, and music instruments -, and actually all they had - clothes, shoes, food, or furniture. It was terrible to see in their eyes the sadness for their loss, and in the same time, it was great to feel the hope when they met us and the joy they've survived. Inhabited continuously since 5,500 years ago, the antique frontier town between Christian and Muslim in Spain, Lorca has enriched its people with a strong character and made them aware that the best things in life are not things. Some of the people in and outside of the organization were surprised to see us working like that. It was the moment when they realized that we didn't come only for 'fiesta y siesta' and we actually want to help. It was one of the hardest EVS times that I transformed in a rich learning experience. In the few mornings we were cleaning, there it was, the lesson of life, between the mud and the tears, in the middle of the fields without any fruits, but where with effort we can seed again. The rain in the City of the Sun washed away my greedy pride, and made me feel rich by having some new friends, a smile, and an open heart. And when I left Lorca, they were standing still, confident they can endure anything. They were dreaming out loud, colourfully and daring in the most beautiful spring I've ever seen during the winter months.

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The content of a suitcase

---------------------Marion Amalie Teigseth 21 years | Norway 33EVS in Italy, 2011

Where to start? I have tried like a thousand times to write my story. It has been some time since I finished my project, the 20th of march 2012 to be specific. And the task of writing about my experience to motivate you to do a similar one is really not a simple task. Because no matter what I write, no matter how much I can put down on a piece of paper, it will never be enough to explain the feeling I have inside, the smile on my face, the memories in my head, the friendships I got, and the hunger I have for more! It simply started with my lust to learn Italian, the search for an experience abroad, and I found youth in Action and the EVS (European voluntary service) program. I wanted something else, I wanted an adventure, and I took the chance, something I will never regret. The best decision in my life. I’m actually sitting with tears in my eyes right now because of all the feelings running through me. Happiness, all the memories, all the people, the culture, the feeling of belonging to something bigger than myself. The smiles, the laughter, the difficulties with expressing myself, the shock of suddenly being alone but at the same time so much a part of everything. How, just how can I explain everything when most of it is just a part of who I am now? I came to Altamura in Italy at 6 a clock in the morning the 2nd of September 2011 after almost 24 hours of travelling with one suitcase. One suitcase containing everything I thought would be important to live in another country for the next 7 months. Toothbrush, clothes, shoes‌ Little did I know that the suitcase in the end turned out to mean nothing for my survival. The first thing was the heat, the smells, the feeling of being lost but at the same time the excitement of starting my big journey. Scriptamanent #4

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Second, the language, the beautiful language, the food, oh the food! How I miss it.. The culture, the mentality it’s so different. The first days were packed with new impressions. It was so strange to go and get an Italian sim-card, to do the shopping for the fridge to furniture my bedroom, I was going to live there and it was my new home. It was terrifying and exiting at the same time. I had language courses in the office, and workshops around the city. It was not many talking English so I simply had to talk Italian to get to know people. Sometimes it was really difficult, I didn’t feel like I could express myself as good as I wanted, it took a lot of time before I could make and understand jokes and sarcasm, often I felt completely lost, but suddenly the fear of making mistakes disappeared, and my thoughts were no longer in Norwegian or English. You should have seen my face the first time I actually realised that I was thinking in Italian… Lucia my “boss”, my safe zone, my therapist, told me in the beginning that I needed to tell her when I had my first dream in Italian, I can’t remember anymore when it happened, because after the first time it just continued, in the end I can’t remember dreaming in norwegian at all. What I do remember is my first dream in Norwegian when I got back home, it felt like I was conscious during the whole dream, yelling at myself screaming that it was wrong! During my time in Italy I met a lot of new people, not only Italians, because Link always has a lot of volunteers, I lived with them in the volunteer’s house. Polish, French, Spanish, Slovakian, Dutch… And we all had things in common, we were volunteers, we were giving of ourselves, we were curious.. And all these things always made us somehow friends in a strange but somewhat strong friendship. Of course you always meet people that you like more than others and these people are still my friends. It’s such a strong and great feeling talking to every one of them, to hear how things are going, what’s their plans and when, not if, we are going to meet again. 30


To be a volunteer is not only about the project that you have. I know that I did not tell you much about my project and for that I’m sorry… but the project, now looking back, is only there to help you get a way into the community. Once you are in, you will never be the same. The people around you will get a relation to you, not only those you work with but also others around town, because you are working in a place in their city, a place that know of. You are the stranger that they want to know more about, and suddenly you have friend. Isn’t that wonderful? You make a new life, you get to start over, you get to be accurately who you want to be. The new beginning. You probably think; yeah the new beginning while I’m away but when I get back home… but it’s not like this! Don’t even think about it! I changed, I didn’t know in the beginning that I did, I didn’t feel it, but now, since it has been some time after my project and I have had time to settle down back home I don’t feel the same. I feel rich! I feel passionate, curious, more reflected, adventurous, different! This experience changed me. It changed the way I see things the way I think and feel about myself. It gave me many and strong friendships that I am so grateful for! It gave me the possibility to learn another language, to live in and feel another culture. It gave me passion for travelling and discovering of other cultures. It opened my eyes for a different beauty in life. Even though I was lost, I found the way because I grew. I could continue with this for a lot of pages but you could probably guess half of everything it gave me so I will just tell you a little story in the end instead. It was Christmas and I was celebrating in Italy, my boyfriend came for celebrating with me and brought with him gifts from my family. One I remember very clearly is the one from my mom. It was very simple, a bracelet with Chinese stones with the meaning of safe travels anywhere I go and a card. And in the card it said: I’m so proud of you honey for following your dreams and I am sure you will do great because of you curiosity Scriptamanent #4

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and kind heart. You will for sure come home with your suitcase packed with stories, experiences, strong impressions and wonderful memories. And my mom was right! Even though I actually needed two suitcases to get all my stuff back home, the things were not that important. And my survival did not depend on the content of the one suitcase I travelled down with. My mom was right, and in this case, I am truly happy that she was!

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A new phase: marshmallow-ic

---------------------Nihan Kіlіnç 25 years | Turkey 33EVS in Romania, 2011

Everything has started like a story of Umut Sarkaya (one of Turkish comic writers). The idea of going abroad after my graduation was kind of an obsession on my mind. And I’d rather not to come back again, if it was possible! My application process to EVS started with this determination. I was like a cyborg; waking up, eating, writing a thesis, giving final exams, searching, searching, searching for an appropriate project for hours and sleeping. This abrasive situation took 3-4 months of my life. Finally, I got accepted a project about environmental protection in relatively small city; Braila, Romania, for 10 months. Actually, it was so clear at the beginning; my hosting organization had many troubles. Despite of all warnings of my sending organization, I didn’t listen to them and insisted to go because theme of the project and timing were exactly fitting with me. Then I found myself at Bucharest Airport with my luggage which is bigger than my size. From the first day, alarm bells began to ring! SOS!!! We were ten volunteers at the same organization. According to HO’s plan, they will pick us up from airport and then take us to our new city which is 3 hours far away from Bucharest. This sounds caring and thoughtful, right? But according to same plan, the volunteer who comes from France at 11 am has to wait thirteen hours for the last one at the airport. Hopefully I arrived at 7 pm, again hopefully I could eat two times at my flights sponsored by Turkish Airlines. That rescued me of starving and I could take under control my bad emotions about the last volunteer. Of course this was not her fault!After then, this is the part sounds like Turkish funnies. One French, one German and one Turkish… At the same flat. At first, we were trying to analyse each other by short glances and our behaviours were quite artificial Scriptamanent #4

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for being kind!! I don’t know what happened suddenly but in our first week, we found ourselves in kitchen, we were imitating our Romanian teacher meanwhile dancing in a crazy way with a song of Britney Spears: Oops I did it again! And the rest came randomly. After two weeks, we felt like we were friends since our childhood times. Of course, there were annoying moments and people as well. Most important of them was our ‘big boss’. There is no way to make her listen to us if she doesn’t want. She was closing doors to our faces or just shouting and yelling sometimes. Don’t worry she was not a monster. But after two months, I was also yelling because I had to go many irrelevant places like kindergardens, elderly homes and centre of autistic children instead of places my project requires. Where was the my eco-project? Somewhere over the rainbow! Actually, we could do something ecological so hardly. Nothing is given to you on a golden tray so we worked a lot and coped with many obstacles to put our ideas into action. Yes, we couldn’t save the world but it was worth it.Beside of these, Romania means freedom, living without boundaries and being able to hitchhike to anywhere you’d like to go. You can feel that whole country is your “home”. It means you can do a road trip just with 30-40 € in your pocket for 9 days and still get back home with some money. My first big travel was with my flatmates. We reached 1408th km by hitchhiking or walking and didn’t use any accommodation facilities except couch-surfing or people we met on the road. We tried to find couch-surfers especially in villages so that we could see rural and real life of Romania. Couch-surfing in the village! It was hard to believe it. During this trip, we didn’t face with any big problem also so many good things happened and changed our perception of life somehow. Then, these trips became indispensable for us, the only thing we had to do was to decide where to go and the best of all; money never was a limiting factor. While we were waiting for a car on the top of some mountains in Transylvania, 34


Hans who was a driver of a minivan could pick us up with his big family and also host us in their lovely guest hut. Then you can say to yourself that these things can also happen in real life. You can trust someone you don’t know before more than the other ones you know for years. Especially, if you are in love with movies of Emir Kusturica and Tony Gatlif, you can believe that you make your own movie there? And this continues with a great precession. After, you look at yourself. What is that? You are in France, in the middle of Paris with many friends of your French flatmate for Christmas holiday; next to you is knitting with your new French mom while celebrating Noel. The air is full with many “je t’aime”s. Then what comes? After 3 months, you visit Italy from one side to the other just with plane and train tickets for 9 €! Ciao Bella. One, two, three, four… you can’t count how much “gelato” you ate there. Then you understand that you are exactly what you wrote in your motivation letter; most concrete evidence of inter-cultural interactions. Thus, one day, I figured out that I was telling the love story of my Estonian sister and explaining how sad she is to a Turkish truck driver who picked us up from Hungary through Romania and then listening about the love story of this driver’s eldest daughter. Kind of soap opera but background is quite different.I cannot end my memories by telling you. I can show you only frame for the moment. I guess the most beautiful thing during that 10 months was experiencing that human is just human. It doesn’t matter German, Spanish, black, white, Muslim, Christian, homosexual or heterosexual. We are just what we are. When you live in this way, sharing between people reaches incredible dimensions. The one, even you don’t know nothing about his/her language can become your best friend. You can feel great sense of trust for many people around you even if your parents taught to you that it is a feeling which you shouldn’t feel for anybody, anytime. Everybody can act like just themselves. You can sleep on the roads, parks, houses of Scriptamanent #4

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people that you never met before and feel like “World is just yours.” Ahh, and also alcohol can be extremely cheap:)So EVS is lots of things like those I told about on the top. Luckily, my EVS was like a dream – ok, except of HO-. After 10 months in Romania, I didn’t want to come back to Turkey and life seemed to me so pink and sweet as a marshmallow. Is it good or bad? I still don’t know because sometimes it is hard to fit somewhere with my over-extended horizon. Now I have many meaningless stuff to do, job, responsibilities, blablabla.. And people name them as real life. Hopefully, there is also new colours, friends and loves as well. Life is not an institution that gives you something or takes something away from you. You can evaluate the opportunities or not. It has been almost 10 months after my return to Turkey but still every day I remember at least one memory and smile on my own. There is no doubt, there were no time like my EVS that I feel so limitless and free with whole my body, soul and mind.

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Think smart. Think big. Think. And be a volunteer I had a long way to go until the happy end as a volunteer. At first I was unofficial volunteer in the corporation I worked in. One very unfriendly place with some interesting things to do, like this initiative where around 12 people tried to change the environment. And we did it. The volunteers are in general the people who make a change in the society. Because they give all of their energy and they are really interested in what they are doing. I believe that you know that very well. But back to my story.

---------------------Diana Nedeva 27 years | Bulgaria 33EVS in Germany, 2009

I made many travels and lines over the European map and the city where I’m living now. It’s all because of the volunteerism. The moment when I realized and recognized myself as a volunteer was when I’d just felt in love with Youth in action programme when I took part in one exchange in Belgium. I was there with 26 amazing people from different countries and I came back home a little bit different. More confident and definitely more inspired! Inspired to work in the future for the program and for non-formal education, that`s so important in life. It was extremely interesting what I’ve learned about things that otherwise I didn`t know much for – how to make hut in the forest, fire, knots and many others. I`ve found the work there fulfilling and enjoyable. And I’m absolutely sure that I`ll use the knowledge from these games that I`ve learned there. They are applicable to all projects which require a introduction of new idea or practice. I was very happy to see how people Scriptamanent #4

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have changed and developed their potential during the camp too. Meeting and understanding people from other cultures or different generations is something I truly love.YiA is such a great program and great opportunity for young people but it is still not well known across Europe and it`s is not only an opportunity for volunteers but also for the local communities that host them. The next logical step was EVS (European Voluntary Service) in beautiful city with many interesting people around with who I had the chance to share my love of nature, tango, table-tennis and some other of my hobbies.Me, the 25 years old, didn’t expect that I will learn so much from the activities which are not organized every time from someone else, which are not officially called “work” (you know what I mean if you see “this” face of your grandmother when you explain that you are a volunteer, just quit your job and going abroad), which are not paid and prestige in some groups in the society. But now I`m so much better in sharing opinion, editing media, developing and following a common idea, cooperation, task division, time and project management, using best way of own human resources. So, sometimes the people don’t know what is the best for you. It`s wonderful - I saw so many smiles in front of me because of my work. More importantly, during the volunteering I met people who I`ll never forget. I feel that I received much more than I ever gave. I was changed and I change the city too. I got love from people I didn't even know before. I gained a perspective I couldn't possibly have gotten from a book, I found inspiration that I didn`t expect and learned lessons I will never learn at a school or a university. Lessons in courage.I got to know a different kind of life, because I was part of my working and living place and I got know people in a very privileged way (the local people with whom I work and other volunteers). And I’ve found myself enjoying the work to the full! I believe that 38


volunteering gives me an opportunity to change lives, including my own. I think it’s a great way for young people to gain an amazing experience. When you participate in project like this one you learn all the time, your brain starts to work in little bit different way, everything is new and almost everything is memorized. You learn more than you expect, more than you think is possible. And you have the chance (even The Chance) to find your dream job and to do what you like to do in your free time, whatever you love. To be volunteer give me the feeling for an enormous sense of job satisfaction and achievement. Also it is an awareness that I don’t need to be someone in power to make a difference. After the EVS there is a great chance to start from 0 and build everything you want to have. At the moment I’m volunteer in several organizations, working with people from all ages and with different backgrounds and my communication with them is amazing and my role as a volunteer gives me a special role in their live and the opportunity to organize my daily life as I want. The other thing that I discovered is that the voluntary experience suits perfect to your CV. It’s sexy and charming for the employers. At the end I just can write:My dream came true. I have the life I want to have. That happens when we dream and think. Think with your… heart!

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Tanda ad Altamu’ The first 24 hours of my evs were the most decisive ones. Meetings. Learnings. Discoveries. A lot of new faces, new tastes, new sounds. Walking on a brand new universe just like composing an opening movement. Overflying the concrete, as planting the balm of oblivion with a cast-iron alibi. Supposing every person that you cross on the street, the individual you’ll exchange with the next day. In this kind of experience, the circumstances make the way you build your stave. The environment gives you the clef. You improvise the melody. What’s about the decorum? Dontgiveashit! At the risk of losing nothing that you had before to come there, unless that you don’t assume, these awesome life experiences are incredibly positives. Anyway when you are above the clouds, it can not pouring down. To quote one traditional taiwanese punchline: «Just do it!» Ok, I have to say that I already knew the region of my journey, and also had the opportunity during a project to meet some persons of my hosting organisation before to start my evs. Mos’ def’, it helped a lot my integration into the structure. I was able to jump into this new world since the first moment. One caracteristic of this kind of project is that the time is flying but strangely, when you look back to your first steps into this environment, it seems like it was a decade ago. As drinkin’ coffee during your sleep. An accelerated pace, in slow motion. First night, 10 persons occupying the common flat, half a dozen nationalities, awakening at 4 am. It was a saturday. What a feeling! To born again or add something, depend of your motivations. To take the liberty to explore during your flee. To stop thinking about the rest, removing momentarily every anguishes the time of a gust of wind. A panel of faces and backgrounds as decor, backcloth of my project. 40


 Bahía Blanca Carlos di Sarli y su Orquesta Tipica (RCA: 100 años) Mi sono veramente reso conto della bellezza della città, alla fine del mio soggiorno quando anche l’inverno tappezzava le facciate di nostalgia. L’ombra dei palazzi risuonava sul pavimento, grave come la voce di Major Howley. Il sole invernale scaldava la pelle in modo discontinuo. Gli incroci tra i claustri concatenavano con grazia tali paradas e pasadas in una cadena magistrale. Le piazze si aggrovigliavano con le stradine strettissime, alla maniera naturale delle risposte tra il piano e l’orchestra in questa composizione di Carlos di Sarli. Una bellezza certa, fredda e sobria, caratterizzata dall’abrazo tenace tra i nuovi quartieri e il centro storico, stretta più flagrante ancora con la scomparsa parziale della cinta fortificata medievale.

L’apparizione della notte fece finalmente risalire le nuvole, lasciando scorgere le campane della cattedrale, suonando l’arrivo imminente della pioggia. Compariva svolazzando intorno a me, colgada solenne nell’ebbrezza di un ennesimo Padre Peppe. Scriptamanent #4

-------------------Pierre de Bellevue 25 years | France 33EVS in Italy, 2012

In quel giorno, apprezzai le prospettive che l’architettura cittadina offriva fino al momento in cui la nebbia, con la velocità di una caricia, avvolgeva le forme degli edifici. Una maniera per la città di camuffarsi, di dirmi che diventavo di nuovo uno straniero. Che durante tutti questi mesi avevo perso l’opportunità di vederla, lei davanti ai miei occhi. Era una sensazione di essere passato centinaia di volte accanto alla sua voluttà senza prestare attenzione. Come non vedere la Mona Lisa nell’opera di Fernando Botero. Man mano che il tempo scorreva, le sue righe austere si potevano intravedere sul suo viso scuro.

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Piroettai di sasso a sasso per ingannare le gocce e schivare il flusso di acqua torrenziale che fendeva l’oscurità. Una caminata verso nuovi orizzonti, passo dopo passo, crescendo bagnato di tante esperienze fruttuose. Nella sua curiosa generosità per i vagabondi, la città mi chiese le mie ultime parole, una specie di discorso di chiusura. ‘Grazie, ma significherebbe che sono alla fine’- risposi- ‘preferisco considerare ciò segue: una continuità’. Ce n’amma gì scem a nin’  Adiós Nonino - Orchestre National de Jazz (Piazzolla!) Comme si les gens et cette ville se résignaient à une sorte de système d’autodéfense. Ils accueillent chaleureusement, prennent soin de leurs hôtes, mais on peut observer une réserve quasiment systématique, habitués à assister à ce défilé perpétuel de personnes arrivant et repartant, ne bouleversant pas leur quotidien. Ce n’est en rien comparable à l’indifférence et le mépris des trottoirs new-yorkais ou du métro parisien. Non là, c‘est juste une désillusion quant aux réelles motivations de leurs visiteurs. C’est aussi car dans cette région incroyablement sous-estimée, peu de ristous osent s’aventurer, il y existe encore une authenticité peu commune. Un réel fragile, qui tendra inexorablement à disparaître dans les décennies à venir. S’il est vrai que Cristo si è fermato a Eboli alors, les personnes que j’ai connues là n’en ont pas souffert. Elles n’attendent aucune aide pour (s’)accomplir. Elles créent à leur rythme. Rythme à trois temps. Analyse, création, renouveau. Même principe fonctionnant pour l’épanouissement dans un contexte complètement inconnu. Mettre ses craintes de côté, être ouvert et rapidement, un espace du possible s’élargira; à l’inverse le repli sur soi et le dédain mèneront: au pire vers Pandémonium, au mieux à l’ennui. 42


Accipe quam primum, brevis est occasio lucri. Relater de manière exacte ce que j’ai vécu? Difficile de mettre des mots sur des émotions, des acquis informels. D’où mon utilisation de plusieurs langages, et autant de systèmes de fonctionnement inter-dépendants. Demandez à Jean Dubuffet de remplacer chaque touche de ses Texturologies par une parole. Réclamez à John Coltrane de mettre un mot sur chaque note qu’il souffla sur My favorite things. Questionnez un fou sur les raisons de sa folie, ou encore, exigez d’un enfant qu’il vous raconte sa naissance. Impossible. Cela doit se vivre, se ressentir, sortir.

Pierre de Bellevue, 26 years old, was born in France and did is European Voluntary Serice project in 2012 at Associazione Culturale Link (Italy). He is the winner of Scriptamanent+ edition with the story “Tanda ad Altamu’”. Scriptamanent #4

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Mozart in my life When I was in high school, we listened to Mozart in music class and the only thing I had on my mind was: “This is BORING”. When I was in Austria as an EVS volunteer, I had the opportunity to go and visit the apartment where Mozart grew up. I saw his piano, his violin and the letters he wrote to his mother. In one of the letters he explained how he was travelling to a concert during the winter and how he would have to play the violin with frozen fingers. After, I went to a Mozart concert in Vienna and I could hear the music differently. I felt more connected to the music. It was time to go work and live in Austria.This was going to be my first time out of Macedonia, away from everything that I knew. It was also my first time on a plane and I was very nervous. Before then, I had only seen pictures of Vienna and other parts of Europe.When I got to Vienna, the first thing we did was meet each other during orientation. I was sent on a Scavenger hunt with other volunteers whom I did not know and in a city I had never visited. The organisation that I worked with was a humanitarian organisation called 'Caritas'. This organisation took care of teenagers seeking asylum from countries affected by war like Afghanistan, Iran and Somalia.My colleagues treated me as a valuable member of the Caritas team. I would stay longer at work because I felt useful there and I enjoyed learning about the lives of the teenagers who lived there. We engaged these young people in different activities such as swimming, ice skating and running the “Vienna International Marathon”. These young people were really interested in trying different activities and learning about one another.During my EVS service the Earthquake in Haiti happened. The teenagers I was working with reacted in a way I never would have reacted 44


---------------------Maja Panevska Hussey 29 years | Macedonia 33EVS in Austria, 2010

like at their age. From the 15 euro given to them per week for food and pocket money, they each saved and donated about 10 euro. These teenagers were interested in helping other people whom they never met from a place they have never been in. Their actions made me aware that I had never even thought about donating money for a humanitarian cause.I came back home as a different person. I realized that people are the same everywhere. Some, like myself, are fortunate to have been born in a country like Macedonia where as a child I never had to worry about the war and poverty. Through these experiences I became more decisive and self-confident. I had the opportunity to discover the excitement of travelling and to realize that people and their stories are what make life interesting, and worthwhile. EVS opened my eyes to Mozart in the same way that it opened my eyes to the world. I'm now interested in the world not as just something to look at, but as something to experience.

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I went to find myself. If I come back before I find myself please tell me to wait for me My story begins on a Sunday morning of July when I received an e mail from my hosting organization telling me that I am accepted to be part of their project, that consisted in being a volunteer at Chrześcijańska Szkoła Podstawowa “Salomon” Zielona Góra, Poland, where my duties were mostly to spend time with children between 4 and 12 years old in the Common Room and to teach them English. I will always remember that day as the happiest moment in my life as it was the turning point for me. Before volunteering, I worked for a company in Bucharest for more than a year and a half and I was happy and satisfied with my job. I woke up suddenly in a big world, serious and responsible. I have learned a lot of things there: I became diplomatic, organized, and aware of the effects of my actions. I enjoyed working in team with my colleagues that became my friends. I was involved in my work, I dedicated time and energy so that in the end everything worked out very well and I was appreciated for all my efforts. Nothing to complain about and yet I felt tired, every day was predictable and steadfast. I felt like a robot with limited commands. My life seemed to settled but I felt like that was not what I wanted, I needed to escape somehow, to change something that I couldn’t define at that moment... I wanted to see how it is like in the neighbour’s garden and maybe I can improve mine. So, one day, I decided to make the big step and to try to give a shape to the experience that I have always desired but I was never courageous enough to fulfil because I was scared of the “new”, creating myself some stupid, inexistent barriers. I was imagining myself very often living in a foreign country, on my own, meeting people with different cultures and mentalities, 46


sharing experiences, making friends all over the world, starting a new beginning and I was happy by only thinking about this; it was a dream that I was afraid to try to make it come true. Nothing seemed to encourage it; it did not seem possible and it was never the right moment to leave. So when I realized that I don’t recognize myself in my own life, that I felt a stranger in my own life, absent and unsatisfied I made the first step. I had in my mind few words that I read in an article: “I went to find myself. If I come back before I find myself, please, tell me to wait for me”. I choose Poland.

The first weeks were for accommodation. I was a little scared because I could not communicate with them. My Polish was too poor and their English almost Scriptamanent #4

-----------------Andreea Crudu 26 years | Romania 33EVS in Poland

It is funny somehow because everything happened so fast and it came exactly in the most opportune moment in my life, when I felt so badly the need of a change. Everything was fine in my life, but still, I felt that something is missing. I don’t remember when I found myself with all the luggage in Zielona Gora, still thinking of my friends and family that I was already missing, a foreign country, a nice town, a new “home”. I was so nervous, excited and happy! I recognized my coordinator and my roommate that were waiting for me at the train station. We started to talk and I felt released, my worries vanished, as if I had the certainty that this is the best for me Since the very first moment at school I was fascinated! I remember the kids that were so curious about me and my colleague and started to ask questions: “where are you from?”, “how old are you?” “How is it there?” I remember one kid, that is 6 years old ask me if is true that Romania is a poor country) I knew then that I have to prepare myself very good for them…so energetic, so curious and so eager to find out answers.

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inexistent. But I took this as a big challenge and I struggled myself to find a way to express my thoughts, and the sign language turned out to be the best solution. I had to be inventive, clear and patient and the same was for them. There were moments when I had to deal with unexpected situations such as little fights between them or finding out why were they suddenly crying. It wasn’t as easy as I have expected, but now, that I remember, it was very funny! Just imagine some people playing “mimics”) they came with different objects at me and ask me to repeat the polish name. At first, I took it as a joke, but, no, they were quite serious about it. We became teachers for each other and very good actors. I admit that the children have been for me not only Polish teachers but they made me think many times of myself. Since I am working with children I started to analyse my own life, I became my own psychology. Not only once I recognize myself in them. I remember my childhood and somehow, I live it again. It’s like I am watching a movie and the protagonist is me. I remember I went through the same situations and only now I can realize what affected me as a child and the impact that had upon me. I watch their behaviour and I try to explain it. They play games, somebody who wins is happy and rewarded and others loose, and are upset- that is indeed life… but the most important is to get over it, to fix what is broken and try again. Though I have always known the importance of education, now I understand it. We need to shape our character since we are small, we need somebody to help us to develop, somebody to encourage our talent and free way of expression. I think that the teachers should be more appreciated for their devotion and effort because giving the best to help a child to choose the right path in life is a hard job For me it is impressive how ordinary daily routine can motivate them and push them to discover more about their passions and talents and simple events like 48


“Volunteers Day” “Mother’s Day”, “Opened Doors” can be reasons for them to express it. These moments are inspiring also for me! I find myself full of emotions for them, wishing that everything will be perfect in the end and everybody will be satisfied. I am proud of them every time, even if my contribution is not that big. I help them with their tasks and I encourage them to be brave and stay calm and, of course, I am their biggest fan. In the end they hug me and I feel the biggest satisfaction. Their warm smiles, honest thoughts and innocent behaviour are the priceless memories that I will ever have. Now, after 7 months, I have more responsibilities. I am keeping a blog where we write about everything related to school and EVS project and once at every 3 month we are writing a bulletin. These tasks are really interesting and useful. I developed my writing skills and also I find this a very good opportunity to analyse my project better and to notice the changings. It is a good way to express myself and to share my experiences with everybody. Now, I also teach English to zero class 3 days a week and we have created “English club”. At the beginning I was a little uncomfortable, but now... I trust the children and they trust me, too. I see the progress in everything we do and I am very proud of them! I got emotionally involved in my work and I feel dependent on their free hugs and smiles. They emotionally blackmail me with their big smile and cute voices. I admit I am very much attached to them and to the teachers from school that comforted me in all ways. I feel lucky to have met so nice people that took care of me as one of the kids. I am grateful for their support and kindness. I wish that all the positive energy that I received would be sent back as a boomerang. They enlighten my clouded winter and wormed up my cold Polish days I improved my Polish language, so that I understand everything kids say. There is no more “language barrier” and I feel much more confident I got to know each of them, I know their reactions, I know how to deal with them, I Scriptamanent #4

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know what they like, I know their favourite games and favourite stories… they are part of my life now, and they make my staying here very pleasant and happy! I have also learned from them to pay attention to everything around me, to express every thought that concerns me and to feel free. Every day at 12 we have a short walk and I have noticed how much attention they pay to every little thing on the ground and they have questions for every detail on their way “why?” I took this behaviour from them and now I am always searching for the answer of this key question in my life. So, I started with the name of the street I’m living on: “why is it called Batorego?” and I found out. And then, other questions raised in my mind about Polish culture and then about German culture (my roommate is a German girl) and so on. I discovered that I am more and more interested in foreign cultures and the more people I meet the best! I borrowed from their behaviour and passions. I am eager to listen to their stories and to “steal” a little bit from everybody. I got the chance to meet a lot of people here. Every Thursday we organize Tandem and we gather around 15 people from different countries. For me, this is amazing! We created friendships, we go out together, we share impressions, feelings and thoughts and we exchange opinions and enriched our general knowledge and open more our minds. Still, I miss home, of course, and I am very inpatient to go back. I want to go back and share my experience. Maybe, there are other people willing to try this experience but without enough conviction. Maybe they don’t know what to expect from this. Maybe they are afraid to get out from their comfort zone. Maybe they don’t want to alienate from their friends and family. These were my worries before deciding to choose EVS program that 50


comparing to everything I have gained, it’s not worth having. And though I am far from my country and I have not seen my family and my friends for more than 7 months, though I miss every detail of my life, I realized that EVS, ironically, brought me closer to them, made me grateful for having them. I appreciate more every single thing I am missing now. I have also realized that I became more patriotic and I feel happy when I talk about my country. I want to let everybody know how is it like in Romania, and to vanish the stereotypes. I found out different opinions about Romanians and I became more aware of our image in Europe and not only. I want them to see the good and beautiful size of it, and to give it a try and visit it! I promised I would be a good hostess. I became a promoter of my country. Since I was a kid I dreamed about such an experience but as I come from a small town… it didn’t seem possible. So I grew up with the desire of surpassing my limits and I am proud of my achievements so far! Personally, I feel that I fulfilled my expectations. I feel that there are no barriers for me and that the world is not that big anymore. I feel able to succeed in my next goals, with energy, optimism and motivation. EVS made me stronger and more independent. It is the best time to reflect about yourself and to find answers for your questions, to satisfy your curiosities and to share experiences; it is a way of surpassing your fears and confide in your ideas. It changed the way I see things, the way I think and feel about myself. I feel rich now with the best memories, feelings and experience ever! I feel closer to what I wish I were. Now, let’s balance: I exchanged a year of doing the same things, maybe at the same job, same life, busy as always, happy with the money I earned, complaining about something I couldn’t define, waking up tired and wishing for a change. I exchange it for an year of a new and different life, among very nice people and adorable kids, a time of reflecting Scriptamanent #4

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upon myself, learning and teaching so many things, visiting so many nice places, meeting a lot of foreigners, learning how to learn, watching myself in a mirror smiling, discovering passions, finding inspiration and energy, motivation, seeing a clear image of how I want my life to be from now on, I cleared my mind and organized my thoughts. Was it worth it? The only answer: YES!

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Unexpected journey (Beklenmedik yolculuk)

---------------------Volkan Yuca Turkey 33EVS in Romania, 2012

Merhaba, benim adım Volkan Yuca. Gönüllülük maceram 2012 yılının Ağustos ayında başladı. İçimde gönüllülük hizmetine karşı biriken ilginin doruk noktasına ulaştığı bir anda şu an bir parçası olduğum “Here, There, Everywhere” projesiyle tanıştım. Projeye ısınmam uzun sürmedi ve Romanya maceram birkaç ay içerisinde başladı. Hikayemi okuduğunuzda bir şeyin farkına varacağınızı tahmin ediyorum. Bu yolculuğa gönüllülük hizmetinin ne olduğunu bilmeyerek başladım. Dürüst olmak gerekirse bu kavramın anlamını gerçekten bilen pek fazla kişiye de rastlamadım. Bu bir öğreti değildi sanırım. Bu bir farkındalıktı. Ama hiçbir zaman gerçekten farkına varıp özümsenebilecek bir kavram da değildi. Bir ateist Tanrı’nın varlığıyla ilgili kesin bir yargıya varmış olsa bile, şüpheciliğini hiçbir zaman yitirmeyeceği gerçeği gibi. O kadar geniş bir kavram ki; kimi zaman bir okyanus ortasında sallanan küçük bir sandal gibi hissediyorsunuz kendinizi. Yaptığınız hiçbir şeyin etrafınıza katkısı olmadığını düşünmenize yol açan neden de bu aslında. Fakat yol aldığınızı anlamanıza yarayan işaretler çok geçmeden önünüze çıkıyor. Yine gönüllülüğün ne demek olduğunun farkında olmadığım günlerden birinde, eğlenmek için pek zamanımın kalmadığı hissine kapılıp “Neden bugün bir yerlere gitmiyoruz?” sorusunun cevabını “Evet, neden olmasın!” diye cevapladım. Alkolle tanışmam çok öncelere dayanmıyor bu yüzden içki kültürüm olduğunu söyleyemem. Eğlencenin vazgeçilmez bir parçası gibi görünen alkole de hayır diyemediğim bir akşamdı. Birkaç kadeh içtikten sonra soluğu diğer gönüllülerle bir konserde aldık. Ne yazık ki benim için eğlencenin bitmek üzere olduğunu hiçbirimiz bilmiyorduk. Scriptamanent #4

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Bulunduğumuz mekanda birer içki daha aldık. Kısa sürede biten içkilerimizi tazelemek için bara gittiğimizde hiç beklenmedik bir tepkiyle karşılaştık. Barmen bize sarhoş muamelesi yapmasının yanında bizi dışarı attırmak istedi. Alkolün etkisiyle ortam gerildi ve sonunda 7-8 kişilik bir grup koruma tarafından dışarı atıldık. Hikayenin en acıklı tarafı da burada başladı benim için. Tansiyonun yükselmesine neden olan korumalardan biri biber gazı kullanarak beni etkisiz hale getirdi. Yere düştüğümde saldırıya uğrayacağımı anladım fakat içlerinden birinin sol ayağımı 2 yerinden kıracağını tahmin bile edemezdim. Aslında iyi geçmesi gereken bir gecenin bu kadar dramatik bitmesi benim için de yeni bir sayfanın açılmasına sebep oldu. Gönüllük hizmetinin bütün evrelerinden geçmeme sebep olan bu olay beni ben yapan bütün taşları yerinden oynatmaya yetmişti. Acılar içinde kıvranırken yüzlerce soru işareti belirdi zihnimde. Bütün aile ve akrabalarımı, arkadaşlarımı, diğer gönüllüleri, bir daha futbol oynayıp oynayamayacağımı, ne kadar süre yatakta kalacağımı düşündüm durdum. Hastaneye kaldırıldım ve acil olarak kontrol edildim. Ciddi kırıklar sebebiyle ameliyat olmam gerektiği söylendi ve 5 gün süren beklemeden sonra sonunda ameliyat oldum. Bu 5 gün içerisinde bana ülkeme gidebileceğim ve istersem tedavimi orada olabileceğim söylendi. Bütün masrafların karşılanacağı ve bu konuda da rahat olmam gerektiği vurgulandı. Hayatımda girdiğim ilk operasyon değildi bu yüzden çok gergin değildim ama zor durumda olduğum aşikardı. Kimi zaman başka birine misafirliğe gittiğimizde, parmağımızın küçük bir yeri kesilse bile ne kadar rahatsız hissederiz. Ben sol ayağında 2 kemiği kırık bir halde Romanya’da Bükreş’te bir hastanede ameliyata girmek üzereydim. Düşünmek için çok fırsatım oldu. Değişmek için de. Ülkeme dönmeyi istemedim. Çünkü gönüllülük hizmeti için geldiğim bu ülkede hastanelere gidip çocuklarla vakit geçirmek, onlara yalnız olmadıklarını hissettirmek görevlerimden bir tanesiydi. Daha 54


farkına varamadığım gönüllülük kavramının kollarına bıraktım kendimi ve ne pahasına olursa olsun Romanya’da tedavi olmayı istedim. Hastaneye ilk gittiğim gece sürekli başımda durup benimle İngilizce konuşan genç adamın bu kararı almamda büyük bir etkisi olduğunu belirtmeliyim. Bana her şeyin iyi olacağı konusunda telkinler veren bu adam kalbi durmak üzere olan bir insana verilen elektro şok gibi bana umut vermişti. Bana yanımda olmasını istediğim kuzenim, ziyaretime gelmesini bekleyeceğim arkadaşım olmuştu. Bunu yaparken benden bir beklentisi var mıydı? Zaman geçtikçe daha çok sıkılmaya başladım. Sıkıldıkça karamsarlığa kapıldım. Odayı paylaştığım diğer 7 kişinin birbirleriyle olan Romence muhabbetlerini anlamasam da bana arkadaş oldular. Zamanla onlara ilginç geldi hikayem. Romanya’da gönüllü olarak bulunduğumu öğrendiklerinde takdir eden bakışlarını görmek bana sağa, sola dönemediğim yatağımda ilaç etkisi gösteriyordu. Bildikleri Türkçe kelimeleri söylemeleri, bildikleri Türkçe yemekleri söylemeleri bana minnettarlıklarını gösterir gibi ilgi göstermeleri bir kez daha doğru bir amaç için burada bulunduğumu hissettirdi bana. Bir an önce ayağa kalkmak için ne gerekiyorsa yapmam gerekiyordu ve bunu bana yardım eden herkes için yapmalıydım. Bir an önce projedeki yerimi almalıydım. Kısa sürede koltuk değnekleriyle yürümeye başladım. Ve ilk fırsatta aktivitelere katılmaya başladım. Artık sadece gönüllülük kavramı değil, birçok şeyin anlamı değişmişti benim için. Renklerin, kokuların, tadların aynı olmadığı bir hayatım vardı. Gönüllülük için bir işaret beklemek, aynaya baktığınız halde güzel olduğunuzu bir başkasından duymayı beklemeye benziyor. Zaten içinizde olan bir şeyi çıkarmak için doğru zamanı beklemeyin. Bir otobüste, yolda giderken, spor yaparken, parkta otururken küçücük bir hareketiniz oyunun bütün seyrini iyilerin lehine çevirmeye Scriptamanent #4

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yetebilir. Belki de siz benim gibi bir işaret beklemeyin diye bu satırları yazıyorum, elinizi taşın altına koymak için siz neyi bekliyorsunuz?

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No need for blue flowers No need for blue flowers

-----------------------Johanna Lohrengel Germany 33EVS in Lithuania, 2010

They told us of a blue flower hidden in the gloomy forest behind us. Each year that small fern blossom would show it’s ocean-eye colours to those daring the step into the unknown deep woods, alluring young boys and girls with the promise of any free wish granted once it is found. That day was today, the living legend of the burning fires of Joninės, the ancient celebration of the brightest of all nights. As usual we arrived later as planned. We came hitchhiking from Kaunas and, due to my Sicilian company, we got stuck near Žiežmariai when a local drunkard asked us to help him find his way to – wherever that place should be. With fascinatingly bad Lithuanian skills that huge Italian heart next to me tried to help that man by sharing his food with him and leading him back to one of those nearby villages that all got a look as if they had just popped out from a dusty fairy tale. But as it was not the first situation of such kind, again that man’s reaction showed me that a lot of those poisoned by their lack of self-control do not wish any help out. They just wish another bottle of vodka, until doomsday may arrive.It was only around Midnight when the sun started to set that we arrived at the hills of Kernavė, the heritage of old pagan Lithuania. There were voices, deep female tones wandering through the air, getting louder and faster the nearer we climbed to the edge. There were Canon choirs that went directly to my synapses, disconnecting all that should make me work, and leaving me behind numb and dizzy, only following the nearly painful screaming of those sun worshippers. I saw tall men in white linen shirts crowned with massive oak leaf wreathes. It was then that women Scriptamanent #4

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wearing golden bracelets and long colourful skirts that formed big woollen circles around them when they started spinning. The red setting sun drew a shining line around all these moving bodies and their laughing mouths, and in front of the sparkling water of Neris river where hundreds of lights were floating from little wreath candle boats I knew how Titania’s and Oberon’s world would look like.And right in that moment when the night fires got lighted and one little girl climbed on the shoulders of her father to let a sky balloon float up the sky it all came down to the one thing – I suddenly knew that I would not need to search for the blue flower. All I needed was in me and around me, nothing to add and nothing to wish for.When I look back from a distance to my European Voluntary Service in Lithuania it seems more like a dream landscape than the actual truth. When I left Germany there was still summer, arriving in Lithuania it looks as though I would have skipped several months and would have arrived in late autumn. Summer is a rare thing in this tiny country at the Baltic coast, and in September at my first days I could still see the last berry selling grandmothers on the local market, decently covered in checked woollen plaids around their wrinkled faces. My first steps in this unknown and nearly ever heard of country were careful ones. What kind of a place was this Lithuania? Was it a former Soviet country with a dark shadow of miserable past wafting around, or a peaceful venue of beekeepers and Basketball players? Does it live in the past or the present? And what to think about Kaunas, the second biggest Lithuanian city, that appeared to me as a German just as small as any middle-seize town I know. And most importantly, I thought, what would Lithuania think of me?Well, first of all it simply did not care much. Wheels and screws did not stop working just to applause my arrival. So the best way would be to also become a part of the daily life’s mechanism and do what I ought to do. Memories fade the more I try to recall the details. Just a few 58


winks that clearly pop up my mind. My Lithuanian teacher only several centimetres away from my face, showing me how to put the tongue in an absolutely absurd angle. “Rrr! You have to rrrroll the tongue!” The sound of Lithuanian, one of the oldest languages in Europe, always reminded me of wrought up singing birds. It was only long time after that when I finally distinguished some words out of the rrrrolled gibberish, and when it slowly started to make sense at some points.Then there were my friends, the international ones as well as the locals. There was a time that, me sitting on the groggy handlebar of the fragile Soviet bike. Behind me my friend that kept on screaming to not move so much and to not wink euphorically to all the people that passed by, until we turned into Dauksos Street where we discovered two young sisters standing still in the dark. The older one whispered: “Don’t be afraid, they won’t do you any harm!”, and thus opened her palms when dozens of glow worms rose and illuminated the street like a gate towards another world.Then there was the strict face of my boss, the founder of the project. I remember her straight back near the window at supervision, her green eyes looking deep into mine and giving me new strength when I was down. How could I forget this woman? There were also those moments with my clients that still chase me on some days, weeping faces and sad eyes, Indrė and her scarred arm, telling me her story. The vision of men pulling her, dirty injections in dark rooms, bright lingerie spread all over the hotel room. Then the day when she ran naked along the frozen canals of Amsterdam, not understanding any of their words, until the police came to fetch her. The day of freedom and indignity. Urtė in the hospital, with her dark curls in a wild tangle around her head. Bright empty eyes and her coarse voice, “Get me out of here! They are all crazy!” My stomach turning upside-down locked in that grey and cold square house. Then there were those days of bliss and throbbing adventure. I had my first hitchScriptamanent #4

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hiking on the way to Klaipėda with the thrill of being young and alive in my neck. Climbing up the roof of the empty Soviet hotel in Kęstučio street with a feeling like being the secret kings and queens of the town. The sauna days at winter time when we all jumped into the crystal-like shining snow hills at minus 26 degrees.Those times of raw, pure freedom. I still keep the message that my friend has sent me that one morning before the ice was melting. “We have changed. Can you feel it?” Indeed, we have. We all felt joy and frustration, guilt and responsibility. We all had a point where we wanted to go back to our safe homes, and none of us regretted the decision to stay. Lithuania was our teacher in the bad and good times. It sent us a smiling granny giving us apples from her garden when we were out of money. And on other days when we just thought we knew who we were, it set us a task that made us feel again like in one of those never ending mazes.And this is the reason why we all should dare the step abroad. Once you think you lose yourself, you have got the chance to find out who you really are. And my wish to all is to also lie in the gutter for once and realize that all you have to do is just grab the hand of a pedestrian to stand up again. And if that pedestrian happens to speak Lithuanian – just roll the rrrr.

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Analysis of a borderline girl in Serbia

---------------------------------------------------Ruxandra Borca 27 years | Romania 33International Coop. in Serbia and Montenegro, 2012

It was about time I put down my reflections about what we did last summer. It`s not so easy, though writing is something I used to do daily. Before coming to Serbia, I decided to keep a diary on everything I would be doing there. Mission impossible, since our lives didn`t stop for us, didn`t wait for us to keep a record of the way we were changing, of the way we were developing, or influencing the lives of the others. It worked for the first few days, and it`s rewarding to read that now. It`s not easy now either, since there are so many things to talk about, and thoughts come randomly, and thoughts run through my head. It`s not the best I could say about this experience, it`s not that bad either, but try as I might, words really don`t come as easy as I would like to, though dozens of pages could be filled Yet, this might not say anything to you who are reading now. What can really say something to you is what is in a name now, what Ruxandra will mean to you when you meet her one day? I recall the words of one of my friends in Serbia: why did you come to Serbia, Ruxandra? Indeed, why did you come? I remember when I got the call for applications. Though I knew some things about it since I was working on recent history issues, I think I never really planned to come to Serbia, it has never been on my mind, and never paid too much attention to the situation there. I think it happens sometimes with neighbouring countries, that we are so fed up with all the news we hear every day that we start paying a deaf ear, even if it affects us more than the Scriptamanent #4

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situation in other countries. Yet, I realized I would gain valuable knowledge on the turbulent Balkan history, which would be useful for future stories, enabling me to create strong characters against this background. I must admit now it was a win-win situation. Then the answer came. You have been accepted for the volunteering programme in Serbia. I was so dizzy that I couldn`t even remember very well when I had applied for it. What it was all about. It was a time of insecurity, of doubts, of fear. I called my parents, I called my friends. I am going to Serbia. For 4 months. What I am going to do there, I don`t know exactly, the project sounds challenging, we will see. I will do it. I will just take my life into my hands and go. Make a change, In my life and maybe in the world. Then my life went on normally. I even forgot about it. I decided to quit my job anyway, take a break and travel through the country. I did it. I was feeling better, though still lost. Couldn`t write. Came back home, got my flight ticket, said I would go, what the hell. Volunteer in Serbia. After all, coming back to youth work. One of my teen`s dreams. I said goodbye to everyone, cried a river for my boyfriend, tried to accept reality. There was nothing worth staying in Romania for. Nothing to lose, nothing to gain. I couldn`t endure anymore my masochist love for my boyfriend whom I didn`t know if I still loved or not. I felt a bit disconnected from my family, I had quit my job and writing had quit on me. I didn`t feel like going on with the struggle. I felt powerless. So 4 months. I knew it would change me. How? I didn`t know. But I had to run, run, and run, as fast as I could. My reality there was too bitter. I had to find myself again. Discover me. Analyse me. Strengthen me. Leave. 4 months have passed like one day. When looking back, I can`t believe I am here. I am home. And I wonder what home is. My friends and my family for sure. My life. My real life. But it was so hard to go back to all this. Our lives there‌ were they our real lives? For 4 months I was mostly disconnected from my reality. 62


I didn`t really keep in touch with people at home, I didn`t read news, I just cut myself off. The one who woke me up to my reality in Romania was my father, who suffered from one big surgery. I was divided between two worlds for some time and struggled with myself whether to come back or not. Be with him or be with me. Some people supported me, some people judged me. Irresponsible, ungrateful, such a bad daughter, they called me. Abandon your family when they needed you most. Live your life, not mine, said my father. I did. And I thank him for this. I was in Serbia for four months, together with another 11 great guys; I should say all of us having their lives a bit fucked up. Nobody came there because he/she was having the time of his life at home. Everyone came to solve a problem. To find oneself. To analyse oneself. To make a change. In his life. In the others. I was not sure why I was there or what my mission was. I met strange people. These guys I was leaving with for 4 months… they were all kind of strange people. We people are strange, in fact. Have inner conflicts. Too many. Project them on the others. Too much. But nothing compares to the exchange of human emotions. Every day, every person I met was a challenge, ever so rewarding. I challenged myself. I started positioning myself in all sort of extreme situations that challenged my social, physical and psychological skills. I was a bit borderline. A bit blue. A bit crazy. A bit interrupted between dream and reality. I am not sure yet if at the end of this journey I found the border between the two. Never believed in borders, anyway. What I know is that I grew up. The people around me were growing up and I was growing up along. I was a volunteer, but volunteer for what? For peace and understanding, for conflict resolution, for diversity promotion…such big words…I was just a human being, as the others there. As the young volunteers there. Not wiser, not cleverer but just trying to make friends with those people. I might not have got the aim of the project Scriptamanent #4

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completely, I might not have been so much into all the activities proposed, but what I do know I managed to do was to get to the heart of the people, by undressing my feelings, by making myself, my mind and my emotions available to them. You, who have been there, you all know them. You know how important it was for them to show you really care. You are not there for doing your job. You are there to be human. It`s the only task I fully completed in my stay there. I learnt to share and I taught the others to share. To share stories and listen. Learn from the others. Learn from the young ones. Learn from the old ones. Learn from the other cultures we look down on. Grow up. Be a better person. Too high standards. But not so difficult to attain. I came there with mistrust in the human race. I came there almost with despise. I came there with the belief everybody would hurt you at a certain moment, it’s just a matter of time. In life, one should start from the premise that people will more probably conspire against you, rather than with you. Maybe it`s typically Romanian, after living in a communist country, in a family politically engaged against security forces, to suspect everybody. What to do, everybody has some problems, and I had them too. I over-analyse things, and I did the same with people in Serbia. I was sometimes just sitting and silently x-ray analysing you all. Passing judgements. To myself. Trying to figure out the human behaviour which is so illogical and confusing. This made me suspicious to some of you, untrustworthy. I am sorry. The people there, nevertheless, showed me their rawest feelings, as true as rarely people have shown me. They gained my trust by simply being themselves. I succeeded in being myself with everybody due to all these people. Due to their Serbian hospitality. Due to the chance of living among ethnically, socially different people, Vlah, Serb, Albanian, Rroma‌ if we are to take into account names. And not human essences. I experienced all feelings. I made friends. I helped others make 64


friends, I travelled the Serbian world from one corner to the other, lived among different people, gave up important things, learnt to make decisions and priorities, fell in love, and fell in hate, and in love, I understood how small we are and how much we like to cling to comfort and material things while we can be so happy with just one smile. I felt fulfilled when at the end I could clearly see some practical achievements of my stay there in a definite improvement in the development of some of the volunteers. I shed tears of joy, and tears of pain, I did everything you do in a normal life, strain ankles, go to the dentist, make love, laugh, play football, eat, drink, pray, talk. Having others do this for me. And many others. The difference was that I was doing them with a bit of selfishness, experiencing, looking at myself, looking at the way I am changing, making myself the main character of the story. My story. In which Serbian people, people I had known for just one month cared about me, showed love and offered help. Serbia is now part of my life, though for 4 months it was a simple chapter of one future book. It is my 4 months gap from reality. A dive into another reality. Which one do I prefer now? I have been questioning myself ever since I came back home. It`s hard to fit back into your place. It`s hard to go back to your life again. I have here now everything I had been running away from. My ex-boyfriend told me before going away that I can run away from everybody, but I cannot run away from myself. Well, I didn`t. Here I am. I rediscovered myself there and I brought this person along. A stronger one, a brave one. A self-confident and a self-aware one. Maybe sometimes I was too zipped in my world and I didn`t notice some of you needed me, needed somebody to listen to them. Maybe I could have been that person. I am sorry; I was too deepened into my self-analysis and reconstruction. Maybe some of you now don`t think I deserve somehow to be kept in touch with, since we didn’t have so much to do this time there. Give a chance. You taught me this. Maybe I disrespected Scriptamanent #4

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you sometimes; I cared only about my problems‌ I know this, and you helped me see this and change this in my life. I was learning, from each of you something new, something different, sharing with each of you something else and in a different way. It will not help you that I am telling this now, but it will help me in communicating and relating to other people. This is the change you made in me. And I thank you. Thank you for making me understand that we people are not concepts to be analysed. We are simple human beings to be accepted and improved when possible. We all together managed to do this, with each of us, in more or less perceivable ways. There was neither friendship, nor love or hate between us all. It was only life. I didn`t get into writing about places, or events, or private stories. I preferred to make this rather long psycho-analysis of our feelings. Mine, particularly. To show you how big your impact was on me. How important Serbia was for breaking our walls, irrespective of their texture. How important Serbia was for making us all meet and share our experiences. I am really thankful for this and I really hope you all had your changes. And your further impact on other people`s lives. Pay it forward. Somehow, willingly or not, will stay connected, if we all believe in Michael Ondaatje`s words of dying rich with friends, in a world without maps. Let`s go back to Serbia, will you? Emotionally yours, Ruxandra Borca

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SEV - ul sau povestile pe care le duci in spinare

--------------------Madalina Mihai 25 years | Romania 33EVS in Poland, 2011

Au trecut deja trei luni de când pașiii m-au readus acasă la distanță mai mică sau mai mare de Polonia, de realitatea în care mi-am petrecut aproape 10 luni din viață și de persoana care am fost în acea perioada. Mi-a fost greu să-mi adun gândurile pe hârtie, pentru că după experiența EVS-ului, mi-a fost greu să-mi adun gândurile în general. Sau pe mine, de pe drumuri, mă știam de ceva vreme că îs una dintre persoanele acelea care-și poartă viața într-o valiză. Povestea mea cu SEV-ul a început într-un moment în care doream să fug repejor din realitatea ce mă înconjura, într-un loc nou, care să mă scoată total din zona mea de confort și să mă îndrepte spre noi orizonturi mentale. Polonia mi-a aterizat prima în poală și dornică cum eram de a porni la drum, am zis da fără prea multe ezitări inițiale. Când oamenii mă întreabă cum a fost în Polonia, mi se pare tare greu să descriu totul într-o singură frază. Pentru că acum, la trei luni distanță de toată experiența aceasta, aș putea numai să spun că în vâltoarea relelor și bunelor care au survenit în timpul EVS-ului, Polonia este și probabil mereu va ramane “part of my becoming”, tranziția aceea între persoana care am fost și cea care aș vrea să devin. În Polonia am lucrat într-o grădiniță. Și cu toate că nu vorbeam limba și universul din jurul zilelor mele se învârtea de multe ori în tăcere prelungită, am învățat că atunci când ești înconjurat de copii, e ușor să treci peste bariera lingvistică. Pentru că ei te învață lucruri chiar mai importante decat limba în sine, te învață iscusința de a relaționa cu alte persoane la modul cel mai onest uman. Și îți Scriptamanent #4

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oferă multă dragoste necondiționată, iară eu m-am scufundat pe deplin în zâmbetele lor calde în zilele geroase ale Poloniei. Ce-a mai însemnat Polonia pentru mine? Locul în care am învățat să îmi înving demonii singurătății și ai dorului de casă, am învățat că adaptabilitatea la o nouă societate și cultură ține de disponibiltate mai mult decât de orice altceva, am învățat că e în regulă să simți lucrurile intens și că oamenii te pot suprinde în orice moment. EVS-ul m-a purtat prin locuri frumoase, unde am dat de oameni și mai frumoși și mi-a deschis calea către descoperirea celor mai ascunde mărunțișuri ale unei culturi. Pentru tot ceea ce a fost și ce nu a fost EVS-ul pentru mine, nu aș regreta nicicând această experiență și aș sări în apărarea ei întotdeauna, drept recomandare aproape obligatorie pentru toți cei ce vor să-și descopere, la modul real, adâncimile lăuntrului.

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Santa comes from Georgia with a pack full of motivation

---------------------Daviti Odikadze 22 years | Georgia 33EVS in Romania, 2012

Imagine the most perfect pictures ever - a beautiful beach with the marvellous view of the Black Sea, the breath taking Caucasian mountains in the background, the perfect melody of river Mtkvari’s small waves… Many beautiful lakes all around… That is the country where every little thing whispers to you to tell you his story; a country that is always in my dreams and is my everything. That is my wonderful land - GEORGIA.And so it happened one day. After a long period of thinking and rethinking every possibility over and over again, I finally got my strings together, I’ve decided to take my chances and to dive myself into a new experience called volunteering. I chose Romania. Why? I could not give an answer to that question now as I couldn’t then, but I felt the excitement in my bones and I knew that from this point on the things will never be the same for me again. That feeling was enough for me to keep me moving and go through all those procedures to get my visa and start my life over again, in some other place that I’ve never been at, with some other people that I didn’t know. It was the first time that I was living alone. So you can imagine that experience - it was really difficult of course. I could not speak Romanian and also my English was very basic. My native language - Georgian (maximum 5M people speak that language) is totally different from any other language, so before I came I already knew that I could not use my native language as a basic to learn these other two languages. Ok, I can say that I start as a volunteer without language but with a huge motivation. And now, after all this experience that I’ve gained here, I can also say that the motivation of one is more important than any Scriptamanent #4

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language barrier, because that is the only thing that keeps you moving forward and not giving up. Trust me – in the end it is all worth it.Whit the coming in Romania I found out that I’ve made a great decision with the election of the project. For me, in my project the most important goal is to make the children happy. I worked in kindergartens, schools and in hospitals with children between the ages of 3-15 years old. Well, I am sure that you all know that being around children requires lots of attention, creativity and hard work. But all of this made this project not waste of time, but learning how to deal with different kinds of situations. Also we were lucky enough to get the best team ever. We had many problems, some of them really difficult, some of them not so much… It was challenging to live and work with 20 different people from 16 different countries but I think we did a very good job with this journey. And after few mounts of storms and cultural crashes, we are still together. I can say that together these days for us means a great team with a huge power.Who am I here? Just Dato Odikadze from Georgia… The scariest fact that I had to face and that only I knew was that I was alone and my name meant nothing in this country. If I wanted help I could count to one person for sure - to myself, because here I didn’t have my family, friends or a single person that I know. If I wanted something I had to do it myself. For me everything was different, strange, but nice to explore me for change and to discover this me-person better. I’ve started with observing everything around me, including my life in different ways. I started to create my Present and my Future alone. But the greatest thing was that they were just mine and I was the only creator. It’s looks pretty difficult process to pass but interesting for sure. Now when I compare what kind of person am I, what power I have alone and what I can create without the help of anyone, comparing to the “lost” person that I was when I came here, scared to be without his circle of friends and family, I am very proud of myself and in 70


the same time very grateful that life put the strings in a way I could catch this opportunity. I’ve had only one job to do - to put my biggest motivation in my backpack and take the plane to Bucharest. With this kind of attitude I’ve started to be a real volunteer. It was a challenging adaptation process for me but I had all the support of many Romanian people from my organization. But also the fact that I knew that 19 more people are going through more or less the same thing was comforting. It was really nice to work with other kind of people, with all of their specific characters and cultural marks. It was and it still is really nice. Before I came from Georgia here, in Romania, everyone warned me that I will have a culture shock but I did not had any big problems or I did not feel strange in this circle of people. Maybe it’s because of my character, or my flexibility skills but who cares, I was there and I was more than happy to live in this multi-cultural family.The winter came bringing all her whiteness behind her. What are you supposed to expect from winter? 99% of the people will answer now – cold weather, snow, shorter days ect., but mine huge expectation was Christmas, the happy faces and positive energy. Taking into consideration the fact that Christmas in my country is on 7th January and Georgian’s most popular Holiday is New Year, for me 25th December was not so important from that point of view. But in another way it was one of the most important days in my life because in our project we had a Christmas campaign for the children in hospitals and rural areas, so we bring a reason more for them to forget at least for a while where they are and to smile on this day. We’ve started to collect toys from the caring parents of the children from the kindergartens and schools in our program. We were very, but very happy because we had the chance to participate in this huge event and be in Santa’s shoes for one day. Before Christmas we saw all our collected toys. They were in one big room until the top of it. To be honest, when I saw this I couldn’t believe my eyes. Scriptamanent #4

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I guess people need just one touch of motivation to be noble and generous. Imagine what can happen if you work on this in a long term. Finally we made the teams for Christmas campaign and we had two Santa for each group - me and Rafa from Spain. So I was literally in Santa’s shoes. I had the privilege to give them the presents with the toys, sweets, books and what no inside of the packages and to see that small faces happy and excited. I hope I’ve been a nice Santa for them. We sang songs and made some activities in hospitals for them and with a paper snowflakes and lots of positive energy and people we all together celebrated the Christmas day.Bradet – the rural area where we also do our program was included in the Christmas campaign as well. Getting up at five o’clock in the morning just go there and beating the rock out of my laziness was definitely a nice victory. In Bradet are children who don’t have parents and live all together as a big family. They are all the time together. They teach each other how to live and help each other with everything. If no one ever thought to be there for them and never tried to help them maybe they would’ve felt isolated and that no one out there cares for them. So I’m glad that we went to visit them. They already knew us and were very happy to see us. We’ve made some nice activities for and with them, played some music and sang Christmas carols, made balloons and Santa, me, gave them presents. Each of them told me a poem as a return-present. It was a really nice feeling. I felt like a real Santa. Even now when I think of these moments my heart melts from that mixture of emotions that I felt back then. After this campaign I am able to recognize what I’ve done during the project and to realize what I was making in that day. It was a huge thing - a BOOM for me and a BOOM of attention and love for the children. I am not even able to describe it using words – you have to feel it so you can know it. I believe that each person has a mission during his stay on the Earth and now I feel that maybe I found what my mission is all 72


about. One thing is for sure, I will continue to do the same. When you see children dancing, when you see their happy faces - in these moments you feel that you are making something nice, something good and you don’t want that this moment ever ends. You are getting more motivated and more energetic to keep doing what you’re doing, having the gift to see same faces happy and beautiful all the time. This is what I feel in that moment and I will never forget that feeling ever. Like that we finished the Christmas campaign – a huge success. I was really happy, but I got very bad news from Georgia. A person witch I loved a lot, which was my everything, my grandfather got Trombone and he was in hospital. I spoke with my family and they told me about his bad condition and that they are waiting for him to die in every moment. It was…? After New Year I went back in Georgia to see my grandfather. I made a huge mistake! I wanted to remember him like I knew him before – a happy, clever man that has all the wisdom inside within him ready to pass it to me. But when I saw him like that, he was in very bad condition and now I will have these images of this different grandfather with me all the time. It breaks my heart each time I think of it, each time I remember… After one horror week I went back in Romania and it was very difficult for me because I didn’t want to put anyone in a bad mood because of me or my emotions to influence and transfer to the work with the children. With children you always have to put your own problems away and to give the best of you to them. So I’ve done everything possible to don’t show them my problems – they are mine and I berried them deep inside of me, so I hope that I succeed with this. Language barrier- what is that? Don’t you know that everyone smiles in the same language? Cultural differences? Just be friendly, positive, motivated and love the project that you are choosing. Like this each problem will be a piece of cake. You want to be volunteer somewhere? Don’t take anything special, just take motivation with you and you will be Scriptamanent #4

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the best volunteer ever. You will get the chance to feel all that I’ve felt and if you allow yourself – even more. With love and volunteering you can give and get the best presents in your life that you could not even imagine that existed. Volunteering!!! You have to know the meaning of this word because it is more than just a word. It is something more essential. It’s to give and get happiness and the only way to know it, is to feel it! Dare!

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Fii. Nu incerca sa devii

------------------Halaseh Desiree 28 years | Romania 33EVS in Togo, 2012

E usor trecut de miezul noptii si pe terasa ultimului etaj dintroarecare casa, de pe o oarecare strada din Adidogome se aud inca ritmuri africane de djembe. Pe aleea din fata, mai trece grabit cate un zemi-john, femeile isi strang tarabele de mango, dintr-o camera se aude un copil plangand, iar daca nu esti atent, te impiedici de rogojini de bambus pe care motaie cate un musteriu toropit de caldura. Ianuarie, 2013. E cald. Mai am un pic si adorm, dar inainte, vreau sa-ti mai scriu cateva randuri despre de ce ar trebui sa te opresti si sa mirosi trandafirii. Avem timp pentru orice. 40 de zile africane. As putea face asta o viata, imi spun. Ma uit cu duiosie la momentul in care am ales sa-mi schimb lumea: cu cateva luni in urma, intr-o seara de octombrie, tocmai completam raportul de activitate al unui proiect de voluntariat pe jurnalism in Iordania care urma sa se termine in cateva zile. O luna in care am batut in lung si-n lat strazile Ammanului in cautare de imagini si povesti, in care am invat sa traiesc frumos intr-o familie de 26 de alti tineri, cu care am calatorit de la Marea Moarta si pana in Wadi Rum in cautarea rasaritului perfect. O stare ciudata de angoasa ma cuprinsese. Ma intorc acasa. Si apoi ce? Ce proiect, in ce colt al lumii, oare cand se va intampla – pur si simplu nu-mi imaginam cum as putea reveni la vechiul stil de viata sedentar, de acasa, unde, cea mai mare exaltare e o excursie de 5 zile cu masina undeva in afara tarii, dar nu prea departe, eventual la Nisipurile Aurii, all inclusive, indelung negociata cu insi care se iluzioneaza ca o pauza cuminte de la servici, le mai poate oferi mult dorita schimbare in viata. Si apoi s-a intamplat. Fratilor, eu plec in Africa! Care merge cu mine? Un proiect al Comisiei, pe cateva luni in Togo, parea ca e raspunsul la toate intrebarile pe care le aveam asupra viitorului intunecat al revenirii Scriptamanent #4

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in sanul cald al complacerii de sine de acasa. Imaginati-va desertul, savanele, tobele, palmerii si oceanul! Acolo e de noi, eu nu mai indur o iarna la minus 30 de grade, cu brazi de plastic si magazine violent decorate de Craciun, care sarbatoresc mai in gluma, mai in serios - apocalipsa din decembrie. Se aude acolo in spate? Am nevoie de o schimbare! Africa suna bine – m-am vaccinat in India, cat de rau poate sa fie? Am aflat ca atunci cand ajung in tari dezvoltate, invat sa o ajut pe a mea, iar cand soarta ma poarta catre est, spre lumea a treia, invat sa ma bucur de ce am. Ce bine suna, ca la carte! Timpul are sa-mi confirme. Acum am un avion de prins. Ne vedem in primavara, ti-am spus ca mergi cu mine sa ne relaxam la un masaj ayurvedic prin sudul Indiei, sa ne plimbam cu elefantii prin paduri tropicale si sa adormim in tree houses sau sa ne jucam de-a festivalul culorilor Holi cu localnicii din Munnar. Promit ca am sa te invat cum se face un masala chai adevarat si, daca ai curaj - cum sa porti un saree sau dhoti the indian way. Mama Africa nu mi-a spus cum sa traiesc, ci mi-a aratat. Brutal ce-i drept: sa ma incred intr-un tanar, care ma trage de mana din multime, in adapostul unei case dintr-un cartier limitrof, in timpul unui protest stradal, sau in spusele unei batrane pe jumate oarba, care ma sfatuieste sa ma spal intr-un lac care vindeca orice boala. Intr-o saptamana, de cand a inceput aventura africana, increderea ca ii voi supravietui a scazut considerabil. Evenimentele se desfasurau necontrolat in fata mea, asistam la propriul spectacol, fara a avea sansa unei replici. Mi-am pierdut vocea, si, o data cu ea puterea de a ma impotrivi. Au urmat, precipitat, zile in sectia de terapie intensiva, analize peste analize, rauri de glucoza si antibiotoce, intrebari despre antecedentele medicale intr-o franceza/ewe pe care nu o intelegeam nicicum. In izolarea camerei de spital am inteles intr-un tarziu ce se intamplase: pasisem in afara zonei de confort, intr-un loc unde fiecare clipa 76


o traiam ca pentru prima data si nimic din jurul meu nu imi mai era familiar. Esuasem lamentabil in a repeta partitura atent compusa de acasa: „Sunt deschisa la orice va veni in calea mea! Sunt complet deschisa la orice va veni in calea mea!” Nimic mai departe de adevar. Ignorasem importanta salutului in cultura africana, nu aveam incredere in bunatatea omului de pe strada, eram suspicioasa si precauta la fiecare pas, purtam mereu cu mine frica ca ceva ingrozitor ma pandeste la fiecare colt. Atunci a fost momentul cand mi-am propus sa nu-mi mai propun nimic. Sa vina ce are de venit. Am sa fiu de acord cu ce imi propui. Am sa fiu de acord cu ce ai sa-mi oferi. Am sa fiu de acord cu ce ai sa iei de la mine. „Nu” trebuie sa dispara - nu pot, nu sunt in stare, nu cred ca e sigur, nu e sanatos, nu e logic. Astazi ma bucur de clipa asta. De momentul in care ma duc la scoala si elevii mei de la École La Voie no.3 din Adidogome ma intampina cu Hello Desiree! si nu Hello miss teacher! cand, in curte vine o mare de prichindei care ma trage de mana - „yovo, yovo bonsoir!” sau cand la pranz pot sa cobor pana in fata casei si sa-mi iau gogosi proaspat facute in strada de vecina noastra sau sa beau dintr-o nuca de cocos gasita aiurea sub un cocotier din apropiere. E tarziu si ora de batut la tobe africane e pe terminate. Azi i-am invatat pe copii ce inseamna „harbour”. Pe litere, fiecare, si apoi cu toata clasa – „harbar”. Maine mergem la ocean, sa traim simplu in colibe pe nisip si sa dormim sub stele. Viata e un dans intre zi si noapte, intre cald si frig. Care nu se opreste niciodata. Misca-te, cu cat balansul e mai mare, cu atat experienta dansului va fi mai profunda. Sunt acasa. As putea face asta o viata intreaga!

Scriptamanent #4

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Dziękuję Polska! 1.07.2012 ore 6:00: è tutto pronto, si parte alla volta dell’aeroporto. Quello in aereo, però, rappresenta solo la prima parte del viaggio che ha come destinazione finale Bystrzyca Kłodzka, un comune polacco situato nel distretto di Kłodzko, nella bassa Slesia. Dopo aver fatto scalo a Zurigo ed essere giunta a Praga (che dista tre ore esatte con il treno da Bystrzyca Kłodzka), mi dirigo alla stazione centrale dove – ahimè - iniziano già i problemi di comprensione a livello linguistico!!! Nonostante avessi seguito alla lettera le indicazioni fornitemisi dalla mia sending organization “Link Youth” di Altamura, mi ritrovo su un treno con destinazione diversa da Bystrzyca Kłodzka. Ma… niente panico, chiedo informazioni! Sarebbe stato più semplice, però, se qualcuno in quel treno parlasse in inglese e non solo ceco! Tramite l’aiuto del controllore dei biglietti, riesco a trovare una ragazza che mi spiega in maniera dettagliata cosa fare, ovvero: cambiare 5 treni nel giro di mezz’ora, con a carico 2 valige e una borsa. Semplice, no? Giungo finalmente a Bystrzyca Kłodzka dove Magda, la tutor, mi porta in quella che sarà la mia futura casa per un mese esatto. Intimorita dal conoscere nuove persone e anche un po’ frastornata dal viaggio che - a causa delle diverse peripezie - è durato un’intera giornata, ecco che spunta una ragazza turca che mi mostra la casa e la stanza che – purtroppo - condivideremo solo per qualche giorno in quanto il suo progetto stava per terminare. Alla domanda: Where are you from?, la mia risposta: Italy scaturisce commenti positivi da parte degli altri coinquilini, entrambi di nazionalità turca, che iniziano a raccontarmi in compagnia di un tè turco di ciò che hanno visitato in Italia e che amano il cosiddetto “bel paese”. In quel momento ho capito che avrei trascorso uno dei mesi più belli ed intensi della mia vita, in compagnia di persone simpatiche, umili, friendly e piene di qualità positive. Nonostante la stanchezza (mai rifiutare gli inviti!!), mi 78


--------------------Mariangela Angelastri 22 years | Italy 33EVS in Poland, 2012

dirigo insieme ai miei nuovi coinquilini verso il famosissimo office flat. Famosissimo perché è l’unico appartamento in cui è possibile accedere a internet e dove spesso ci si dirige per usufruire della connessione o, come in questo caso, per vedere la finale degli Europei 2012, in cui ho assistito insieme agli altri volontari alla sconfitta dell’Italia contro la Spagna. Dopo questa lunga giornata inizia il mio percorso da volontaria.. Ho sempre sognato di fare un’esperienza di volontariato, soprattutto all’estero e quando mi è stata data l’opportunità di farlo, come si dice “ho colto la palla al balzo!”. Perché? Prima di tutto si tratta di un’esperienza di vita, conoscere nuove persone, nuove culture, dialogare con loro, condividere la stanza con ragazze di altri paesi e soprattutto religioni. Quando per la prima volta ho visto la ragazza turca senza velo - che indossava obbligatoriamente in presenza di ragazzi a causa della sua religione- mi è venuto spontaneo farle qualche domanda a proposito dei suoi usi e costumi e parlare del mio stile di vita, completamente diverso dal suo. Inoltre, si entra in contatto con la cultura del paese che ti “ospita”. Uscivo di casa alle 8:30 e vedevo il centro del paese pieno di gente. Tornavo a casa alle 16:00 dopo il lavoro e vedevo quel centro – che prima pullulava di gente- completamente vuoto!! In Polonia, infatti, le attività vanno – ad eccezione dei supermercati - dalle 7 del mattino alle 4 del pomeriggio, mentre in Italia dalle 9 del mattino alle 13, poi segue la pausa pranzo e si riprende il pomeriggio dalle 16:00 alle 20:30 su per giù. Per questo in Polonia dopo un’abbondante colazione si cena direttamente intorno alle 18:00. Questo mi differenziava dagli altri, in quanto non potevo mai rinunciare al mio sandwich che portavo sempre con me a lavoro e che mangiavo alla mia solita ora, intorno alle 13:00! Ma soprattutto si tratta di un’esperienza che ti permette di crescere e- come Scriptamanent #4

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nel mio caso – uscire dal guscio, dal luogo sicuro (la famiglia) e diventare più responsabile ed indipendente; di non avere paura nelle situazioni “difficili” e di essere in grado di uscirne! Non avrei mai pensato di dovermi perdere in Repubblica Ceca e di riuscire a trovare la soluzione. Lo SVE è anche questo!! Parliamo un po’ del lavoro di volontariato che ho svolto. Il tema del mio progetto è stato quello dell’ambiente: ogni mattina dal lunedì al venerdì ci dirigevamo nei dintorni di Bystrzyca Kłodzka per tagliare l’erba, raccogliere i rifiuti dai parchi e aiutare la comunità a vivere in modo migliore. I ragazzi principalmente tagliavano l’erba, in quanto i mezzi utilizzati richiedevano tanta forza; le ragazze, invece, raccoglievano i rifiuti. Alla fine di ogni giornata lavorativa, ci si riuniva per o dopo cena nei diversi appartamenti e, in compagnia di tè ( per i turchi contrari all’alcool) e di qualche birra per i restanti volontari provenienti da diversi paesi quali Romania, Ucraina, Belgio, Lettonia, Lituania, Francia, Islanda, Serbia, Repubblica Domenicana e India, si condividevano pensieri, storie di vita e tutto ciò che si può dire quando si è in compagnia di tante persone provenienti da vari paesi del mondo! Da non dimenticare è la serata culturale nella quale ogni volontario proveniente da un paese diverso doveva preparare un prodotto tipico del proprio paese e poi spiegare in breve le fasi di preparazione. E mentre tutti si aspettavano che il piatto italiano fosse la famosissima pizza, ecco che li stupisco preparando i panzerotti, specialità pugliese. E, nonostante non avessi mai preparato i panzerotti in vita mia, fu il primo piatto che nel giro di 15 minuti era già vuoto!! Sono passati otto mesi dalla mia esperienza di volontariato e la ricordo come se fosse oggi. Un mese è breve, passa in fretta, ma ti permette di consolidare amicizie durature nel tempo. Molti sono i volontari con cui rimango in contatto tutt’ora e che spero un giorno di rivedere! 31.07.2012 ore 7:50: quando si sono chiuse le porte del treno 80


diretto a Praga ho realizzato amaramente che tutto era finito…. Non mi resta che ringraziare la Polonia e questa esperienza di volontariato per avermi resa più indipendente, più sicura di me, ma anche e soprattutto per avermi offerto la possibilità di vivere un’esperienza indimenticabile!! Quanti di voi desiderano la stessa cosa? Let’s be volunteer!

Scriptamanent #4

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Written on my skin Un raggio di sole fa capolino sulla tavolata di legno del pub. Settembre sta finendo e da soli giorni ho festeggiato il mio 27esimo compleanno, è una giornata mite, difficile pensare che stia per arrivare l’autunno quando ancora si aspetta l’estate. Osservo le mie amiche, coloro che in ogni momento mi hanno fatto sentire a casa, che mi hanno dato quel raggio di sole che l’Inghilterra mi negava ad ogni singolo risveglio, e che probabilmente mi hanno convinto che il proprio posto nel mondo non è necessariamente quello in cui si è nati ma quello in cui ci si sente più felici. Le guardo attraverso le sfumature di una pinta bionda e penso che da questa esperienza mi porto via sopratutto dei grandi amici, quelli a cui dici “ci vediamo presto” anche se sai benissimo che non succederà, ma non hai dubbi sul fatto che per te ci saranno sempre, anche se da lontano. Saranno lì a darti la forza e non esiteranno a farti notare gli errori quando tu non riuscirai a vederli. È imbarazzante e a tratti malinconico essere testimone della propria festa d'addio. Sei al centro della sala e tutti si aspettano da te un discorso che descriva i tuoi sentimenti, tutti aspettano di essere citati nel racconto di qualche aneddoto indimenticabile, tutti aspettano che una lacrimuccia scenda al pronunciare il loro nome. O semplicemente aspettano che tu finisca di parlare per poter finalmente assaltare un poco appetibile british buffet, che se non fossi ormai abituata alla cucina inglese, potrei considerare quasi un culinario insulto alla mia italianità. Quando sei una viaggiatrice incallita come me, agli addii ci si abitua come se ogni volta contassero un po' meno, con il passare del tempo scendono meno lacrime e si accetta l'abbandono quasi come una rutine. Così si sentono probabilmente anche i ragazzi del centro che sono qui di fronte a me, anche loro aspettando il fatidico discorso, loro che nascosti dietro adolescenziali armature di superiorità, sono già pronti a rendere la vita impossibile alla 82


----------------------------Alessia Sirangelo 29 years | Italy 33EVS in United Kingdom, 2010

nuova volontaria in arrivo, loro che nonostante questo hanno sempre nello sguardo quella timida voglia di dirti 'grazie', un grazie che è l'unica cosa che ho voglia di dire alla fine di un anno da EVS, un grazie che fa sempre bene ricevere e ancor di più pronunciare. Un grazie che probabilmente non è abbastanza per riempire un discorso ma sì lo è per riempire la valigia di esperienze che mi porto dietro. Un ultimo sorso di birra ed ecco i miei coinquilini pronti a prendermi sotto braccio e guidarmi fino alla porta di un locale oscuro e poco raccomandabile nella periferia della città. Le loro parole sono: pensa a qualcosa che vuoi che resti indelebile. E allora penso alla direzione irreversibile che la mia vita ha preso, penso a qualcosa che nessuna festa d'addio potrà mai portarsi via, penso a quando per la prima volta ho deciso di lasciare il mio paese e andare a scoprire ciò che la vita riservava per me. Scrivere una frase che ti rappresenti con una matita per gli occhi spuntata e su un tovagliolo stropicciato nella tasca dei jeans, per consegnarla a un tatuatore non è da tutti. Sicuramente lui ne ha incontrati molti di pazzi dell'ultimo minuto ma il suo sguardo si fa interdetto quando gli mostro la scritta in basco. Mi chiede: 'sei sicura che questa sia una lingua?' e io sorrido pensando a quanto sono stata fortunata ad aver potuto viaggiare e conoscere culture diverse, tanto da potermi scrivere addosso che “il MONDO è la mia casa”. Nella mia vita da nomade, di posti che ho chiamato casa ce ne sono stati tanti e ogni volta ce ne saranno di nuovi ma quando poi ti svegli nel bel mezzo della notte per prendere un aereo e vedi che come per incanto la casa si popola di gente che vuole poterti abbracciare ancora una volta, come se non riuscisse a lasciarti andare, ti rendi conto di come ci siano innumerevoli posti che oltre a poter chiamare casa, lo sono.

Scriptamanent #4

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Volunteering. A lesson worth learning! I come from one very small, but very beautiful country. Wonderful and dyed with all the colors is my small Bulgaria. In the East you can spot the endless golden sands of the Black Sea, in the South – the high green hills of the Rhodope Mountains; in the North - the Pacific deep waters of the Danube and in the West are the mountain ranges surrounded by the beautiful scenic valleys. Before I decided to become a volunteer I consider that I was one confused girl (seen from my family’s eyes already a grown up woman that should get married soon), with an average job, yet independent, with accommodation near the beach in the city where half of the Bulgarian people dream to live - Varna. However I was filled with a sense of boredom, loneliness, indifference towards life and everything else. Every day was the same thing over and over again, seeing the same people, going in the same clubs, problems… I don’t know if you have ever experienced that feeling or been in the same situation as I was 10 months ago, but I had the feeling as if something have caught me for the neck and did not leave to breathe in a normal way. I was in a period when I needed a change… a big change – so badly. But what was I supposed to do, how, where? I was looking for a different options and opportunities and then I remember about one of my friends from Canada that went in Korea like a volunteer. In that same moment I said to myself - “Ok, why not?” Well if you are 27 years old it’s a bit hard to tell your parents that you’re becoming a volunteer and you are planning to work for no money somewhere in another country. But I got over that somehow. The down side of everything was that I come from Bulgaria – the country that according to my opinion is the less involved in volunteering and where this concept is not spread at all, not to talk about my city. Not only my parents, but also my 84


---------------------Bilyana Yordanova 27 years | Bulgaria 33EVS in Romania, 2012

friends were wondering what is wrong with me and why I am thinking to take this kind of step. Also, to be honest my options were not many, especially taking into consideration the fact that I was able to speak only my sweet, native language – Bulgarian. So seen from this perspective the mission seemed almost impossible. I knew just few simple words in English that I’ve learned by myself, because I’ve never had the chance to study this language. Going above all of this, one cold February’s day, I decided to take the leap and I brought a big decision. Actually huge! I left my secure job, my cozy accommodation on the beach and I got back in my small native city, that few months before that I thought that I would never do it. Going back to my city was the bottom option for me. When I told my family that I want to go somewhere to be a volunteer their reaction was not so good at all. My mother said that I am crazy and she didn’t want to speak with me about this anymore and also my friends - as I already mentioned they didn’t take me seriously because they were thinking that I am just joking and I will soon give up from this idea. Generally, I had no support from anyone and also, one small detail was present as well – I did not have any knowledge of how to become a volunteer. But after all, the most difficult step was already taken and I was sure that I will succeed if I am patient enough. So after few months of non-stop researching and informing myself from different sources about volunteering, I succeeded to find a project without any help from a sending organization and without any support from anywhere. I will say one big thank you to my hosting organizationA.C.T.O.R. for the chance that they give me regardless the language barrier and for the help that they offer me before coming here in Romania, as well as during the whole EVS project. So as you can see, impossible Scriptamanent #4

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is nothing and when people say this – I believe it is true because I’ve experienced it on my own skin! I needed the change desperately, to strive to be a better person, to be useful for someone and to re-find myself and the path that I want to continue my life from this point on. I wanted to know more about the problems that the world is facing with, to become more independent and stronger so I would be able, some day, to help solving these problems by myself – with my own plans, methods and actions. The voluntary work is one lovely way for the young people to get experience in different areas: education, journalism, social work, marketing… The possibilities are endless. The volunteering is a great way to spend some of your time and in return to gain very valuable skills, whether professional or practical. On the other hand it would be stupid not to mention the fact that you will enjoy the free living in another country and experience the touch with many different cultures. This for me is one of the biggest advantages of the volunteering abroad. It is a unique experience and training at the same time, interacting with new cultures, tasting different types of food, hearing new languages and meetings many new and interesting people from all around the world. One of the many goals I’ve set before to come in Romania was to develop as much as possible my language skills, because the best way to learn a language is when you practice it daily. In the beginning of my project, it was really difficult for me because I was not able to speak English good. I had problems with understanding the people which I worked with, as well as to express myself in a good way – so many times I was in a situation where I was misunderstood. I had trouble making complex sentences and I can say that I almost didn’t understand anything. But being in a surrounding like that, I was advancing very fast with my English. I understood that the languages 86


barriers are not so important, but more important are the values and the motivation that you have inside of you. The volunteering helped me to see my life in new and different way. To be able to say that I can change something in the life of others, to be the reason for the smile of a child as I am now, I will say that this is a long way is worth and you should never give up. We should be fighters and fight for our dreams – it’s the most important thing for one person because YOU are the most important person in your life and if you don’t work to accomplish your dreams, to face your fears and to make your life better, no other person in the world will do that for you. If you feel better about yourself, you’ll make all the people around you to feel better about you. These little things changed my life and fulfilled it with meaning - finally. Whit each day like a volunteer I had the chance to learn something new for the people, for compassion, sharing and for myself as well. For 8 months like a volunteer I’ve learn that there is nothing better than helping other people to be happy because in the same time you make yourself happy. I’ve learn that the only thing that makes me feel complete and happy is the sharing, because if you give more of yourself to others, you will get more. I’ve learned that there is nothing scarier than our own prejudices and fears that prevent us seeing the real things in the life. In the life there are not impossible things. If you just follow your dreams, each door will start to open for you, one by one. Just be a ready and take your chances.

Scriptamanent #4

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The butterfly effect Just another hot sunny day in the middle of spring-2013… The train is slowly towing its body on the rails, yet so elegantly that you get jealous at it for being able to stand in front of the God of the Light for so long without giving away even one single drop of its sweat. Amazing! The best thing that can offers to its travelling admirers is them not to miss a single moment of the beauties that they are passing through along the way. It makes sure to be at the right speed so that the gracious Carpathian will take each hidden breath out of them. And there it is - the longest of them all; the big darkness that will swallow all this beauty in a blink of an eye… It is just fascinating how one forgets to enjoy the beauty of the light when travelling and then a tunnel comes along, placed right in the heart of a mountain to remind us of the privilege that we have had. How long can a minute in a tunnel last? Too long… For a moment there she felt like the darkness consuming her. She got scared! But then… Then she felt the warmth of the first ray of light that announced the return of the day – the new chance to enjoy the light; a chance for a brand new start… She smiled!The announcement (9 months earlier) She: Mom, dad… (Long pause) I am going to Romania! The silence took over the room. She was not surprised but yet, it was hurting like crazy to see that look of disappointment in their eyes. They didn't say anything, but the silence was too loud, actually screaming at her ears all the things that she did not want to hear. Tear-drops on a young lady’s pillow were shed in the night before the 1st of August 2012, but no sound of crying was heard.Challenge number 1 In the classroom for the first time… One whole team of little Einsteins waited to be enlightened. Their chicks were bursting 88


like the genuine red Tetovo apples and their looks were fixed at her and only at her. She was trembling. These hungry look of their eyes eager to discover the world, full with questions ready to get out and with the most sincere reactions that you can ever get, made her feel like a small bird that is learning how to fly. She stands on the edge of the cliff, spreads her wings, swallows the fear of failure and she dives into the air – the fresh air of change. The taste of freedom is probably the most relaxing and fulfilling thing you can ever get to taste. She: The lesson is over? So fast?! I want more!!! One of the children from the class makes his way through the big group like a brave soldier and jumps into her arms to hug her. Child: I love you Miss Macedonia!

She: Each time you enter these places you have to be brave and force yourself to be in your best mood, even if all you want to do is go home and hide from the world under your blanket, thinking that maybe this will erase all the bad things around you. You should never allow yourself to be consumed by the atmosphere of these places, but even more, you should try your best to change it. Still, I love going there! She was looking over and over for so many times through these sad faces trying to see every line and Scriptamanent #4

---------------------Aleksandra Siljanoska 22 years | Macedonia 33EVS in Romania, 2012

That was it! In that precise moment she knew that she was at the right place. She represented everything that Macedonia meant to them. And they loved her! Sincerely!Challenge number 2

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trying to read every gesture. Children in wheelchairs, children without limbs, with burned skin, children without parents, parents without hope… It was painful each time to try to imagine their story, not to say how extremely hard would have been if she had to live a life like this. It’s hard to be under their skin. She was grateful for her well condition and the life she had and for that she decided not to save even a bit of her energy when she is going at the hospital to visit these people… these children. She loved them without knowing them, without expecting something from them. Ok, maybe just a little smile on their face. And do not think even for a minute that she was a Saint. Far from that… Each time she knew that she had to go there, she felt how her legs are going back at home, not letting her to go and do her job. But once she entered there, she felt like a superhero going to save the world and she liked it. Every time she found herself in a crossroad and she had storm in that crazy head of hers, that if you get the chance to have a pick of what’s inside, it would look like a bomb full of questions, she just needed to remind herself of these smiles and she was back on the track. Yes, sometimes stupid questions pop out in person’s mind, especially when the entire world, all of her world, is looking at her with judgemental eyes. After nine months of making origami, clinic animation, working with drug addicted people, dancing with flags, puppetry, shadow theatre performances, lessons in many schools and kindergartens in Bucharest…The train whistled loudly to announce the stopping at Predeal. She woke up and realized that she must hurry up if she doesn't want to miss her station. Predeal is such an amazing place. It is one small city hidden in the hug of the Carpathian Mountains and so quite that you can hear your own heartbeat. Why taking a taxi? Little bit of walking in the mountains is never a bad idea. Step by step she 90


was marching her way to the hotel. Lots of things passed through her mind, but she was glad to realize how much she gained from that fruit salad she’s been living in. Each of these fruits have had different taste and each one of them gave her one unique experience that lifted her higher than she ever was. And she liked to be in the role of the person making the discussion. She was happy that even though she woke up, she was still living her dream – working with children was her dream and the friends she gained during the EVS project were irreplaceable. Each time you take the opportunity to talk to one of them is a chance for you to discover something new, so you can never feel bored. That was pretty awesome.At the presentation (Hotel Eden, Predeal) She stands in front of 27 new volunteers from other countries that came here, in Romania, to do their EVS. They seemed so innocent from EVS-volunteering-point of view. She wanted to transfer all of her knowledge, all that she had experienced so far to them, but instead she decided to let them figure out the right place of each piece of the puzzle by themselves and of course, enjoy the process. Shh… The presentation is beginning… She: Have you ever heard about the butterfly effect? This is a term used in the theory of the Chaos to describe the way how a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result large differences in the later state. Imagine you’re at home doing the thing you are doing. Think about your future from that point on. Now let’s make like this: instead of “deterministic nonlinear system” put your name and as a change, we’ll take the EVS project you have chosen. Again imagine your future but now from this point on. Someone sees the difference in the results?

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Il mio lato complementare! La mia è stata una partenza lampo! Liberato un posto, dopo 3 giorni dalle prime info mi sono catapultato in Romania per vivere questa esperienza con altri 3 volontari. Dimoro in una living room, dormo su un “antico” divano, che per le prime settimane ha “accarezzato dolcemente” la mia schiena, ma ora con un bel materassone 3 posti e qualche ritocco si rivela la più bella e comoda stanza dell'appartamento. La maggior parte delle attività le svolgiamo in una scuola dedicata a bambini e ragazzi con diverse disabilità e disagi sociali; loro sono inaspettatamente educati ed affettuosi. Un bambino subito iniziò a chiamarmi papà, poi ho scoperto che era una bambina che per via del taglio di capelli, praticato con la macchinetta, sembrava un maschietto. Una bambina dolcissima, una voce così delicata mi rincorre ogni giorno e vuole tante coccole. Ho chiesto all'assistente sociale che tipo di problema avesse: mi ha risposto che è stata semplicemente abbandonata. In momenti come questi vorremmo essere come la terra generatrice di frutti, ortaggi e piante, ma sembriamo più dei maghi che dinanzi al cappello non sanno cosa far spuntare fuori: un illusione rimane pur sempre un illusione. Credo che il reale target del nostro progetto siano proprio le maestre, che talvolta improvvisano le attività o sono alienate dal loro lavoro, cosa del tutto comprensibile per il tipo di scuola. Per quanto possano essere attrezzati con cucina, bottega, videogiochi per disabili, il metodo “dell'inclusione” è differente dalla nostra “integrazione” dalle classi con professore di sostegno. In questi mesi ho avuto l'occasione di visitare Sofia, grotte e montagne della Bulgaria, affittando per 3 giorni una macchina con amici del posto ed incontrando persone molto interessanti. Come la nonnina di 86 anni che in montagna agilmente si 92


---------------------Berardino Guida 29 years | Italy 33EVS in Romania, 2012

arrampica per portar giù a spalla un bell'arbusto o un pastore che parla 6 lingue, scrittore e conosce a memoria diversi scritti in diverse lingue. La foto di quest'ultimo postata su Facebook in un giorno ricevette tantissimi “likes”, tanto che venne visualizzata in Chicago dalla sua ex ragazza, che riuscì a contattarlo. Successivamente il pastore e la mia amica bulgara sono stati ospiti di una trasmissione televisiva. Diciamo che una delle cose più interessanti per un volontario (oltre il progetto) è viaggiare; a breve sappiamo più noi della Romania che i rumeni stessi. Mezzo favorito dai volontari: AUTOSTOP. Non sai mai in che macchina potresti finire: dal veterinario che gira tutta la regione in Audi praticando l'inseminazione artificiale per maiali e con tutta l'attrezzatura posata sul cruscotto, al ricco commerciante ortofrutticolo, single per paura che le ragazze gli portassero via denaro e salute, ma che per solitudine non molla mai il suo affettuosissimo labrador (in soli 2 minuti ci riempie di saliva e peli). Singolare è stato il ricco costruttore, che con la passione per le parabole cristiane ha compiuto 200 km in più solo per portarci a casa in una comoda Mercedes e con tanto di pitstop in ristorante di lusso per un prelibato dessert. La rete di conoscenze di altri volontari sparsi per il paese è inoltre un'ottima occasione per mettersi in viaggio. Come dimenticare il Natale con quei pazzi volontari di Arad? La sera della veglia di Natale mi hanno messo ai fornelli ed io cosa potevo fare se non un risotto vegetale, avendo sotto mano 16 volontari provenienti da mezzo mondo, con culture, stili di vita, stomaci e religioni diverse? Non è stato facile ma è andata bene. Sono state giornate stupende; per non parlare di quella notte in cui due pazzerelli pensarono di farla franca sfilando per strada con bandiere della Romania prese dai supporti dei pali della luce. Scriptamanent #4

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Nessuno riusciva a trattenere le risate dinanzi alla Polizia: c'è chi addirittura spensierato ha scattato qualche foto durante il fermo per strada. Capodanno invece è stato più tranquillo, con altri amici volontari in un paesino chiamato Dragasiani, ma con un bel mal di pancia. Intanto io mi preparavo a sfruttare al massimo le vacanze natalizie andando in Ungheria. Era il 2 gennaio: zaino in spalla, segnale per autostop sotto braccio e si parte! Si lo so, non era un ottima idea cercare passaggi subito dopo capodanno. Infatti convinto di ciò presi l'autobus. Compagno di viaggio, un caro volontario polacco col quale attraversiamo la frontiera. Che bello viaggiare, che belli i paesaggi imbiancati di neve e ghiaccio, che belle le stazioni ungheresi, poco meno i Fiorini Ungheresi: 1€=293.000 FU. Tanti zeri quindi. Specifico ciò perché ho comprato delle banane nella bellissima Budapest, ma ho preso involontariamente la banconota con uno zero in più del necessario, non ricevendo l'onesto resto. Ho pagato insomma 6 banane circa 15€. Purtroppo ero molto stanco e quando me ne sono reso conto ero impossibilitato a rimediare. Tralasciando questo particolare è stato un viaggio davvero interessante. Rientro in Romania per il mio compleanno. Passata la prima ora notturna, mentre ero sotto la doccia pronto per andare a dormire, inizio a sentire dei rumori e voci dietro la porta del bagno. Metto l'accappatoio ed esco. Sono i miei cari colleghi volontari che prontamente mi mettono un ciuccio zuccherato in bocca e mi fanno mantenere palloncini con su scritte alcune mie frasi stupide che sono diventate quasi uno stereotipo. Insomma mi hanno fatto riprovare le sensazioni delle prime ore di vita, nudo col ciuccio. In febbraio sono rientrato in Italia solo per una settimana, per una semplice “botta di dado”, sono stato nominato presidente di seggio per le elezioni 2013, quindi non potete immaginare la 94


bomba di emozioni, sia all'andata che al rientro in Romania. Inoltre ho sfruttato questa occasione per vendere, in cambio di modiche offerte, dei bellissimi lavoretti che i bambini e ragazzi hanno fatto per celebrare il ritorno della primavera e che qui si regalano alle donne il primo di marzo. Non a caso questi pensierini si chiamano “mertisoare”. Ho quindi avuto la possibilità di incontrare i bambini di una scuola elementare della mia città. Purtroppo questi lavoretti erano pochi e i bambini che mi ascoltavano, con la bocca aperta e gli occhioni spalancati, erano tanti. Ma in compenso dopo sole 2 ore, ho iniziato a provare una sensazione quasi inspiegabile: sapere di deludere per le successive 3 ore bambini, che adeguatamente avvisati, mi avrebbero spalancato quegli occhioni verso di me e aperto la manina con delle monetine nel palmo, è stata per me un emozione mai provata prima. Ben rifocillato, coccolato e con feelings del tutto nuovi ed inaspettati rientro nella mia cara Targu-Jiu con nuove energie ed incoraggiamenti. I capelli però sono sempre gli stessi: infatti non li taglio da quasi 6 mesi, a breve sarò solo capelli come il “Cugino It' della famiglia Addams. In questi giorni siamo tutti felicemente impegnati perché la settimana prossima faremo un grande evento in piazza contro la discriminazione delle persone con disabilità; indovinate chi hanno nominato come coordinatore dell'animazione? Niente paura ci penserà Super Mario Bros e Super Luigi a mutare le diverse situazioni di disabilità. Come ogni racconto che si rispetti come non colorire e rendere leggere le parole? Come non farle svolazzare per guance e capelli al solo suo pensiero? Come non raccontare di come tutto sia nato così naturale, consapevole e pian piano sempre più dolce e reciproco? Anche lei volontaria in un villaggio a pochi chilometri da qui. Scriptamanent #4

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Ci incontrammo per la prima volta in dicembre ad un loro evento, ma a gennaio ci siamo ritrovati casualmente in treno; io di ritorno dall'Ungheria, lei da Arad. Passiamo tutto il viaggio a chiacchierare. Da quella notte il mio sguardo si è posato su di lei. Inizialmente sembrava non mi desse molto filo, anzi mi ha dato un poco di filo da torcere, con la scusa del suo: mi sembrava volesse semplicemente liquidarmi, ma pian piano quel filo si è trasformato in resistente e soffice cotone. Non potrò mai dimenticare una notte, quando andammo a ballare (era una serata fiasco), c'erano pochissime persone e naturalmente nessuno ballava, tranne che noi, solo noi, per tutta la notte sotto gli occhi di pochi, ma in realtà c'erano nient'altro che i nostri di occhi… lei poi balla divinamente. Abbiamo passato pochissimi ma bei momenti insieme; purtroppo lei ha terminato il suo progetto prima di me ed ora è nel suo bel paese ad un ora di fuso orario da qui. Naturalmente è stato molto difficile in aeroporto dividerci, una scena degna da film. Io che di solito sono sfuggente nelle relazioni, questa volta mi ha fermato il check-point; l'ho guardata sino al controllo passaporti. Ora scappo voglio attaccare sulle bianche pareti della mia stanza le coloratissime opere d'arte dei bambini autistici.

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Young and beautiful It was September 9th 2011, evening. I remember like it was yesterday, actually if you think about it, it was yesterday. That’s when we started our adventure (and I say we because I was lucky to find a project where I could go with my boyfriend). We embarked for a new adventure in Osijek, Croatia for a year.

---------------------Cristina Merisoiu 28 years | Romania 33EVS in Croatia, 2011

I remembered how it all started and how I found out about EVS. It was just a regular evening zapping through TV channels. I couldn’t find anything interesting so I left it on a TV channel that I usually never watch. Something caught my attention, volunteering in a foreign country, hmmm that sounds interesting. After that I did some research on Google, found a sending organization by which I was very pleased and that was it, after some paperwork, a few months of waiting if the project will be approved or not, the day has finally come. I was in the train station with my friends saying goodbye and I remember perfectly the butterflies and all the anxiety that I had. Not to mention the luggage, which was too big and way too many stuff, which I realized after I had to pack to go back home.I arrived in Osijek; the people from the hosting organization were waiting for us. The apartment were we stayed was so nice, full of balloons and welcome notes. In the evening we went for dinner to discuss about our project and the activities. I was supposed to work in a kindergarten, English group with 4 year old kids to teach them English and the youth club, to make activities with the youngsters there and to talk with them about volunteering. And also there was a weekly blog. Through the course of the year some of the activities changed. I was making also articles (the topic was for me to choose), video making and a personal Scriptamanent #4

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project. I choose for my project to make a video with other EVS volunteers from Croatia. The first day in the kindergarten was hard and strange. It didn’t know what to do, nobody knew what I was doing there, they never heard about EVS and everybody was confused, I was the most. But apart from all this they were warm and welcoming and trying to make me feel comfortable. The kids were very funny, asking me where I was from and why do I speak in English with the teachers (I have knowledge of Croatian language since I lived there before). In the youth club it was ok, we explained what we did there, and some of them were interested but sadly most of them not. We tried to make more activities but the hosting organization didn’t approve, which leads me to the next chapter…Yes, of course, like most of the EVS projects, a thing that I learned from other volunteers, we had problems. But I am choosing not to talk about them so much, because I want to remember my evs as a good thing and no matter how much problems I had it will never change my opinion and feelings about it and I will never regret it but I will highlight them, I moved to another house with 5 more volunteers, we had problems with money, activity agreement and activities. We overcome them with the help of our sending organization and everything went back to normal or maybe it didn’t but I choose to make the best of it and to remember what I have there, friendships. Friendships that I know will last forever and the people I met. For this I will never regret it. I always knew that I love being with kids but working in the kindergarten made me even more sure of that. I don’t want to lie, of course sometimes they were tiring and mean but the rewards received at the end of the day in hugs and “I love yous” compensate for everything else. I feel that everything I did there was rewarding, even talking with the kids in the youth club about other countries and seeing their interests made me sure that 98


it was a good decision. Days went by and in the kindergarten I was more and more comfortable and that I belonged there. The teachers were very nice, we became friends, went together out; meet their families and doing different activities. I was so happy to see the kids grow before my eyes. I helped with the activities. Every week they had a different theme (autumn, flowers, healthy food etc.) and every day they worked with these themes making paintings, drawings, toys and saying their opinions about them in the morning circle. We went together with the kids to many trips, to the zoo, children’s theatre, ice skating etc. Of course working with kids has its downsides also. In the winter I was sick 6 times and three of these times I went to the hospitals. At some point it was funny, the doctors knew me but they always treated me with respect and very nicely. If I think about it, all the people that I met in Croatia were nice and friendly, except the ones from our hosting organization. But you can’t have it all, huh? We travelled also, especially in the summer because I and Victor took the car from home so it would be easier to go around. There is nothing compared with spending all your pocket and food money on trips and then wait till the next month to receive them again. Pasta was the volunteers’ meal, but at least we stayed healthy away from fats. The moment went the car didn’t work anymore and we had to repair it with no tools. The host from our seaside accommodation woke up in the morning to help but finally some guys stopped and give us some tools. Driving in the middle of the day, in July in 35 degrees with no air conditioning was priceless. I even miss the fights from the house. If you want challenges just put 8 people from 6 different countries in the same house. We had a lot of arrangements, who is cooking for who, who is cleaning what and when. We made a common budget for the things that all of us used in the kitchen, cleaning schedule, party schedule. But no, of course none of this worked and we end up everybody on their own. I have to admit that, even if I was angry and frustrated Scriptamanent #4

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because we couldn’t make things work between us, I am grateful because I don’t think that I will ever have the opportunity to live with so many different people in the same place again. It was one of the hardest challenges: to learn to respect others and their opinions and to put yourself in their shoes. But I think that the most important things that I learned from this are that you don’t have to be friends with everybody and to understand each other without knowing any common language. The last few weeks of the project were the hardest, never mind the fights, the problems, when I knew that I had to leave I was sad (I can’t remember when I cried that much as I cried in my last day of EVS). Sad that this amazing experience will come to an end, sad that even if I knew will see each other again it will never be the same again. We will be grown-ups (even though most of us were), we will have to face life and situations where maybe people will not appreciate your help and creativity anymore, where you can’t skip work for a day because you have a cold. If you can find that in your life and do what makes you happy then that’s the reason you did all of this. One may say that I “cheated” because I didn’t have the full experience of the unknown because I knew the country and some of the language but I think that everything happens for a reason (because I applied for other projects in other countries) so I am waiting for that moment when I can finally say “so that’s why I went there” and realize that everything is connected. EVS changes you, changes you in ways that you don’t even knew that it was possible and even if you don’t realize it now, you will later. You will find that piece in you which is there because of that. I think I am a better person with much more understanding for other people and their cultures. Since I finished my EVS I went to visit already 3 times. Happiest day ever when the kids come running to you, hug you and tell you stay here forever and the smiles on people’s faces when they see you again. I consider 100


this beautiful country, Croatia, as my adoptive country. I will recommend this for anybody, as I said earlier I don’t regret a thing and I think that from all the problems I had so much to learn. Definitely do it, 100 times do it. You will always remember the laughs, the tears, the hugs and the friendships that you made because in the end we are all young and beautiful no matter how old we are and no matter the appearance.

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Looking back Hello! I am Lilit - a girl from the mountainous Armenia, a country which is small by size, but famous for its sportsmen, like for example the professional box-champion Arthur Abraham (nicknamed King Arthur), the three-division world’s champion VikDarchinyan, the Armenian chess Grandmaster Levon Aronyan, many champions in weightlifting, judo as well and of course, the most famous Armenian singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat - Charles Aznavour. People in Armenia are very hospitable, ready to help others and the most important is that they have a great sense of humour. All of this information is just to give you a small idea about my country, about where I come from. But now I am in Romania… Three more months and…You will ask “and what?” The answer is simple-my project will be finished. Yes, three more months and I will be going home. Time passes very fast, like a bird, which just whispers something in your ears and flies away and till you are able to recognize, that you have heard some trill, the bird is already gone. Now, looking back to all of what has happened, I remember what I was doing last year. Last year I was preparing for my final exams and for taking my certificate. It was really hard and busy period for me, because besides my studies, I was preparing for something else as well. I think you can already guess-I was preparing to come here in Romania, although it was really not easy to make the decision. But as a proverb says: “If something is going to happen, it will happen”. For me it was like that. I had no intention to leave my country, especially for one year and go to do an EVS project. Of course, I had the knowledge of what is volunteering, because I did volunteer work in my country as well, but EVS is another type of volunteering, another experience and another change in your life. I am saying all these, 102


because I have experienced it and for this I am really thankful to one friend of mine, who provoked me to take this “risk” and make this step. Thank you very much

…It was the end of May. I have already passed my exams and have already graduated. I also had my Scriptamanent #4

---------------------Lilit Gevorgyan 22 years | Armenia 33EVS in Romania, 2012

GurgenBalasanyan!As I already mentioned, it was hard for me to make that decision, but I guess the hardest thing it turn out to be the moment when you have to talk to your family to convince them that you have made a right decision, that everything will be OK, even though you are putting the same questions to yourself will it be Ok or not? Anyway I did it, I took the risk and I managed to convince my family. I remember the day when I was having the Skype interview with the president of my hosting organization. Before talking to her, I was very nervous. We had an appointment to have the Skype interview at 10 a.m. by Romanian time. It is two hours of time difference between Armenia and Romania (now it is just one). I’ve checked it ten times, but anyway I was waiting in front of my computer since 08 a.m. by Armenian time, as I did not sleep the whole night ( in my mind was always the thought that there is a chance I did not check well). It was really horrible to sit and wait for the Skype call. When it was just one minute after the agreed time, I was already in panic - Oh my God!! May it be that I did not check well or I did not understand well? But fortunately I heard the Skype making its ring. The first few minutes I felt tensed, but after I relaxed everything was ok. After our conversation, the president said that she would send an official letter to my sending organization that I have been chosen for their project to work with children. I can say that it was one of the sweetest “victories” in my life. It is just an unexplainable feeling.

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documents ready and I was actively preparing to come to Romania. The 5th of August - I am here in Romania. My mentor came to picked me up from the airport. She was the first person whom I met here. Afterwards I went to my apartment and got acquainted with my flat-mates. Everything was so different, so strange for me - different country, different people, horrible hot weather that you feel you melting each second. You will ask: “Was I experiencing a cultural shock?” - I did! I do not know, maybe some people never had this feeling as for each person it’s individual, but for me it was a huge shock. Imagine… twenty people from sixteen different countries and each one of them with his unique individuality. Different cultures, different customs, traditions, different way of thinking and finally different personalities. You should deal with each one of these things. It was also a big challenge for me, but it was just the beginning so I think it is normal to feel that way. We didn't even realize but we became a big international family. After few days our trainings started - origami trainings, trainings for the lessons in kindergartens, balloon twisting trainings as well as face painting and shadow theatre. After all of this, the time arrived when we started to go to schools and kindergartens and have our lessons as ambassadors from our countries. At the beginning it was embarrassing to enter the classroom and children attack you with their questions and you are not able to understand even one word because you do not know the language. But this was also a temporary situation because with time we've learnt at least basic Romanian and we've gained more experience of how to deal with the children. It is so exciting when you go to a school/kindergarten and the children remember you, your name, when they start to repeat your name like domnişoară Lili, but the funniest part is that they 104


start to call you “domnişoară Armenia” – actually they give you the name of the country you represent. The nicest feeling is when they run to you and start to hug and kiss you like they've met a very close and dear person and when you ask them the colours of your flag, they start: “kamish”(karmir-red), “kaput”(kapuytblue), “tsinanaguy”(tsiranaguyn-orange). Ahh! Fulfilling! After finishing the lesson they do not let you go.The same thing happens in the hospitals as well. Children are waiting for you with a curiosity of what they will learn and what activities they will do with us that day. It is a feeling of uselessness when you feel that somebody is waiting for you and especially when that somebody is the one of the most vulnerable parts of society. But on the other hand, it is very nice if you can make even a very small part of their life interesting and useful. Then we did our Christmas campaign. We collected toys from the donations of the children in the kindergartens and schools in Bucharest, made packages full of sweets, toys and fruits and gave all of this to the children in the hospitals we work at, of course accompanied with some beautiful performances from both sides. Recently we made an Eastern campaign as well. This time we made origami roses from napkins and offered them in front of the churches in exchange for a small donation. Imagine us all in red, on a Sunday morning with big baskets full of flowers, in front of a church offering roses. The people were not obligated to make a donation; they just give it according to their will. It took lot of courage to ask people to make a donation, especially when you meet different kind of people - people eager to help, kind, but also some arrogant people who do not even want to listen to you. Anyway there were just few people that can be categorized as part of the last group I was talking about, but everything that we did was for the children who were actually waiting for us and on whom we were going to bestow bunches of smiles so that was the most important thing above all.There is not such word as lack Scriptamanent #4

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of events in our project, Even more, we have an upcoming event really soon - a festival, where each of us should teach something typical for our country to one of the many groups involved in the program from different schools or kindergartens in Bucharest. We could choose whatever we want - song, dance, performance. I taught my group how to dance an Armenian dance. I know it is not easy, but I tried to teach them at least the basic movements. It is really interesting when children from other country are presenting yours. I am looking forward to this festival to see my children shining on the stage with an Armenian dance. And again I came to the same point- three more months, after which I will stop to go kindergartens, schools and hospitals, I will not have evaluation meetings each Friday, I will not run after the bus to catch it so I will not be late for my lesson. I will not see my big, international family members and finally I will not be in Romania. Yes, this is the saddest part of my story! Everything in life has a good and a bad side and EVS is not an exception. EVS is really another part of your life, when you deal with lots of things, with many obstacles, as nothing is perfect. By living abroad and especially in a multicultural “family”, you start to recognize many things, to become more independent, self-confident, more open-minded and experienced, to be able to “read” the people, get acquainted with many other cultures, make new friends… Now when I am counting I have friends almost all over Europe. Isn’t it amazing? Of course it is! But you know it is better to feel once than hear thousand times. So take a risk and do it! It is not in vain - believing me! Otherwise your bird will fly away and you will not manage to hear its wonderful trill ever!

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SEV? Trei litere care ascund atâtea povești De 3 zile mă gândesc: de ce să scriu textul asta?. Ce au schimbat în mine cele 9 luni și jumătate în 2 orașe europene diferite? (Și da, am fost una dintre norocoasele care a primit o a doua șansă.) Sincer, acum că a trecut destul timp și privesc de la o distanță considerabil de mare înapoi la tot ce a fost, mi-e greu să traduc în cuvinte. Mi se par plate cuvintele pentru tot caruselul de emoții prin care am trecut. Am 28 de ani si 4 luni si tot ce știu e că în aceste luni cât am fost voluntar în Luxembourg si Danemarca am descoperit cine sunt și am trăit la o intensitate mai mare decât credeam că este posibil.

Cum asa? Simplu. Scoși din mediul în care suntem devenim cine suntem de fapt. Ne lăsăm prejudecățile pe drum, ne dăm voie să construim păreri care să aibă valoare autentică, ne îndrăgostim peste măsură de oameni și locuri și într-un final ne decoperim pe noi, cei care eram ascunși dedesubt. Cu părți luminoase și întunecate. La început tâmpi, apoi puternici și hotărâți. În Luxemburg am aflat cum e să fii discriminat pentru că ai venit cu sufletul deschis, să nu îi pese nimănui Scriptamanent #4

---------------------Mirela Stoian 28 years | Romania 33EVS in Denmark, 2012

Ca să fie mai interesant și să întelegeți cum e cu SEV-ul ăsta, să presupunem că ați fost în locul meu, doar pentru câteva minute. Imaginați-vă că lăsați tot ce vă leagă de locul în care sunteți acum: profesie, iubit/iubită, prieteni, familie, planuri de tot felul, clima, mâncarea și limba pe care o vorbiți și mergeți într-un loc complet nou în care descoperiți că nu erați deloc persoana care vă imaginați că sunteți.

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de acolo de ce faci ca voluntar dar am găsit și cei mai minunați oameni în aceeași situație ca și mine care mi-au rămas prieteni dragi și cu care am avut ocazia să am o legătură foarte puternică ce se păstrează nealterată până azi. Apoi a urmat o perioadă destul de lungă în care îmi vedeam viața ca o gaură neagră (depresia post EVS, fără să exagerez, este foarte adâncă), după care a urmat stagiul din Danemarca, în Nykoebing F., pentru Asociația Culthus. Aici am învățat că atâta timp cât îți dorești ceva, nimic nu te poate opri. Și ca prejudecăți spulberate, în ciuda a tot ce se spune despre nordici, danezii sunt oameni calzi, amuzanți și plini de o poftă teribilă de a trăi. Am avut ocazia să cunosc și să lucrez cu oameni de tot felul, din China până în Nepal și Tailanda, din Portugalia până în Italia, din Ucraina până în Anglia și acestea sunt doar cîteva din culturile cu care am intrat în contact, lucru care m-a îmbogățit enorm. Am avut șansă să experimentez situații diverse în ceea ce priveste organizarea de evenimente culturale, domeniu profesional pentru care fusesem pregătită academic. Am învățat că totul se realizează cu răbdare și planificare și că dacă ceva rămâne la voia întâmplării poate fi reevaluat și folosit în experiențele următoare. Pe scurt, din tot poți învăța ceva, chiar și atunci când greșești și cel mai important e să ai continuitate, să visezi și să fii responsabil pentru a îți realiza propriile vise în mod realist. Mentorii pe care am avut norocul să îi am m-au învățat foarte multe despre perseversență și dedicare și îmi sunt în continuare exemple în funcție de care mă ghidez în tranformarea mea de acum. În final, alăturat sunt două materiale video. Primul este descrierea în imagini făcută experienței din Luxembourg, a doua 108


un promo pentru un proiect din Danemarca, la care mi-a făcut mare plăcere să lucrez, proiect dedicat tinerilor în ideea de a îi încuraja să danseze, să lupte pentru visele lor și să învețe să realizeze lucruri frumoase împreună.

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Echinoidea, da riccio di mare a marinaio C’era una volta una figlia della Sicilia, quella terra calda, colorata e piena di profumi, circondata dal Mar Mediterraneo. Come un’ Echinoidea (comunemente chiamata riccio di mare) era attaccata ad essa, ai suoi sogni, alle sue domande spesso prive di risposte…. Era giovane - per la sua famiglia sicuramente una bambinaed aveva un’immensa paura di perdere il proprio “scoglio”, trasportata dall’onda che ogni anno trascina migliaia di studenti dalla spiaggia del liceo a quella dell’università, il più delle volte senza chiedere se questo è quello che davvero vogliono. Sapeva però di non poter restare per tutta la vita “attaccata al suo scoglio”, iniziava ad essere troppo piccolo, troppo affollato da altri ricci sempre più grandi di lei, sempre più sicuri e forti di lei, sempre “più”…. Quindi capì che se non voleva essere trascinata dall’onda, doveva almeno “cavalcarla” o avere il coraggio di andare contro corrente. E così, mentre tutti gli altri ricci gli ripetevano quanto fosse insensato e pericoloso staccarsi dal proprio scoglio, lei iniziò a “separare” una ad una le spine che la univano a quella superficie sicura ma troppo stretta, che le piaceva chiamare “la mia terra, la mia casa” e da quella comunità di ricci che chiamava “famiglia ed amici”. Si rendeva conto che più le spine si staccavano, più lei feriva i ricci che aveva accanto, i più cari, quelli che l’avevano aiutata ad essere un riccio pieno di sogni. Ma doveva scegliere: farsi trasportare da quell’onda senza decidere la propria direzione o ferire e ferirsi, ma provare a scegliere, anche se la scelta può essere sbagliata... Così, staccatasi completamente dallo scoglio e scrutando granello dopo granello la spiaggia a lei più vicina e più famigliare (Google), scoprì una corrente particolare chiamata SVE (Servizio Volontario Europeo), pronta a trasportarti solo in cambio di 110


---------------------Miriana Squillaci 20 years | Italy 33EVS in Romania, 2012

passione e determinazione, in una nuova spiaggia forse fatta di rocce, forse di sabbia, bianca, gialla, nera: devi esserci per scoprirlo! Pertanto, la nostra Echinoidea (riccio, non lo dimenticate) chiusa, piena e pesante delle sue paure ed insicurezze, decise di seguire quella corrente che aveva studiato per mesi e utilizzare quell’onda che solo poche volte in passato era apparsa davanti al suo scoglio: l’onda del coraggio. Allora giunse in Romania, a Bucarest, in un porto chiamato A.C.T.O.R, dove altre 24 specie viventi erano arrivate prima di lei: li scruta…sono così diversi. Alcuni di loro non hanno spine (come si fa a vivere senza protezione?), altri ne hanno ma sono di colore e forma diversa (ma come? Ci sono ricci diversi?), altri non sembrano specie marine. La nostra Echinoidea è in crisi: niente scogli sicuri a cui attaccarsi, niente ricci simili, il sapore del mare è diverso e, piano piano, il suo profumo è più lontano. Ma c’è di peggio, qualcuno inizia a staccarle le spine! Fa male, ogni spina che va via dovrebbe liberarla, eppure la sua assenza la fa sentire fragile...certe volte si punge per non essere punti e lei lo sa bene. Così la prima reazione è: “voglio il mio scoglio, i miei ricci ma soprattutto voglio il mio mare!” Ma adesso dai fori delle spine ormai staccate, riesce a vedere, udire, sentire in modo diverso da prima: il mondo è meno “spigoloso”, le voci sono più dolci e delicate, il contatto con le altre specie non è pericoloso, anzi! È piuttosto interessante: così tanti modi diversi di comunicare, così tanti modi di stare sulla terraferma senza esserci “attaccati”, liberi di muoversi da una spiaggia all’altra, da un lago ad un fiume, dalla strada ad uno scoglio…. E poi inizia ad osservare (è quello che ama e che sa fare meglio dopo 19 anni passati a guardare Scriptamanent #4

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ed ascoltare, per paura di sbagliare azione o domanda) ed improvvisamente, negli altri trova pezzi di se stessa che aveva sepolto e dimenticato sotto tutte quelle spine: lei può ridere giocando (glielo hanno ricordato i bambini degli ospedali dove fa animazione clinica) proprio come quando da piccola andava con il nonno al parco, lei può imparare sperimentando (gliel’hanno insegnato tutti i report e le riunioni settimanali), lei può scegliere la propria direzione e lo sta facendo ogni giorno….. Quel riccio c’era una volta e adesso non c’è (quasi) più, ha perso, giorno dopo giorno, le sue spine ed ha iniziato la sua evoluzione in marinaio, che cavalca le onde (per il momento solo quelle piccole) e sceglie la direzione del suo viaggio. Anche se sente ancora il bisogno di consultare i suoi vecchi ricci, prima di salpare per un nuovo mare ….

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El poder de una sonrisa Ya era invierno, y allí estábamos, tres españolas en la carretera esperando a que alguien nos llevara al aeropuerto. En Bulgaria es bastante común hacer autostop o “hitch hiking”, así que teníamos esperanzas de que alguien que fuera a Sofía parara. Había pasado ya seis meses y volvíamos a casa. Después de una hora pasando frío en la entrada de Lovech, un coche paró. De él se bajó un chico joven. Nos dijo que iba a la capital, y nosotras dijimos “¡Perfecto!” Y así, dejamos atrás el lugar donde habíamos vivido todo aquel tiempo. Lovech no era lo suficientemente grande para llamarlo ciudad ni tan pequeño como para llamarlo pueblo. Era un sitio tranquilo y muy típico búlgaro. Tenía partes bonitas como la zona antigua, el río y el parque, el famoso “Puente Cubierto” y una formación rocosa desde donde podías ver la “ciudad” entera.

Nasko, que así era como se llamaba nuestro chófer, empezó a entablar conversación conmigo. Yo iba de copiloto y nos comunicábamos en inglés. Cuando empezamos a hablar todavía quedaban dos horas y media para llegar a nuestro destino y Silvia y Vero se habían quedado dormidas en la parte de atrás del coche. N: - Entonces, ¿qué hacen en Bulgaria? Scriptamanent #4

----------------------Cristina García Vega 25 years | Spain 33EVS in Bulgaria, 2012

Pero… ¡Cómo echaba de menos el mar!, sobre todo en esos días de 40 grados, y ¡Cómo echaba de menos más actividad! Aunque las típicas cervezas búlgaras de litro y medio o la Rakia, ayudaban a pasar los malos momentos.

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Yo: - Hemos sido voluntarias en una organización. Antes éramos 4, pero Emilie tuvo que irse dos meses antes. Emilie fue mi compañera de piso y parece curioso que con quien creé un lazo más profundo fue con ella. Y es que los lazos no entienden de procedencias, razas ni condiciones sociales, los lazos nacen del interior de cada uno y simplemente se sienten cuando estás con esa persona. Cuando se fue y volví a nuestro piso, me percaté de que ya no volvería, la eché mucho de menos. N: - Y… ¿en dónde vivían? ¿Pisos? Yo: - Sí. Donde yo vivía estaba muy bien. Sin embargo el piso de Vero Y Silva era como adentrarse en la Bulgaria comunista de años atrás, algo que a la vez lo hacía muy atractivo. Lo que pasaba es que de vez en cuando no había agua caliente, la instalación eléctrica no funcionaba, o las ventanas quebradas se rompían y caían a la calle. Por otro lado Emilie y yo nos reíamos de nuestras aventuras con la lavadora de 40 años, o con el ruido infernal de nuestra cisterna. N: - Jajaja, me lo puedo imaginar, ¡qué odisea! ¿Y con la organización qué tal? ¿Qué hacían? Yo: - Pues la verdad es que nuestro caso fue un poco complicado. La primera sensación que tuvimos fue que no nos necesitaban para nada, así que empezamos a sospechar que quizás solo querían recaudar algún dinero de la UE. N: - Pero, y ¿hablaron con ellos? Yo: - ¡Claro! Y a partir de ahí todo empezó a mejorar. Teníamos más tareas, había proyectos en mente, etc. Todo parecía que cobraba sentido. Emilie y yo empezamos a ir a los orfanatos. Pero pasó lo mismo que en la organización, con el extra de que algunos de los encargados de los centros no eran muy amables con nosotras. 114


- Y entonces llegó un momento en que todo empezó a ir tan raro como al principio. Nosotras queríamos compartir nuestras ideas, aprovechar el tiempo, poner en prácticas nuestros proyectos, ayudar de una manera eficaz, pero no pudimos. Ya sea porque en Bulgaria hay una cultura de trabajo diferente, ya sea por la organización, o ya sea por nosotras, la verdad de todo es que nunca terminamos de encajar. N: - Es una pena… ¿Qué hiciste entonces? No creo que para ti mereciera la pena la experiencia ¿verdad? Además mucha gente aquí piensa que es muy raro que alguien sea voluntario sin recibir nada a cambio… Yo: - No quería dejar la experiencia a medias e irme así que desde el principio tomé una decisión. Y más que una decisión, tomé una actitud. Yo la llamo “la actitud de la sonrisa”. N: - ¿La actitud de la sonrisa? Yo: - Sí, se basa en sacarle lo positivo a todo. Voy a explicártelo así que ¡ATENCIÓN! - La lavadora destiñó mi ropa y a veces ni funcionaba pero ¡cómo nos reíamos en esos momentos! La ciudad era pequeña pero gracias a eso llegabas más y mejor a la gente que te rodeaba. Algunas de las personas que conocimos allí nos ofrecieron su casa y su comida solo a cambio de estar con ellos. Y ahora mismo puedo recordar a mi tendero favorito del mercado esforzándose en decir dos palabras en español. - No me gustaba la manera de trabajar de la organización. Pero a pesar de ello, eran personas como tú y como yo, con sus familias, amigos, sentimientos… Me quedo con el cariño que me dieron y los buenos momentos que pasamos. También me Scriptamanent #4

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quedo con los jóvenes que venían a mis talleres y con cómo nos reíamos juntos. Y como no, con mi querida y fabulosa profesora de búlgaro. - No me quedé satisfecha con mi labor en los orfanatos pero que aquellos niños y adolescentes compartieran sus abrazos y sonrisas todos los días conmigo, no tiene precio. Y no pasaba nada si no podíamos hablar, bailábamos. Y no importaba si no nos entendíamos del todo, jugábamos, lo importante era estar juntos. Kamelia era una de las niñas que siempre recordaré. Era pequeña y su sonrisa con falta de algunos dientes, acompañaba aquella mirada pícara que nunca olvidaría. - Es verdad que Emilie, se fue al cuarto mes. Pero valió la pena conocerla. Intercambiábamos ideas, culturas, cocinábamos juntas, y compartimos momentos de emoción, llanto, risas y confesiones. Ella me llamaba Kristinka (como lo hacían los niños del orfanato) y yo la llamaba pequeña Kamelia (en honor a nuestra querida niña). Todas las noches en el piso se escuchaba “¡Buenas noches Kristinka!”, “¡Buenas noches Kamelia!”. - Y como no hablar del “training”… N: - ¿El training? Yo: - Sí. Fue una semana que nos dio la posibilidad de conocer a los voluntarios SVE de toda Bulgaria. Íbamos a visitarlos los fines de semana o coincidíamos en festivales y todo ello se convirtió en una coctelera llena de paisajes increíbles, rutas de autostop donde conocía a gente muy interesante, contactos y amigos de otros países, intercambio de tradiciones, fiestas, contribución en las labores de otros proyectos… Fueron momentos llenos de juventud, energía, buen rollo, y algunos, con lágrimas de despedida. 116


- Además, Nasko, Bulgaria me permitió volver a ver a viejos amigos y cruzar fronteras. Conocí una cultura y a su gente de una manera verdadera, una cultura que al principio puedes catalogar de extraña y sin embargo de la cual muchos se llegan a enamorar. - A lo mejor, ante los ojos de mis compañeras, mi actitud optimista era una actitud de conformismo. Pero la verdad es que siempre dije todo lo que pensaba, lo bueno y lo malo. Siempre intente hacer todo lo mejor posible y siempre mantuve la sonrisa. Esa fue la razón por la que un día mi compañera Vero me dijera: “Tanto para lo bueno como para lo malo te has convertido en la única voluntaria SVE de esta organización”. - Y lo más importante que aprendí es de lo esencial que son las personas. Están aquellas que dejaste atrás y a las cuales echas de menos, aquellas que conoces, que pasan desapercibidas o que crean en ti un sentimiento profundo. Todas dejan algo en ti que te hace aprender, y te das cuenta de que, al menos yo, las necesito para sentirme querida, apoyada y en definitiva para compartir. - Así que sin duda, recomiendo esta experiencia. Mereció la pena. N: - ¡Vaya!…ya veo… Yo: - Me quedaré con algo que me han dicho muchas veces, y que aquí me marcó más que nunca. Es algo que me llena de fuerza… Emilie lo escribió en su carta de despedida, y mi mentora me lo recordó antes de irme. Y fue algo tan simple como: “Mantén siempre esa sonrisa, Kristinka”. Sin darme cuenta habíamos dejado paisajes y paisajes búlgaros atrás en el camino, habíamos llegado a Sofía. Al despedirnos, Scriptamanent #4

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Nasko se bajó del coche, abrió el maletero y sacó un pequeño tarro con miel. Era un regalo de despedida para mí. En ese momento supe que Nasko era también de esas personas que a pesar de pasar poco tiempo con ellas, cuando las miras a los ojos, sientes algo especial. Me dio un abrazo, me miró y me dijo: “Quizás algún día nos volvamos a ver…Mantén siempre esa sonrisa, Crisi”.

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You asked for it, you didn’t have to trudge up there! Be careful about what you wish, because it might come true. EVS of my dreams was to spend time in some Scandinavian cultural centre, where I could become more familiar with cultural management, production and PR. But it happened in a different way. I lived 12 months in Romanian media centre where language courses for seniors were provided and I hand no worry in the world. It was not the plan at all, but I started to be involved in civic activism, community projects and ecology. So now I am in local economy, green transport, garbage management and I am more and more fascinated by eco/recyclo-art. EVS as laboratory

---------------------Zuzana Grochalová Slovakia 33EVS in Romania, 2011

My sending organisation was cultural node Stanica-Záriečie, where I did my university practice and in that time I met many foreign volunteers. In my mind my future was related to similar environment and community. On the other hand I did not believe I was able to create and carry out cultural and artistic projects after graduating in Cultural studies. I needed to link my studies and future career. EVS seemed to be an appropriate lab for testing my competencies and personal limits. So I started to look for a hosting organisation in relaxed style, I spent the whole month rewriting my CV and motivation letter. Contacted organisations answered that they preferred another candidate or they accepted me for a period I did not agree with. Just a few days before deadline I got an e-mail about “last-minute open call” project in Romania. Activities partially met my expectations: Scriptamanent #4

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media centre with social and intercultural trainings, even art was mentioned. Overcoming prejudices and stereotypes in interspace and in split time “Your organs will be great for human trafficking and the rest of your body will be used for prostitution!”- That was the most common reaction of my family and friend, who have never been in Romania. It made me only more determined to go! Any stay outside your home country leads to the confrontation of your expectations with reality – and it makes you change your opinion. I found out that Romania is not a country of gypsies (even the percentage of them is lower than in Slovakia!), not all the Romanians are dark (as blondie I was no rarity) and even though there is a big number of street dogs, they are treated in similar way than cows in India (although municipalities try to regulate their numbers by sterilisation and marking). That’s it for overcoming prejudices, but there is more! I did not expect that some of them would be confirmed and even more dominant than I thought. EVS can work as interspace and split time and multicultural community of volunteers from different countries is created in hosting country. Thanks to that I could say: to understand English spoken by Frenchs you need at least one week incubation period. Germans are never late, but Spanish and Portuguese are “maňana”. And Italians cook pasta and pizza which never stay on table for a long time. As the only Slovak I had to answer generalising questions. Whether my country is EU member, what caused the dissolution of Czechoslovakia (as Romania has similar experience with Moldavia) – these questions were easy. More difficult ones were questions if all the Slovaks are like me and how are Rumburak and Arabela (famous Czechoslovak TV fairy-tale characters) nowadays. EVS volunteer as Yes Man 120


As EVS volunteer I started to act as Yes Man (in my case Yes Woman). In the movie with the same title Jim Carrey tried therapy where he reacted in a positive way to any impulse. My foreign stay forced me to take this role. Things I would never dare to do in Slovakia just happened in Romania. My social filters were gone – I agreed to any request or invitation from anybody. There was time, willingness and curiosity. I dealt with target groups that I would avoid in Slovakia because of one simple reason – I feel too sorry for them (kids from orphanage, refugees and seniors). But yes-man attitude helps to create network of social contacts in extremely fast way. It led to my in participation in activities related to preparation of Timisoara city campaign for ECC 2020. Former director of the campaign is also active in other areas such as community development in Stanciova village where volunteers are hosted by WWOOFing a Help Exchange. First & last chance: personal project If you do not know what you would like to do, then you have to do what others want you to do. During my EVS I doubted several months about myself and many questions were attacking my mind: Do I understand wrongly the project? Should I wait for improvement? Should I complain? Am I the only one person for whom this is a problem? If yes, is problem inside me? Although I used to live abroad as I participated in different student and non-formal education exchanges and I also worked abroad during summers. I considered myself as open-minded and tolerant. BUT! Step by step details which were annoying me more and more started to appear in my EVS project. Do I have too critical expectations or is there misunderstanding about my project activities or is my entire project just a fake? I do not believe in extremes, but cliché: the truth is somewhere in the middle – it is really true. During the first phase of my project which might be named as “integration” I became familiar with everyday life of my hosting Scriptamanent #4

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organization. And I found that my tasks and responsibilities were kind different what was in my activity agreement. I really thought about quitting it as the former volunteers in my HO did. But then I realised: There is still one thing I can do! The personal project within EVS is giving volunteers a chance to create, develop and practice their ideas in any field. So I took my chance. What I am proud of: GREEN MAP OF TIMISOARA and all the people & things around it. After few months as I considered myself adapted and integrated as much as possible in Romanian culture and local community, so I decided there is a time for my personal project. As I was teaching teens social skills and our sessions were built on nonformal methods of education, we had a lot of discussion. One of the topics we were speaking about was recycling. I made them two groups to discuss and find arguments why is recycling easy/ difficult in Romania. There were different answers, but one was common: „There is no container near my house for separated garbage.â€? The fact is when I came to Timisoara I decided to separate garbage from the flat I am living in. The closest container I found was at least 2 km far away from our block of flats. So there is a question. Is this about laziness or about bad distribution of containers? My opinion was that the situation could be solved by better promotion of green opportunities in city. I decided to create a map of green opportunities in TimiĹ&#x;oara with aim of better promotion of ecological opportunities in city and promoting sustainable lifestyle via mapping green points. I started to do mapping of different things like: containers for separated garbage, fresh milk automats & drinking water fountains, green shopping opportunities, bike and different stuff repair workshops, etc. The map exists like google-maps app and it is work-in progress version as any point can be added anytime. 122


Right now you can check it here: http://bit.ly/VuG6b6. To support promotion of Green Map of Timisoara with a big help and support of my friends/local volunteers I created EnglishRomanian blog http://greenmaptimisoara.wordpress.com which is also about providers of green services and something I am really fascinated about – almost forgotten “old-school” jobs like knife-sharper, shoes repairing, etc. To make all this agenda more attractive and cool I built up crew for creating stop-motion animation titled Long way for recycling available http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=wmREndvfsJc. Conclusion or what did I get from it During the EVS year I have grown in many ways, I lost some of my illusions (even about myself), but I got some new illusions, too. My project was no „bed of roses“, but something that could be described by Slovakian proverb as “dancing around hot gruel” followed by finding out that this gruel does not need to be eaten so hot. Thanks to everybody who was part of my story. It was a great time. I would not mind to live it once again. Even starting tomorrow. HOWGH!

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Daniela's Nykøbing F Story “Hej, my name is Daniela, i come from Romania, I am 24 years old, and this week I will be one of the workshop leaders.” Asta era săptămâna trecută în Nykøbing F, la schimbul de tineret Bridges 2013. Însă cum am ajuns aici e povestea voluntariatului meu european(EVS/SEV). Era 2011. Colegi de facultate plecaseră prin diverse țări cu programe ca Erasmus, sor-mea voluntară SEV în Luxemburg și trimitea poze superbe, pretenii mei își făceau toți planuri cum să plece fiecare pe la vreo facultate în străinătate iar familia punea presiune pe mine să-mi găsesc un loc într-o țară “mai bună”, să aplic la o facultate “afară”. Însă mie îmi plăcea acasă. -Vrei sa pleci? -Nu. Vreau sa stau aici și sa fac ceva util. Însă începutul verii 2011 m-a prins frustrată și dezamăgita de primul an de master la facultatea de arte secția foto-video. Încercasem și să derulez un program de educație vizuală, nonformală, pe cont propriu în școli, însa lipsa de experiența s-a simțit puternic și dezamăgirea la fel. -Vrei sa pleci în Danemarca? M-a întrebat sora mea.E ceva cu o casă de cultură cu rampe pentru skateri și sală de concerte. -Bine. Fie. Plec. Nu mă mai ține nimic aici. O sa ma întorc și cu experiența de acolo o sa fac ceva bun aici. Eram foarte entuziasmată de idea de nou, dupa 4 ani deja de aceeași facultate, aceiași oameni, același oraș, aceleași baruri, aceleași locuri. Însă am avut o vară minunată înainte de plecare și mulți oameni pe care i-am simțit apropiați și alături de mine și care îmi urau mult noroc. Și l-am avut. Iar Eugenia mi-a spus: “Locul ăsta e perfect pentru tine.” Și așa a fost. Pe 1Octombrie 2011 am ajuns în Nykøbing, prima oara pentru mine într-o țară nouă, prima oară cu avionul, o vreme superbă, iar Andreea și cu mine cu gecile groase că doar veneam în nord, 124


----------------------Daniela-Ruxandra Stoian 24 years | Romania 33EVS in Denmark, 2011

iar ei pe stradă toți în tricou. Nykøbing Falster, un orașel cu 16 mii de locuitori, cel mai mare de pe insulă, unde cea mai înaltă construcție este fabrica de zahăr, și următoare turnul bisericii,cu cimitire verzi în care ți-e mai mare dragul să te plimbi și ai șanse sa vezi iepuri mari alergând, unde mașinile opresc la fiecare mică intersecție, unde toata lumea merge pe bicicletă, unde vezi mereu cerul întins și norii mari care trec repede, unde miroase a sfeclă de zahăr și vara sunt câmpuri de rapița de un galben minunat, unde lebede și rațe sunt cerșetoare de paine și soarele apune pe insula din vest, și e vânt tot timpul. Iar eu, venită din Bucuresti unde am locuit toata viața am dat de liniște. Liniște mereu, iar dupa 5 seara se închideau și magazinele și era și mai liniste. Primul șoc cultural: prima ședinta cu o asociație, care tocmai își punea bazele, se vorbea despre ceea ce vor urma să facă în februarie.“Fraților, e Octombrie. Ce vorbim acum despre ce facem peste 4 luni?” gândeam eu. Apoi am ajuns să fac pentru ei primele 2 afișe din care a rămas și logo-ul și să particip la organizarea primului lor schimb de tineret unde mi-am zis: “vreau și eu sa fiu workshop leader”. Au urmat afișe peste afise, planificări de evenimente, ședinte 80% in daneză, seri la cafenele și ture la Kulturfabrikken (locul cu skateri și concerte). Organizarea serii românești a venit cu întrebarea “Ce e autentic românesc și ce ai vrea să știe alții despre țara ta?” unde împreuna cu Andreea (care a studiat sociologie) am ajuns la concluzia că întoarcerea la tradiție este ceea ce insemna o cultură și le-am aratat danezilor și celorlați studenți internaționali cum dansează călușarii și le-am povestit despre Brancuși și Eugen Ionescu și Eminescu și puțin despre Vlad Țepes. Am fi vrut sa le povestim despre multe în cateva ore. Am înțeles atunci că a noastră cultură românească e una destul de complexă. Scriptamanent #4

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Altceva de neînțeles pentru mine, bucureșteancă: Ce înseamnă o comunitate mică și aproape lipsită de evenimente culturale, unde pentru că in multe zile nu se întamplă nimic, tinerii s-au obișnuit așa de mult cu ideea asta încât nici când se întamplă ceva nu aflau sau nu apăreau. Uneori preagăteam un eveniment în vreo 2 întâlniri și apoi jumatate de zi înainte, încercând să facem ceva creativ (crazy events, cum zice mereu Claus, mentorul nostru) distractiv, interactiv, și pregăteam cafeneaua cu lumânări și flori însă veneau 4 oameni sau doar câțiva cunoscuți pe care îi chemam personal. De ce? Un altfel de public. Am învățat ce înseamnă un alt fel de comunicare, direcționată spre a obține rezultate mai bune pe termen lung. Există greșeli? Ce putem învăța din asta? Cum putem să facem mai bine data viitoare? Toate ședințele de evaluare ale evenimentelor au contat foarte mult pentru dezvoltarea mea. Daneza? Offff. Să înveți o limbă străină de la zero e foarte dificil atunci când tot ce știi s-a așezat cărămidă cu cărămidă. Însă practic ghicitul din context (care nu e mereu așa de util). I-am descoperit pe danezi câte puțin și am aflat ca dacă o sa-i întrebi “How are you?” o să-ți povesteasca întâmplări. Nu scapi cu un “I’m fine”. Oamenii cu care am lucrat au fost mereu înțelegători și prietenoși, iar problemele pe care le aveam legate de nevoia unor lucruri în cameră, și cu care ne necăjeam tare mult acum par nedemne de supărare iar faptul ca am fost acolo împreuna cu Andreea și că ne-am spus mereu una alteia ce probleme aveam ne-a echilibrat pe amândouă. Am aflat că trebuie sa ceri foarte obiectiv ceea ce ai nevoie și ceea ce știi ca ți se cuvine, pentru că altfel nimeni nu va ghici ce ai și ce ți-ar mai trebui. Aia e mama, iar mama e acasa. Acum ești pe cont propriu. însă asta e doar pe jumatate adevarat când ești voluntar SEV. După terminarea stagiului de voluntariat am decis sa rămân cu prietenul meu islandez în Copenhaga, pentru că nu aveam de ce să mă întorc la încă un an de master, când eu învățasem atât de 126


mult și multe în 8 luni de voluntariat. Am zis din nou da, însă acum dupa ce a trecut aproape un an de locuit chiar pe cont propriu, aș da oricand statutul de imigrant pe cel de voluntar european. Deabia dupa câteva luni de la încheirea voluntariatului mi-am dat seama în ce balon de siguranță am trăit. Iar ceea ce apreciez cel mai mult este lipsa de legătura între munca și bani. Nu lucrezi pentru bani. Nu ai griji adevărate. Banii ți se cuvin din contract. Muncești pentru propria satisfacție și învățare, precum și a celor cu care colaborezi. Poate trebuia să menționez de mai devreme: Andreea și cu mine, ambele românce, eu din Bucuresti, ea din apropierea Brașovului, eu cu arta, ea cu sociologia, eu cam leneșă, ea motivată să muncească mult, eu mă trezeam cu greu și întarziam, ea se trezea la 7 și alerga și își făcea mâncare dimineața si era mereu punctuală iar eu mâncam prima oara pe la prânz. Noi am fost primele voluntare SEV la Culthus. „Voluntare pilot”. La prima ședință ne-am grăbit tare pentru ca întârziasem și trebuia se mergem pe jos si am ajuns transpirate cu jumatate de ora înainte de ședință pentru ca nu ne sincronizat ceasurile la ora locală. A urmat sa râdem de întâmplarea asta tot restul perioadei și ne-am înțeles perfect. Acum tocmai am cunoscut noua voluntară, a 8-a venită, și ma bucur ca am avut șansa să-i cunosc pe toți cei veniți ca voluntari SEV și fiecare dintre ei s-a dovedit ca fiind un om minunat, talentat și motivat în felul lui. Cum a schimbat programul SEV Culthus? Se vorbește mult mai mult engleza și la ședinte și la cafenea, iar skaterii prezenți mereu și tot restul echipei comunică mult mai mult cu voluntarii, care sunt parte activa a locului și un ajutor de baza. Atmosfera este mult mai călduroasă și prietenoasă decât atunci când am aparut noi din senin și nu era usor de înțeles exact de ce suntem acolo. Încă mai e pe peretele de la Kulturfabrikken instalația de street Scriptamanent #4

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art FACE UP, rezultatul proiectului meu de final, un workshop de o după amiază cu elevi de la școala de producție, și de fiecare dată când îl văd îmi dă un sentiment minunat de apartenență la acel loc. Acum că am pașit pe tărâmul de workshop leader totul pare natural. Am trecut prin multe etape și a venit și asta pentru ca am cerut-o destul de convingator. Sunt mândră de ce fac pentru că înseamnă că în continuare cresc în domeniul educației nonformale și că am unde să cresc și că am prieteni în rețeaua 'Drums for Peace', o rețea formata din organizații partenere și prieteni din multe țări europene, prietenie care ține de mai mult de 10 ani și care continuă să crească, iar eu sunt una din dovezile că se întâmplă așa. Iar pentru mine totul a pornit de când am zis da pentru SEV. Și încă un lucru. Vin din România și sunt mândră de asta, acum poate mai mult ca înainte, și voi fi mereu. Iar A.C.T.O.R. și prietenii de la Aed Ludens alaturi de care am lucrat cu educație non-formală înainte sa ajunga Servicul European de Voluntariat la mine, sunt doar două din motivele mele de mândrie.

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Lu in a country of EVS

--------------------Lusine Olshevskaya 22 years | Armenia 33EVS in Poland, 2012

My story will be like fairy tale in some parts. I hope that you will like it. Thank you in advance. So if all of us are ready, I start. Here we are: me and my story.In a certain kingdom, in a certain state lived a small girl Lu, with her mother and step-father. She also had a brother, who went to faraway country to find a work. The country, that they lived in, was a small country, hardly ever seen on the map. The name of the small country was Arme. After Lu finished her school and graduated from the university, she started to look for a job, as she wanted to help her family. Unfortunately she couldn’t, as she had just graduated the university and she did not have experience to start the work. In that country there was one more way to find a job, if you did not have an experience. The name of that “magical tool” was “rich relatives”. That “tool” would help you to find a job, even if your knowledge was not the best one. But Lu did not have that “tool”, but instead of that, she managed to find the “castle”, the “magical castle”. The “castle” was not big, but things that were happening inside of the “castle” were very interesting. What Lu learned about that Castle, was that such kind of castles were in many countries and they helped people to learn new things, to meet new people, to have an experience in different fields, to see new countries, new cultures, new traditions, new, new, new… Everything that opened the “castle” for people was NEW. The castle was a kind of a tool, which Lu was talking about, but in that case you did not need rich relatives or somebody to help you. The only thing that you needed was your WISH. The wish to help people without getting anything material, as that feeling was unique in its case, you Scriptamanent #4

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could not compare it with anything else. The wish to share your love, to give it to the people who really need it. The wish to go towards new, it is not easy for a person, who never went away from his/her nose. But when you decide to do it, at that time you start your life, at that time you start to think in another way, at that time you understand how many people waste their time for nothing. Returning to Lu, yes, she also decided to do that step, the step that seemed easy for the beginning. She left her hometown and went toward the new. From the first minute she was excited, excited because she had some expectations and fears. It is always like that when you are starting to do something new for you. 8 months passed and now she can describe to you her life, her feelings, her experience, her difficulties. - Hello my dears, my name is: Lusine Olshevskaya and I am from Armenia. I am doing my EVS in Poland for already 8 months, and there are still left 3, as my project is for 11 months. Ohhhh, my EVS‌ Yes it is amazing; it is something I cannot even explain in words. I am a volunteer in the office. What does it mean for me? Since I am here, I learned so many things: different programmes, to write articles. I have learned to communicate with people of different ages, from different countries and with different traditions and so on. I have learned a lot about culture and traditions of Poland. I have also shared with them about traditions of my own country, as not so many people know about Armenia. But the thing that I like most is: I met people who were working with disable children and adults. After meeting and talking with them I understand: - People often complain that they can’t have this or that thing without realizing, that they walk in the street without anybody’s 130


help, while there is a person who wishes to walk, who wishes to do several steps without help - People do not pay attention that they can see, can breathe and are healthy, can move their hands easily and eat without problem, while another one just dreams about that. The lesson that I take is to appreciate everything that I have and if I have time, love, attention I can share it with people who need my time, my love and my attention. In return you receive more love, even without words you can see it in the eyes of a person to whom you give it. My dears if you have an apple don’t eat it alone; share it with a person who needs it. After you will understand how important it is for you and for a person with whom you share it. Only after that you will see how you are changed and how it helps you to become a little bit better, than you were the day before. The fairy tale is finished and the real life starts. But nobody stops you to do things that will help you to appear in a fairy tale even for a short period.

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How I conquered grassland of Inner Mongolia and planted there seed of non-formal education Moving Training in China Tell me, I will forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me in it, I will understand. Chinese proverb MT took place in few Chinese cities in July, 2012. Following volunteers: Abel, Guiming, Wai, Ilja, Elli, Erin, Wu, Juan, Harry, Carole and Aleksandra (well…that’s me) took part and created this short-term volunteering project. DAY 1: FIRST STEP After intensive week of Training for Youth Leaders in Hohhot (Inner Mongolia) we moved to the smaller city, Xinlihot. We started new project carrying our emotions after saying “goodbye” to other participants of TfYL. On the first day we were introduced to our new guides. Greeting was warmer than anyone could expect. After few hours I felt like at home, connected with the entire group. Frankly speaking, ALL local people we met on our way during MT had positive approach toward us. That give us a hope that the ideas and enthusiasm we shared with them, may stay in their minds and “develop”. DAY 2: EXPLORATION- THE BEGINNING Starting the day from short walk through the magnetizing seemsto-be-endless grassland was a refreshing experience which brought me lots of happiness. Later on I see a small inconspicuous blue door in the middle of poor neighbourhood. We are going upstairs and here we are: smiling teachers and kids looking at us with curiosity. So let’s 132


DAY 3: INTO THE CULTURE I would call that day as the Real Intercultural Exploration. Woke up very early, took a car with our host and drove long way through grassland to see festival of nadaam- traditional Mongolian wrestling. For most of us it was the first chance in life to see such event. We could feel the spirit of local culture and observe intensive emotions of the viewers. Last Scriptamanent #4

---------------------Aleksandra Belina 21 years | Poland 33Other in China, 2012

start playing! After moving to the classroom and proposing more activities, group of kids made impressive introduction of themselves. In the school we’re visiting (named Arson English) young girls are “studying” beautiful art of ballet. In my whole life I haven’t seen such performance. It was lively, it was colourful, it was perfect cooperation of 20 little dancers. It must be hard to practice such a difficult choreography when you are 5-7 years old, but kids seemed to be happy. They looked so excited and so proud to be able to show us their talents. We were truly impressedthere was no other way! After enjoyable moments in practice room, we moved to English class. During the visit we had opportunity to discuss with school staff, especially with American teacher. He stressed out the fact that in public schools students are mainly prepared for taking exams, practicing concrete types of exercises over and over again, under a big pressure. Teacher in the private school we had a pleasure to visit explained his unique (if we compare them to official way of studying in China) technique of teaching- based on the oral language, using songs, drawings, games, dancing to make the lesson a “useful fun” for little students. The staff of the school believes that this way of teaching kids can give young people more opportunities to travel, to study and work abroad thanks to broadening their minds and practicing communicative English.

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but not least, we also played with curious kids who cheerfully surrounded us. DAY 4: LONG WAY HOME I couldn’t believe my eyes- for all European participant night bus with BEDS instead of chairs was a nice surprise. Coming from the country which size is smaller than some Chinese provinces, I had never had a chance to sleep in a bus. No matter how simply it sounds, it was new “knowledge” which made us realizing impressive spaciousness of China. DAY 5, later: WELCOME IN THE CAPITAL Little hardships caused by the “endless” trip disappeared once we stepped out from the bus and looked around. Even if we didn’t manage to eat traditional Beijing’s meals, yet we could have a chance to face up with talkative local sellers and buy any kind of souvenir we could imagine. Supported by Chinese participants of the project, we could enjoy getting unique gifts by the price reduced few times. It is called team cooperation and support, isn’t it? Little walk around, some breaths of capital’s air and we had to step in to the train headed to Hefei, ready for new challenges and hoping for effective and unforgettable days in Anhui province. DAY 6: THE FACE OF ANHUI PROVINCE As it was planned, we went back to Hefei from the meaningful Chinese piece of land which Huangshan became to us. Except the beauty of nature we could also observe the lifestyle of local students here, as we walked to the campus and dormitory. The reality made me shaken: young people must use the water from special plastic containers because the tap water is limited. Considering 40 degrees of heat outside and sweat in our bodies, it was the lesson of modesty which made me re-think about my own living circumstances … If only we could help these students a bit! 134


The day was capped with official dinner: we observed Chinese way of greetings and table rules. We were all impressed and a bit ashamed of generosity of the hosts. At that time we had a chance to meet future participants of MT in Europe, make plans for the future, sum up and thank for the cooperation we have done so far. Happy and relaxed, we found ourselves surrounded by group of kids, ready to communicate with us and play together. No doubtwe were all prepared well for such activities. DAY 7: FINAL COUNTDOWN: ART OF EDUCATION Last day in Hefei started from the visit in the Anhui Provincial Museum- the biggest museum in the region located in one of the biggest building I have ever seen in life. Open to learn more about ancient Chinese history, we stepped into every room of the museum. I was impressed by the beauty and the age of exhibits and, on the contrary, Chinese participants seemed to be shocked by the fact of having “only” 1000 years’ history of the country, as it is for Poland. After boost of history we went to meet student sin Anhui University. Once again we got really warm greeting. We had a chance to watch students’ introduction: about the region, University, life in China, their hobbies. We also learnt about the preparation program (ACT) created for Chinese high school students who want to study in US. They told us about their aims, lives, hopes and doubts related to educational system, labor market, travelling… We all watched singing and playing the flute performance of students and had a long, spontaneous discussion with each other, followed by exchanging contacts. With this lively activity we officially ended our project. However, was it the end of our “team work”..? Definitely not. DAY 8: WE CAN’T STAY APART, CAN WE? All in all, we are sure about the one thing: the project made eleven people from four countries cooperating and living together as Scriptamanent #4

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old friends, good partners and inspiring supporters. Somebody found strength, somebody found inspiration and enthusiasm and somebody… found out that being in China seems to be uneasy to be described, unforgettable experience. Honestly, we all know that it’s not the ending but it’s just the beginning of new projects, new meetings, new aims and new activities. We are ready, are you? My (very) personal summary: For the first time, I did not cry after coming back from the international project (remembering all this “wet goodbyes” after workcamps!). I didn’t want to cry over the things I have experienced and advice which changed my life, my attitude and myself mostly, even if it was a small change. It is not about being sad because it is gone. It is all about being happy that it happened to me. It was a treasure that stuck to my mind and made me more encouraged and more self-confident. It was an experience I would love to share with the others and it was a trip which taught me how to be a better person. Although it may appeared that we weren’t so involved in many volunteering tasks, each day was full, full of meaningful things. As Abel told us at the very beginning- we can’t have concrete schedule, we don’t know what exactly is going to happen and we can’t simply go to local people and tell them to start volunteering. However, what we could learn and receive from this project was mostly based on emotional knowledge. We could put a seed on the land and hope that it will start growing. Sitting in my room now and reminding all days of the Moving Training in China, I must admit we actually did it. What I fell is that we somehow experienced each other’s emotions, support, laugh, help, conversations, knowledge. It may sound obvious, but I learnt a lot about different habits, cultures, lifestyles, aims, dreams just by being with group of inspiring volunteers and by meeting local people of different ages. Hopefully, see you soon! 136


Días panameños Junio 2011. En un avión hacia Centroamérica. Hacía una semana que había hecho mi último examen en la universidad, había conseguido mi título y había decidido hacer un voluntariado en Panamá. Sobrevolaba el océano con mil ideas, mucha incertidumbre y muchas ganas de descubrir. Al llegar a Panamá a las once de la noche, una ola de humedad asfixiante se apoderó de esa inspiración. Época de lluvias, humedad y calor. Lo único que tuve tiempo de entender es que una chica japonesa de la ONG me vino a buscar y me llevó a lo que sería mi apartamento, donde convivían al menos trece personas en cuatro camas, todas voluntarias en diferentes proyectos.

----------------------Mitjans Núria 25 years | Spain 33Other in Panama, 2011

Me desperté a las siete del día siguiente. Sólo tenía ganas de saber dónde trabajaría, qué haría y con quién. Intenté no despertar mis compañeros de piso, esparcidos en colchones por el suelo, acostumbrados ya al calor y humedad panameños. Me duché y bajé a la Churrería Manolo. Era el único bar que veía desde mi apartamento y tenía Internet. Me pareció bastante irónico comer un churro en mi primer desayuno en Ciudad de Panamá. En la Churrería Manolo pude mandar noticias a mi familia. Ni siquiera pude terminarme el café. Estaba en una nube de impaciencia y curiosidad, y tenía demasiado calor. Eran las ocho de la mañana, estaba en Centroamérica y en una hora conocería a la gente con la que estaría durante toda mi experiencia de voluntariado panameño. Pedí a la camarera indicaciones para ir a pie a la oficina de la ONG, y me contestó alarmada que tendría que tomar un taxi porque era demasiado peligroso andar hasta ahí. Más Scriptamanent #4

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tarde me daría cuenta de que Panamá City es una de las ciudades más caóticas y desordenadas que he conocido, y que todo el mundo se mueve en taxi porque, básicamente, no hay aceras. Esperé quince minutos antes de conseguir cruzar Vía España, una calle de cinco carriles (o seis, dependiendo de las maniobras panameñas para adelantar), sin semáforo. Anduve paralela a la Vía, arriba y abajo, sin saber cuándo podría cruzar entre la avalancha de coches y Diablos rojos. Detrás de esa especie de arlequines con ruedas se adivinaban autobuses públicos, con luces de todos los colores, pelusas pegadas a las ventanas y sirenas de feria. Los Diablos Rojos eran antiguos autobuses escolares en Estados Unidos, y Panamá los compraba cuando los estadounidenses decidían que ya no podían utilizarlos; con algunos adornos festivos y sacando las puertas que ya no cerraban bien, los Diablos constituían la red de autobuses populares. Llegué a la oficina de la ONG, hablé con los demás voluntarios y supe más sobre mi voluntariado. “Mañana por la mañana te vas de Brigadas a Darién con tu primer grupo”. Darién, la jungla que une Panamá y Colombia. Darién, la provincia más grande del país, cubierta por una tupida selva tropical y habitada por 40 comunidades semi-nómadas Emberás, instaladas a orillas de los ríos Chucunaque, Sambú y Tuira, una de las etnias indígenas más grandes de Panamá. Región de cabañas construidas a base de madera del árbol cocobolo y decoradas con la fibra de la palma chunga. Zona fronteriza de contrabando y violencia, a veces, zona de biodiversidad virgen, otras. Jungla enigmática, región olvidada o, más bien, ignorada por el Gobierno. El único tramo entre Alaska y Argentina que impide que la carretera Panamericana conecte los dos continentes. “El tapón de Darién”. La noche antes de empezar brigadas conocí la lluvia caribeña. Calor y lluvia, tierra de contrastes. La lluvia hacía disparar las 138


alarmas de los coches y llenaba las calles de riachuelos que bajaban con fuerza y salpicaban hasta las rodillas. Pero el agua no parecía dar tregua al calor y humedad panameños. Tenía ganas de descubrir el Darién, ganas de entender más sobre ese país cuya capital parecía una reproducción de cualquier ciudad norteamericana, llena de fast-food y admiración por la bandera de Estados Unidos. Estaba segura de que Panamá tenía otra cara, otras culturas y paisajes vírgenes. Brigadas. Brigadas médicas, de derecho, medioambientales, de agua, de negocios… Mi trabajo voluntario consistía en ser intérprete español-inglés entre los voluntarios internacionales que venían a trabajar durante dos semanas en proyectos locales y los panameños que vivían en la zona del Darién, zona de jungla y tráfico; sin infraestructuras, sin políticas que defendieran los derechos indígenas ni protegieran la biodiversidad del lugar. La mayor parte de los voluntarios venían de Estados Unidos o de Inglaterra y pocas veces hablaban español. Mi función era, pues, facilitar la comunicación entre los cooperantes y los panameños, y permitir que los gringos entendieran la realidad de los habitantes del Darién y pudieran trabajar con ellos. Dormíamos todos en el compound, una infraestructura medio abierta construida por father Wally, un cura estadounidense que 40 años atrás se había instalado en la provincia y había permitido que panameños y emberás trabajaran juntos para la conservación del Darién. El compound tenía alrededor de 150 camas, repartidas en espacios delimitados por muros pero sin techo ni ventanas, sólo mosquiteras para evitar que los voluntarios se infectaran de Dengue o Malaria, y para que los murciélagos no invadieran las habitaciones por la noche. Cada día, después del clásico desayuno panameño a base de frutas tropicales y arepas de maíz, los voluntarios nos trasladábamos a las comunidades y trabajábamos con los panameños y emberás de la provincia. Los primeros días Scriptamanent #4

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de cada brigada, el día consistía en intercambiar experiencias y puntos de vista, en acercar culturas diferentes y conocer mundos paralelos; los siguientes días, los voluntarios internacionales y los panameños trabajaban conjuntamente en proyectos de educación o medioambiente, salud pública o derechos de los habitantes del Darién. El trabajo de intérprete me permitía escuchar cada día las voces panameñas olvidadas, esas voces que abrían un mundo desconocido a todos voluntarios, esas voces de las madres, padres y niños emberás, en una provincia con más del 50% de malnutrición infantil. Los intérpretes trabajábamos en diferentes brigadas, por lo que, al cabo de unos días, conocíamos a los habitantes del Darién, sus nombres, vidas y sueños, y ellos nos conocían a nosotros. Éramos la voz de todos esos voluntarios que visitaban las comunidades durante apenas dos semanas. Días de enigmática jungla, de colores jamás vistos, de culturas y modos de vida diferentes, de comida local y lenguas minoritarias; días de descubrimiento de un país, lejos de la capital invadida por publicidad estadounidense, días panameños. Después de tres meses en Centroamérica, me mudé a Francia. Un viaje de más de 70 horas me trasladó de la jungla a Marsella, ciudad caótica y romántica, mediterránea e intercultural. Abrí la mochila de viaje y una araña peluda salió de la bolsa. Aviones, trenes y autobuses…y esa araña había sobrevivido! ¿Por qué habría querido meterse en mi mochila de europea y abandonar la jungla? Me sentí triste por no poderle ofrecer esa misma biodiversidad en que vivíamos las dos hacía un par de días. Sin embargo, me di cuenta de que esa araña era la prueba de que nada había sido un sueño…

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Alphabet-style of falling in love with volunteering and/in Ireland What association comes to your mind in connection with Ireland? Try! At least three! Guinness? OK, I take it. Irish whiskey? OK, another point for you. But also try something else! Music band U2? You are wonderful! If you want to remember more from voluntary service placement or assistantship – try my association method: “Country-alphabet”.

B for Bono (from U2): If you ask anyone in Ireland and also elsewhere in Europe: 'what is the best concert/live band of all time?' Scriptamanent #4

-------------------------------------Boba Baluchova 34 years | Slovakia 33International Coop. in Ireland, 2012

A for assistantship (at KOWC): Doing EVS in Romania was crucial twisted point in my carrier and future plans. At the time my arrival back home to Slovakia from Romania (after finishing my EVS-stay in 2009) nobody was interested in the meaning of voluntarism, nobody in my country/state institutions wanted to use or share my experiences in front of youth audience. I felt frustrated and I almost gave up my activism, voluntarism and belief in Youth in action program. But fortunately I didn’t! Somehow I believed in brighter future and other possibilities. Two years later I became a trainer for Youth in Action projects at Slovak youth institute. And I wanted to go abroad as a volunteer again. But because I was already over 30 and I already did my EVS-stay I had to find out another possibility. The EU financing ‘Lifelong Learning’ programme (LLP: Grundtvig sub-programme) was the proper way. How was my assistantship in Ireland?

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Probably you will get the answer: U2. And that is OK. U2 is one of the few groups that survived decades in the original line-up (four members plus manager). There is extra sexy leader who is (in addition to music) also involved in charity and human rights issues. Let’s wait for the time when Bono will receive the Nobel Peace Prize. C for cooperation (at all levels): I was working (or better said: volunteering) in interesting Irish organization Kerry One World Centre (KOWC) as Media and Development education Assistant (for four months, in period: October, 2012 – January, 2013). It wasn’t based in Dublin, but in small town, called Tralee in Kerry county. I appreciated cooperation, professionalism and the quality of provided services (for schools and educators with focus on global issues and development education). I was also surprised how inspiring people are everywhere in Ireland – on local or regional level (my colleagues at KOWC in Tralee), but also on national level (National youth council of Ireland, Dóchas, Léargas, Comhlámh, ECO-Unesco in Dublin). D for donations (everywhere): If you look at the statistical chart of countries arranged by the generosity of population (their willing to donate money for charity) – Ireland is sitting in the second position of the chart (the first one is the USA, incomparably larger country, of course). When I came to Tralee (the city of my assistantship in Ireland), on the very first day of my stay I met so many fundraisers and NGO activists in the streets – collecting money for various good activities and purposes. It surprised me a lot. But much more important and interesting was the honest interest of citizens – asking questions, talking to fundraisers, giving them money without pretending something or trying to cheat somehow. 142


E for education: There is no doubt that the education is of the most important value, especially in developing countries where me and my colleagues are running our development projects. In my current studies (at Palacky university) and work (at Trnava university) I am everyday focused on non-formal way of education – antibiased and human rights based approach (to explore together with my students and colleagues global issues and grass-roots of development issues). Two years ago I discovered non-violent and intercultural communication (based on peer education and learning for well-being approach), which can avoid the discrimination of certain people or groups of citizens in our society. I am mastering my emotions, challenging my audience and facing the stereotypes every day. I learnt in Ireland that only with the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights we can work on an achievement of MDGs, global justice and equality. F for focus on global, local, global level: It is very important to look at the same issue or problem from local and global perspective. Everyone can build his or her own definition of Peace, but it should be something like the status when people are not raising arms and not fighting among themselves. It is not easy to find this external state in period of internal/individual fighting with prejudices and stereotypes (based on religion, sexual orientation, race etc.). In very strong religious country like Ireland or Slovakia the mind-setting is changing a bit slower but let’s hope for better future for everyone: every single guy, gay, gal etc. in every single village. G for Guinness beer: The most famous exported product is undoubtedly Guinness beer – a bit expensive, but very tasty beer (in comparison with Scriptamanent #4

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Slovak beers). If you are around the main train station in Dublin you should definitely go for a Guinness factory’s tour and take a half-litre of Guinness for lunch or at least taste original Baileys cheesecake. But please, don’t get stuck in a Guinness-loop for your whole internship in Ireland! H for home-sick mood: You will never get bored in Ireland. But you can have sometimes this “home-sick” mood. Good music or movie will be the best cure for it! You can listen to the Irish bands Corrs or Cranberries with interesting and world-wide known female vocals. If you are looking for traditional Irish folk you will probably find it in every single pub in Ireland. The rumour says: “All Irish people are great singers!” I for Irish whisky: To be honest, I have never tried Irish whisky – for me it is too strong alcohol. Though I know it is very popular (like Guinness beer on all continents). Irish people are smiling, greeting you and sharing their experiences about travelling around the world. Their identity is very strong and visible – here and now! It is very important that they are proud of their country. To visit Ireland doesn’t mean to sit in a bar all day long and taste Guinness-beer or Irish whisky, but talk to local people and absorb their pride. J for James Joyce: When I visited the bookstore in Dublin I was amazed how Irish people value their writers (how they present them; where they are placing their books in bookstore space). Ten different editions of Joyce's book 'Dubliners' in one shelf shocked me –they all looked visually and typographically well designed – it must be a pleasure to read! 144


K for KOWC activities: One of the highlights of my assistantship in Tralee (at the office of Kerry one world centre) was 6-weeks long training, called “Exploring global issues”. I was included there as a teacher (development education trainer), but also as a student. Training consisted of theoretical background (in various topics: fair trade and international market, equality and gender issues, ethnicity and multiculturalism, official development assistance, climate change), but big contribution to my personal development was based on practical activities during workshops in smaller groups. We were sharing our experiences after each activity, we were giving and receiving fact-wise feedback immediately (from all participants of training: local citizens, foreigners, immigrants, asylum seekers, other Grundtvig or Leonardo assistants = very interesting group of interesting people). L for lifelong program: It is always very useful to read and analyse all the materials, official documents of European Commission – if you know: where to find them. In Ireland it is very easy – you will receive as many reminders and newsletter as you need about every single activity. In some countries (like Slovakia) people don’t know anything about The Lifelong Learning Programme of European Commission: Leonardo, Grundtvig or Comenius. Ok, some active students already discovered the advantage of studying abroad through Erasmus program, but it is still not enough. I don’t want to blame anyone. But: How and where to call for improvement of current situation? Publicity and promotion (connection between EU agenda, active citizenship and media) is needed. M for MEP’s visit: I already mentioned few times that my hosting organization Scriptamanent #4

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Kerry One World Centre in Tralee is taking the action on local, but also on national level towards better world – in poetic words. In real words: at the end of October 2012 we prepared the official visit of Irish MEP: Phil Prendergast to KOWC and we discussed with her very openly the implementation of EU declaration on development education and active global citizenship (signed up by 398 MEPs last summer). All these politicians are real people – it is just important to find the way – how to talk to them. And because first half of year 2013 was the period of Irish EU presidency – a lot of events, actions, happenings took places in all regions of Ireland. N for never-ending rain: I liked everything in Ireland during my stay there. Even it seems like un-realistic I would never complain about the weather! Firstly, it is useless (it does not affect much) and people are very flexible – they will get used to everything (also to non-stop raining). The “problem” could be solved easily: with stylish raincoat and much more stylish wellington-boots. The best timing for photo-shooting in Dublin is after every huge rain –you can see many broken colourful umbrellas on every corner then… O for One World Week event: One World Week is a week of youth-led awareness raising, education and action that takes place throughout Ireland in November every year. I was lucky that I could attend OWWpreparation’s meetings, trainings and also the main event at local and also national level. During local event my group of young adults created the poster, based on photographs (taken from the KOWC photo-packs)that illustrated life in Ireland (both in positive and negative way). The question we addressed on poster was clear: “What world do WE want to BE?”

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P for Post-2015 MDGs agenda: During OWW-events I was talking a lot about the MDGs and reasons why people don’t know anything about them. Btw, you know something about Millennium development goals? Don’t feel embarrassed! More than half of European citizens are not familiar with the concept of MDGs. According to the Eurobarometer (2009): Only one fourth of the EU population have heard about MDGs. So I am raising the question again: How and where to call for improvement of current situation? And how do we do this, especially when the deadline for the achievement of all 8 MDGs is coming closer and closer? OWW-event was great place to talk about the concept of ‘Beyond 2015’ agenda. So at least in Tralee and Dublin people are aware of that topic. R for resilience: We were trying to combine the topic of MDGs’ with the theme: “resilience” and the strategies for bouncing back – or how to deal with global issues on local level; how to deal with problems of youth; how to challenge ourselves (not only during One World Week, but also during other workshops). Irish youngsters are nowadays more busy about socio-economic problems in their families, un-employment or migration in their country. I am trying to show them inter-connections and inter-dependences between developed and developing countries and encourage them – to work on their peer solidarity. S for Slovaks in Ireland: There are so many working, studying or just living Slovak people in Ireland. I saw a few original Slovak bars in Dublin, where you can drink Slovak beer and watch Slovak hockey and football. But will you be able to speak English or Irish, will you be familiar with culture and traditions of your new home-country, when you are everyday only with you friends from the same nationality? Scriptamanent #4

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I don’t want answer this aloud. Ask yourself: how you usually behave – when you enter new country… T for travellers’ movement: I am living my neo-nomadic way of life almost whole my life and I am very OK with that. But I never thought that there are organized Travellers’ groups of people in Ireland with their own language, identity (they could be official minority). In Ireland this is the real case right now, and specially travelling women meet often with incomprehension and discrimination. I would like to investigate more that topic. Try to do it (in your country), too. U for unique potential: In last five years I attended many personal development trainings or intercultural workshops. Open feedback and positive reactions from my co-workers, participants and Slovak young adults are the best inspiration and motivation – to continue in it. Everybody can attend similar events and check his or her unique potential. Universe applauds action, not thoughts! So: let’s check the offer of youth exchanges and training courses on webpage of Youth in action program. V for volunteering: Let me finish this Ireland-alphabet at an important letter V (for homework we can think about the rest: Y, Z, X!). In 2011 I built brand new NGO in Slovakia: DocUnion, which is focused on projects of media-presentation and audio-visual production – to face the society-problems (social exclusion, discrimination, gender stereotypes etc.) – through non-formal education. So me and my friends are providing the multi-media projects and we are also shooting documentary movies about NGOs, activists, subcultures, minorities. We are trying our best. The assistantship in Ireland showed me the way how we can 148


work on the implementation of development education into national curriculum at all three levels of education system in Slovakia. It also showed me how interesting impact could have volunteers from different countries, cultures, backgrounds. So I started to think about trying to be on the other side of EVSprocedure – to be the tutor from Slovak hosting NGO in Slovakia for new-comers/EVS-volunteers. This could be very interesting next step for me.

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Adventures from the Isle So after my first week in France I am settling in well, I have learned enough French to communicate and have customised my apartment to how I like it, messy! We were welcomed into the beautiful city of Lille by Marie of Adice. As our mentor she has been the perfect host and has helped us a lot since we arrived. We've visited Roubaix and met with the rest of Adice in their office, Roubaix being incredible as well. In Lille we've been to the city hall and met with the Department of international projects (Lille has many different international partner cities) as well as the department for youth. When I'm not exploring the sights of Lille such as the old town with its fantastic classic French architecture, I work in my host school, Michelet, in the day and youth centres at night. It is a lot of hard work, but the life of a volunteer helps not only yourself but the community around you. So it's very much worth it! I have a lot ahead of me to look forward to, but I love my project, my host country and my support. The ongoing adventures of Liam's project in France So I’m back in Lille after returning home to England for Christmas and spending it with my family and friends. The project is going well so far. I missed having my own place and space to spread out and do my own thing, even if I didn't miss my own cooking. I am continuing my work in the school and I'm learning to teach various words through pictures that I draw onto my whiteboard. I’ve never had such a greater teaching tool than my portable whiteboard, if I draw an object clearly, I can tell them what it is in English and have them tell me what it is in French. This way we both learn something new. I’ve also still 150


got quite a lot of English songs to get through, the children seem really encouraged to sing and I’ve had some of the animateurs singing along to! I’ve still yet to receive any French lessons although I’m learning through work and on my own at home when the internet is working. I and my friends from downstairs have traded tips on the best way to utilise the internet, me having shared the ultimate technological secret with them. It was also our friend, Sophie’s birthday not long ago; to celebrate we had a snowball fight in the garden along with our newest friend Simone who is here on an EVS project for a month, similar to what I did in Poland. As for my work in the evening, I will be moving from working with children to working with young adults soon, quite a big shift in the age range and something which I’ve not done before in my work back in England. It’s a particular challenge because they are challenging individuals each with a strong personality. But I relish the chance to challenge myself; I will also be working with someone who speaks English who can translate for me.

------------------------Liam Rooke 24 years | United Kingdom 33Other in France, 2012

Soon I plan to explore the last bits of Lille I haven’t done so yet, I’m just waiting for the weather to start behaving, maybe waiting on a little sunshine if that’s not too much for spring to conjure up. I’ve been walking everywhere so far, to school, to my evening project, shopping and various outdoor activities. I’ve also memorised the bus system for when my shopping gets heavy and the metro for when I need to get somewhere as soon as possible. I am not yet missing home having just been there for Christmas, although I expect it’ll change in a few months, not for my family and friends, no, what I’ll really miss is my cat, goodness knows what she’s doing without me. Scriptamanent #4

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Liam's final thoughts on his project in France. It has been a while since I wrote an update for the blog, I’d almost forgotten about it if I’m to tell the truth. It’s now nearing the end of my project and I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. First of all, I’m now the only English volunteer here; my colleague unfortunately had to return back to England due to health concerns. It’s still snowing; I really feel I've seen more snow in my time here than I have done in most of my life, I can admit it loses some of its charm when you have to wade through it to work with slippery shoes for the umpteenth time. Come on sun, I know you’re out there I can see you peeking through the clouds. Nevertheless, bad weather in tow, it’s only mildly impeding my movement and makes, at least, for pretty scenery on the way to where I need to go. Work wise, it has changed a bit, at time of writing the school is back from its holidays and getting back into the swing of things. The children see the snow as a challenge which makes for headaches in the playground but also for creative projects such as “who can build the biggest snow fort” which I’m proud to say the one I helped with was not the biggest, but it was still a fine thing to behold. Much of my work in the school seems to be making sure the kids don’t run havoc and it’s working to various degrees. I can understand and speak enough French for basic instruction and to converse in the finer things such as talking about my cat, my favourite colour and as one of my friendly colleagues tried to do; convincing them I’m both the price of England and one of the Beatles. I’m fairly sure I can fit batman in there somewhere as well. Of an evening I’m working with Aissatou with the young adults, it’s a very good atmosphere and I enjoy it quite a lot, I have various people come in and can converse with them in basic 152


English or very, very basic French and if all else fails the power of Google translate transcends all barriers of miscommunication. I’ve also decided, like any place with a computer room that I am in charge of said computer room. The computers are top quality with internet better than what I have at home so naturally I feel in my element. Fixing and repairing various devices including a printer which someone spilt lemonade on, that was my proudest repair job. Along with these guys I went to my first football match since I was very young, we trekked through the snow and the icy cold weather managing to catch the metro in between its downtimes somehow. It was an amazing stadium with amazing fans, apparently the team didn't play as well as they usually do, but I expect they would have said that regardless. Otherwise even when I go back home to England I hope to continue working with my friends here and keep in touch. During the school holidays I also, along with a friend from England treated ourselves to a day in Paris, the weather couldn’t have been worse but nothing can stop the excitement of the Eifel tower and some of the best food I’ve had in any country, diving right into the heart of Paris and picking one at random seems to really pay off. I didn’t go up the tower; I have a fear of heights and being dropped from said heights so I stayed with my feet on terra firma. Along the way I’ve also re-launched my career in writing, having some spare time lying around and without the internet I’m all but lost in an ocean of miscomprehension. This gave me the boost I needed, the spark to get the creative machine back on its feet and lurching menacingly around the nearby villages. I launched my own website along with reworked articles that I could finally sit down and edit without distraction thanks to being here and also signed up for two other sites as a volunteer writer. With the Scriptamanent #4

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wonderful view outside my window as my muse, I actually feel quite liberated to write a lot more. Watching this turn into an ice sculpture every other day was fun So comes to the end of my project, I’ve petitioned to come back a month earlier for work and given my recommendations and blessings along to the next volunteers that may come. Although there’s been a few bumps in the road, I’ve had more ups than down, which is, in my experience the best way to build a rollercoaster. I'd like to thank all the people I've met and worked with, for all the people who've had to translate my meanings, for all my friends who have persevered through my consistent ramblings. I will leave Lille in just over a week, in writing this I feel heavy with all that I’ve learnt and become here. As the rain drops delicately on my massive apartment window I look out and I can earnestly say that the city of Lille will always have a special place in my heart. À bientôt Lille. Liam Rooke International volunteer 2013

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Ochelari cu iz polonez Clasic vorbind, orice poveste are 5 părţi: expoziţie, intrigă, desfaşurarea acţiunii, punct culminant şi deznodământ. Povestea mea e însă încăpăţânată şi tot refuză să se încadreze, motiv pentru care am să v-o prezint aşa cum vrea ea să fie:

--------------------Oana Baloc 24 years | Romania 33EVS in Poland, 2011

Acum 8 luni mă trezeam într-o dimineaţă de iarna pe la 4 şi ceva, îmi căutam în ghete ciocolata de Moş Nicolae şi plecam la drum. Urma să ajung la destinaţie în camera mea din Gdynia, Polonia pe la ora 1 noaptea. Începeam aşa şirul de “e prima oară când fac asta”, fraza care urma să mă înfioare de zeci şi sute de ori pe parcursul celor 9 luni petrecute acolo. Am plecat cu un rucsac în spate şi am fost uimită sa realizez că au încăput în el cam toate lucrurile de care aveam nevoie şi toate amintirile care imi erau dragi. Nu ştiu daca aţi avut vreodată sentimentul ca v-aţi împachetat viaţa, aţi luat-o în spate şi aţi pornit cu ea la drum. Necunoscutul are bunul obicei de a trezi un mix de teamă şi de entuziasm pe care fiecare detaliu mărunt îl agită apoi şi mai tare. E mai ales acel moment în care realizezi cum cu cât rucsacul te trage mai tare pe spate, cu atât mai puternice iţi simţi picioarele şi cu atât mai clar te simţi pe tine însuţi. Povestea în sine are un început şi un sfârşit şi ambele au fost pline de emotie. Îmi imaginez că aşa e pentru toţi. E o senzaţie stranie cea în care realizezi că ai lasat în urmă confort şi că în secunda aceea, EXACT în acel moment, nu ai nimic altceva familiar în jurul tau: doar tu şi rucsacul. Apoi momentul final: aceeaşi intensitate a emoţiei şi cumva, aceeaşi situaţie: în drum spre aeroport realizezi că pleci cu acelaşi rucsac, plin de cu totul alte amintiri şi cu un sentiment cald şi plin. Plin de tot. Prefaţa poveştii e momentul în care alegi să pleci Scriptamanent #4

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într-un SEV: motive, dorinţe, alegeri – uneori greu de făcut – fiecare le trăieşte în felul propriu. Apoi treci printr-un training. Ţi se va explica cum un proiect lung te va schimba, ce etape urmează, la ce să te aştepti – primeşti un cadou care iţi va servi ca plasă de siguranţă în momente în care schimbarea te va pândi pe la colţuri. Totul e logic şi cu aparenţă previzibilă. Am deţinut toate aceste informaţii şi m-au ajutat mult, însă de fiecare dată m-am trezit trăindu-le din plin, cu zambete şi lacrimi. Acum, cele 9 luni în care am lucrat la centrul pentru tineri din Sopot arată cam aşa: Primele două săptămâni: emoţii, fericire, vise. Oameni noi, camera mea cu vedere la mare, libertate, bucuria de a te chinui să cumperi lapte la magazinul de la parter într-o limbă care îţi e complet straină. Plăceri mărunte şi provocări zilnice care mă făceau să mă simt pur şi simplu vie. Următoarele două săptămâni: frustare, nervi, sentimentul că nu sunt în stare, singuratate, senzaţia că nimeni nu mă lua de fapt în seamă, cu atât mai puţin în serios. Vineri dimineaţă, în a doua săptămână după Anul Nou: mă trezesc şi mă gândesc “ok, aşa nu pot. Hai să fac ceva”. Următoarele 8 luni: momente mici şi mari de satisfacţie şi luptă, de temeri şi plimbări, de râsete şi de adio-uri cu lacrimi în ochi. Îmi amintesc atât de clar sentimentul pe care îl aveam în momentul în care avionul a decolat înspre România. Îmi luam adio de la un an minunat din viaţa mea, mândră de ceea ce am făcut şi ce am învăţat, recunoscătoare pentru toţi oamenii pe care i-am întâlnit dar cel mai şi cel mai clar, sentimentul inconfundabil de a ştii că am facut un lucru în care credeam. Nu sunt fana cuvintelor mari şi a lecţiilor de viaţă date cu generozitate şi cu o privire profundă şi serioasă. Cred cu ardoare că nimic nu valorează cât un moment trăit de tine şi nimic nu te învaţă mai bine decât propriul efort. A fost unul dintre marile 156


motive pentru care am hotărât să plec in Polonia. Şi uite acum, la 8 luni de la întoarcere, realizez că singurul lucru care mi-a dat putere sa trec peste obstacole cu zâmbetul pe buze şi cu mintea doritoare să înveţe a fost faptul că făceam ceva în care chiar credeam. Dacă e să fiu sinceră şi realistă, m-am dus acolo fără să ştiu să fac ceva în mod deosebit. Lucrurile normale: să pictez pe ici pe colo, să gătesc la limita comestibilitatii un fel două de mâncare şi câteva idei de la orele de lucru manual din generală. Mi-am promis în schimb să nu-mi permit sa fiu ignorantă şi să mă implic în ceea ce aleg să fac. Altfel mi se părea că nu ar fi meritat. Clipe au fost din toate. Mii şi mii de secvenţe se derulează în faţa ochilor mei iar povestea se transformă într-un film. Stop cadru 1: o amintire de pe drum În trenul de noapte spre Cracovia, în timp ce eu şi colegele mele dormeam duse, vine controlorul. Încercând să verifice data de naştere de pe buletinul meu, i-au picat ochii pe singurul lucru care semăna a dată: numele strazii pe care locuiam în România - “1 Decembrie 1918”. Cam contrariat, s-a uitat la mine, s-a uitat în buletin, moment ce s-a repetat de câteva ori, după care mă întreabă bulversat: “dar câţi ani ai tu domnişoara, 94?!” Stop cadru 2: o limba nouă Într-o dimineaţă în prima lună în Polonia, trezită din somn de către poştaş, încerc să mă înteleg cu acesta apelând la cele 5-10 cuvinte pe care le ştiam pe atunci. Întrucat nu reuşeam să înţeleg absolut nimic şi părea a fi important, l-am întrebat nevinovată dacă nu vrea să intre să vorbim pe google translate. Mi-a arătat unde sa semnez şi a plecat râzând cu lacrimi. Scriptamanent #4

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Stop cadru 3: perechile de ochelari Să te trezeşti la 5 dimineaţa, să vezi marea din pat şi o corabie de piraţi navigând. Să te duci la bucătărie, să faci cafea şi să o bei pe plajă. Să găteşti mâncare tradiţională pentru colegii tăi de apartament şi să cânţi din tot sufletul melodii de acasă. Să le citeşti seara poveşti în limba ta. Să te simţi român şi asta să te facă mândru. Să călătoreşti, să schimbi experienţe cu oameni din toate colţurile lumii şi să fii uimit cât de asemănători suntem la bază dar cât de diferiti ne pot face experientele noastre. Să înţelegi că viaţa chiar se vede în funcţie de ochelarii pe care ţi-i pui şi că este pur şi simplu, alegerea ta. Pe parcursul întregii poveşti, am schimbat mai multe perechi de ochelari. Imaginari. Începutul a fost greu. Mi-au trebuit câteva săptămâni orgolioase până să renunţ la încăpăţânare şi să pot să realizez că tensiunile erau de multe ori datorate lipsei de comunicare si nu nepăsării sau răutăţii, cum preferam să cred. Era mai simplu aşa. Totuşi… oamenii nu au obiceiul să întrebe iar eu nu aveam obiceiul să le spun sincer când lucrurile nu erau ok şi să le propun schimbări. Mă lăsasem cuprinsă de atitudinea “oricum nu le pasă, ce rost are să încerc să fac ceva” şi mă îndreptam promiţător către un SEV sumbru şi plin de frustrare. Într-o vineri dimineaţa mi-am facut curaj şi le-am propus să stăm de vorbă. În afară de tot suportul lor pentru a-mi pune în practică ideile, am caştigat şi respectul şi prietenia unor oameni deosebiţi. Mă tot întreb ce vreau de fapt să vă spun. Cred că asta: MERITĂ! Merită să te implici, merită să te descoperi şi să rişti din când în când, merită să renunţi la confort şi să accepţi să iei frica cu tine şi să porneşti la drum. Am fost fericită să văd cât de mulţi tineri aleg Serviciul European de Voluntariat însă mi-am reîntărit o credinţă: dacă alegi să faci un lucru, fă-l cu adevărat. Voluntariatul are multe faţete atrăgătoare. Ar fi ideal să aducă cu 158


sine şi asumarea resposabilităţii de implicare activă. Am resimţit asta de fiecare dată când ajungeam acasă obosită dar mulţumită şi cu atât mai mult am ştiut-o la final, când mi-am luat la revedere de la copiii cu care lucrasem zi de zi, timp de 9 luni. S-a râs, s-a plâns, s-a mâncat tort. Era facut de mine. Era uscat, cam ars şi prea dulce, dar au cerut şi a doua porţie. Nu cred că povestea mea are un final. S-a încăpăţânat de la început să nu respecte nişte reguli literare de bază. Daca nu vrea, nu vrea!…plus că mi-e dragă aşa. Adevărul e că o port cu mine mereu şi o preţuiesc mult, însă e prima dată când se vede scrisâ pe hârtie. Are emoţii. Eu ţin să-i mulţumesc căci m-a învăţat atât de multe iar amprentele ei se regăsesc în lucrurile mici şi mari pe care le fac. Mi-a oferit în dar câteva perechi de ochelari. Imaginari.

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Viva Puglia, viva la focaccia EVS is a truly extraordinary experience. It can help you to find life direction, languages, friends from around the world and above all mountains of memorable moments. And yet so many people have never heard of it. I hadn’t either until I was on a random online forum in early 2009 and someone’s post about volunteering abroad caught my eye. The post led me to the website of an organisation in the North of England which coordinated placements all over the world. Before I knew it I was in touch and on my way up to meet them. After an eye opening initial meeting with the project coordinator, I returned home with more ideas than I could count. Fast forward nine months. In that nine months I completed two short term projects in Italy, one EVS project of three weeks and a Leonardo Da Vinci placement of five weeks. Both were fantastic experiences which grew me as a person but the volunteer story I want to share is my long term, for that experience is what led me to be doing what I am doing now. I got off the plane feeling excited and a little nervous, my mind racing at the thought of spending six whole months away from home. I was met at the airport by a member of the organisation and brought to my host city: Altamura, in the region of Puglia. I went to my flat and met my fellow volunteers, a nice bunch of guys. The first few weeks were a blur of meeting people, getting into the Italian lifestyle and of course trying to cross roads in one piece. I started to get to know my organisation, Associazione Culturale Link, and all of its activities. I began language lessons with one of my mentors which was a challenge as I’d never particularly enjoyed languages at school. This was somehow different however. I began to realise that here I was learning Italian because I wanted to be able to communicate with people, as opposed to learning for the sake 160


------------------------Steve Craddock 24 years | United Kingdom 33EVS in Italy, 2009

of getting a grade or a qualification. There’s only so many times you can walk into your local bakery, point at the shelf and say the Italian word for bread before you think- Steve they know it’s bread, they make it. So I began to converse with anyone and everyone I could to pick up Italian quicker and within a few weeks I could have a basic conversation. In my work activities I began to help my colleagues in the running of some local activities. The more I got to know my host organisation the more fascinated I became. I remember sitting in the office one afternoon drinking a coffee and looking at all of the activity going on around me. People from all over the world were coming together to do projects, exchange culture and learn new things. I decided there and then that this was the type of work I wanted to do. I wanted to start an organisation of my own to do projects for my community in Merseyside. I began firing emails off to all kinds of organisations in the UK asking for apprenticeships and job opportunities so I could effectively break into the industry. In my spare time I explored Altamura and some of the surrounding cities with my new friends and colleagues. I explored the Italian cuisine with great passion and came across a type of bread called focaccia (unbelievably tasty and typical of the region). One afternoon in the volunteer house I was playing the guitar when one or two of my house mates sang along, and we decided to start a band. By the end of my project we had written about six songs in total, recorded three in studio quality and decided on the name Dreamstorm. We performed in the Altamura White Night festival and at an event hosted on a farm in the Italian countryside. Yet another thing I’d never imagined myself doing. One of the most unbelievable moments in my project was during a trip to the beach with my fellow volunteers. It was one of those nice days which turns Scriptamanent #4

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into a nightmare in a matter of minutes. The sun was out, the beach was quiet, we had salami paninis and nice cold drinks for lunch- what could possibly go wrong? When we’d got set up in our spot, three of the gang decided to go for a walk along the beach. Myself and another friend volunteered to stay and watch the bags. After ten minutes we decided to have a paddle in the sea to cool off. Sea’s a bit choppy, I thought, but it’s fairly shallow so no problem right? Wrong. We paddled deeper, joking and laughing all the time. Joking around so much in fact that we failed to notice the current lapping at our waists and the gradually deepening sand below our feet. “we’ve come out a bit too far mate, swim back in?” I asked. He nodded. There was a terrible moment of realisation where we looked at each other after a minute’s solid swimming. We had’t actually gone anywhere but further out. The current had us, and as good as we were at swimming there was no chance of outdoing the tide. The experience lasted for what seemed like a lifetime. There was genuinely a moment where it seemed like neither of us had the energy to fight the waves any more. To make matters worse I’d decided to paddle in my tracksuit bottoms which were at the time like a dead weight around my legs. I weighed up my optionsmy pants or my life. I chose life and continued to try floating in the raging waves. To cut a long story short, a rescue boat was sent out but was overturned in the waves stranding the driver with us. In the end it was one old man who swam out David Hasslehoff style with a rope who saved us. So swimming in choppy waters- Never again. It makes me laugh now, imagining what the locals must have made of the sunburned Englishman being pulled on a rope out of the water in underpants. According to the ambulance crew which awaited us we were twenty minutes drift away from being out of reach and on our way to Albania. 162


There were of course a great number of positive experiences in my project which outweighed this near death experience such as teaching young people and children to make and use juggling equipment in street workshops, creating and presenting broadcasts on the local radio, jamming on my guitar in the central piazza with friends and much more. One of my greatest surprises came just before the end of my project when I opened my emails to find one from my sending organisation. They wanted to offer me an apprenticeship as a programmes facilitator in their local and international projects. With my next logical step in place I completed my project in Italy and returned home to start my new job. In the two years that followed I worked for my sending organisation, initially as an apprentice but finally as the short term programmes facilitator for EVS and Leonardo Da Vinci placements, learning more all the time. After these two years I took a leap of faith and started my own organisation. I’m still doing that now, one and a half years later (at the time of writing). It is called Linkyouth UK CIC, named after my hosting organisation in Italy. We now run a range of local projects, international placements and aim to expand our projects into many other countries and areas of youth work. If I had not done EVS I do not know what I’d be doing now. I certainly would not be the Director of an organisation. I would not have friends from around the world, be able to speak another language or have been in a multi-lingual band. It is difficult to compress the impact this project had on my life into a short story, and of course there are so many great things from my project that are not in here but to sum up in a few words: Culture and language, friends and memories, pants and life, experience and knowledge, motivation and direction, all in that six month project. Viva Altamura. Viva Focaccia. Scriptamanent #4

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Quel punto nero … la storia nella storia… É arrivato il momento di riflettere perchè ho lasciato il mio paese, perchè ho fatto un lungo viaggio, ho visuto sei mesi lontano dalla mia famiglia, dai miei amici, dalla mia società… ne valeva la pena di fare questa esperienza o no… Mi ricordo sempre il primo giorno quando sono arrivata all’aeroporto di Bari, stanchissima, rovinatissima ma anche curiosissima ed allegra, che finalmente ero arrivata al mio Belpaese! Mi ricordo due ragazzi che mi aspettavano fuori l’aeroporto: uno di loro era Piere, un ragazzo francese volontario dell’associazione ‘Link’. Non dimenticherò mai la sua grande sorpresa quando ha scoperto che conosco l’italiano! Quante chiacchere sulla corsa per Altamura… Siamo arrivati… Ho conosciuto lo staff di LINK. Poi Piere mi ha dato un passagio per Matera, la città dove dovevo vivere e lavorare… Arrivati… Il primo incontro con i ragazzi, i miei conquillini Julian, ragazzo tedesco, con cui dovevo lavorare e Victor, ragazzo spagnolo… Abbiamo mangiato la torta che aveva preparato mia zia e sono andata nella mia camera a sistemare la valigia… Un po’ di riposo, poi le prime spese con i ragazzi… Da lunedì abbiamo avuto ‘on arrival training’ per una settimana, poi abbiamo visitato Bari… Non mi dimenticherò mai la mia prima indagine per la lezione d’italiano… Quando ricordo a quante persone ho chiesto informazione su Fabrizio de Andrè… Ma grazie a quell’esperienza mi conoscono nel supermercato vicino a casa mia, mi saluta sorridendo per strada anche un giornalista, dopo 5 mesi. Forse è stata la prima volta nella sua vita che una ragazza sconosciuta chiedesse qualche informazione su un cantautore… Forse… É arrivato il momento di conoscere le persone con chi dovevo lavorare per 6 mesi… 164


-------------------Nona Simonyan 25 years | Armenia 33EVS in Italy, 2013

La prima sensazione… Sono seri, molto seri…! Cani, i due cani, finalmente li ho incontrati! Devo dire che il fatto della loro esistenza nell’ufficio mi rendeva felice, mi dava la ragione di voler lavorare li. Le prime conoscenze dell’associazione, della biblioteca. A dire la verità all’inizio non potevo capire la nostra funzione là, adesso quando mi ricordo quei momenti un po’ liberi, a volte i pensieri che non avrò tanto da fare (sono una persona che deve lavorare sempre, come a volte mi dicono, 'basta lavoro dopo lavoro!') mi viene veramente da ridere! Non avrò tanto da fare! Veramente da ridere! In questo periodo abbiamo fatto delle cose che forse da sola avrei dovuto fare per anni… La prima lezione della vita: non correre, ogni cosa arriva al suo tempo…. É arrivato il periodo interessantissimo! Tanti progetti organizzati e realizzati, tipo, la costruzione del drago enorme con gli alunni della scuola media per il capodanno cinese, le prove e poi la ripresa del progetto 'La valigia dei ventagli' dedicata alle mutilazioni genitali femminili… Traduzione degli articoli dall’inglese all’italiano, traduzioni delle storie dall’italiano all’armeno per un libro plurilinguo, traduzione di una bellissima storia, cena internazionale, vari progetti alla scuola elementare e media… ce ne sono tante e non basteranno i fogli per raccontarle tutte! Non avrò da fare… Il mondo di lavoro mi è piaciuto tanto, il sentimento del cambiamento, del cambiamanto positivo che fai anche tu… Oltre aver imparato tante cose ho riflettuto anche abbastanza sulla mia cultura e sulle mie tradizioni. Ho notato delle cose, che forse non le avrei mai notate vivendo solo nel mio paese d’origine… Ho capito che essendo diversi noi, le persone di varie nazionalità e varie culture, abbiamo tanto in comune e che le differenze tra di noi sono le cose più belle, le cose che possiamo far conoscere agli altri, che Scriptamanent #4

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possiamo dividere le nostre esperienze e le nostre conoscenze. Ho capito che l’alfabeto, le lettere che usavo nel mio paese sono veramete uniche, che sono un capolavoro dell’arte, che ogni lettera è un dipinto unico, che le parole armene sono abbastanza lunghe e che la mia lingua è abbastanza difficile da imparare. Ma ho anche capito che essendo forse una lingua ‘strana’, è sempre bella ed affascinante… il suono, l’accumulazione delle consonanti che creano difficoltà a pronunciare e la curiosità delle persone che vogliono sapere di più del mio paese… Ho capito: sono il portatore della mia cultura, sono la rappresentante, la faccia del mio paese… l’amo, la apprezzo e farò di tutto per farlo diventare più sviluppata e più conosciuta all’estero… É arrivato il momento in cui vorrei parlare anche dell’esperienza personale, l’esperienza interpersonale, sulle eventuali difficoltà e i momenti fellici. Ho capito che essendo diversa degli altri, nel senso che sono straniera in Italia, ho capito che non ho nessun problema di fare amicizia sia con gli italiani che gli stranieri, che sono in grado di capire le loro battute, la lingua colloquiale e ho anche imparato un’ po di dialetto… Ho capito che neanche la diversità delle religioni non può essere un ostaccolo per convivere con una persona, fare amicizia ed avere rapporti cari ed amichevoli…. Ho trovato tanti amici grazie ai ragazzi, i nostri mentor (che in realtà non sono i mentor sono una famiglia) sono gli amici, sono le persone care e simpatiche, le persone che hanno completato la mia permanenza in Italia indimenticabile, che mi hanno regalato tanti momenti di felicità e di allegria, è grazie a loro che sono così… A volte arrivava il momento della pioggia, del fulmine, del tuono, della delusione e della disperazione. I momenti in cui non volevo andare avanti, non volevo fare niente… La pioggia esiste per pulire i pensieri e i sentimenti brutti, esiste per lavare e portare con sè le emozioni negative e la disperazione… Piove, piove, 166


ma ci fa crescere, ci fa imparare ad essere più forti, più positivi, più saggi e maturi… Dopo la pioggia esce il sole, esce sempre… e dobbiamo apprezzare l’esistenza della pioggia, la quale ci fa essere contenti di riavere il sole… E in realtà il sole è dentro noi, a volte si nasconde dietro le nuvole di paura, di negatività e di disperazione, ma ci sta, ci sta, e l’ho capito grazie ad una persona, che mi ha fatto scoprire un grande sole, è così grande che è impossibile non notarlo, è luminoso, è così grande che dona calore a tutti, che illumina anche di notte e chi fa crescere i soli che sono intorno, che ci fa imparare da quel sole, dal sole che vive in LEI… É arrivato il momento di dedicarle una storia… La storia che è nata improvvisamente, un piccolo elemento nella vita sua che mi ha ispirato a scriverla… QUEL PUNTO NERO Non so quando e perchè, ma sicuramente là sul muro bianco, è nato quel punto nero. É nato e giorno dopo giorno diventa più grosso, più evidente e più sicuro. Non so perchè è nato. Forse quel giorno era arrabbiata o triste o pensierosa o preoccupata, forse delusa o distratta, forse disperata, ma forse sognava di qualcosa o pensava di realizzare una cosa nuova e sempre importante ed interessante. Chissà. Non io, forse neanche lei lo sa, non lo ricorda o forse non vuole ricordarlo. Forse quel punto nero era l’inizio di una linea nera della vita o di una fine. Forse no… Forse… Solo che adesso sta là, sempre sta là, grossa ed evidente. Io l’ho visto. L’ho visto anche diventar grosso, quel processo che è durato secondi. A volte può durare più di mezzo minuto, dipende. Dipende da lei, dalla sua creatrice, dai suoi pensieri e dal suo stato morale. Dipende. Quel giorno che l’ho notato per la prima volta è durato secondi, ma quelli erano secondi di pensiero, forse di delusione o di speranza… quei secondi me lo hanno fatto notare. Notarlo nel momento di Scriptamanent #4

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crescita… nel momento di continuazione… di diventar più nero e più marcato ed evidente… evidente per me, forse anche per altri, ma non per tutti. Prima uno deve cercare di capire e conoscere la sua anima, il suo cuore… L’ho capito, non perfettamente, ma un po’ si, almeno credo di si, perchè quel momento di pensiero o della delusione o della speranza era dedicata forse anche a me o per colpa mia, forse… Forse parzialmente…Forse… Chissà. Spero che quei momenti della crescita del punto nero siano solamente secondi di pensieri carini, ricordi dolci e progetti futuri che lei realizza senza stancarsi mai e che fanno tanto diventar più buoni e positivi, che cambiano la vita e il modo di vivere… Spero… credo… punto nero… ci sta…. è là… Vi auguro di conoscerla e capire che cos’è questo punto nero…

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Silencio y piedras

Así que, con esas pocas premisas, me planté en el aeropuerto de Bari un 3 de enero de 2013, con la resaca de la Nochevieja todavía reciente, la típica maleta cargada de sueños que hasta el más idiota porta cada vez que se sube a un avión y una expresión en la cara a mitad de camino entre el «se va a cagar la perra» y el «¿pero qué hago yo aquí?». La misma cara de Froilán cuando empuña la escopeta del abuelo. Y Scriptamanent #4

-------------------Victor Bober 30 years | Spain 33EVS in Italy, 2013

De Matera sabía más bien poco, que es casi lo mismo que no saber nada: que está en ese pedazo de tierra casi desconocido, entre la punta y el tacón de la bota, llamado Basilicata; que es todo piedra; que aquí se ruedan películas sobre Jesucristo; y que, gracias a un documental que había visto poco antes, desde los años noventa la ciudad había pasado de ser la vergüenza de Italia a Patrimonio Universal de la UNESCO, lo cual había provocado, entre otras cosas, que algunos extranjeros empezaran a comprar casas en los Sassi, y que ello –según el documental– estaba revitalizando el sitio. O lo que es lo mismo, estaba empezando a encarecerlo todo. El caso es que lo había solicitado yo como destino, desoyendo las voces que recomiendan elegir en función del proyecto y no del lugar. Buscaba sur, por una cuestión tanto climática como ideológico-económico-social-actitudinal: prefiero los países mediterráneos a los del norte de la Europa, por carácter, sociabilidad, por estilo de vida y, para qué negarlo, porque el primer mundo es aburrido.Y prefería Italia, tanto por una cuestión tanto idiomática como por una inexplicable afinidad sentimental desde la infancia. Además, mi bolsillo también prefería sur, así que por una vez estábamos los dos de acuerdo. Una ciudad en el sur de un país del sur se presentaba como un destino ideal, la desconocida Matera era el sitio perfecto.

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con esa cara, ese cuerpo y esa maleta esperé, durante una hora, la llegada de los demás voluntarios y la de un tal Sante. Quien llegó primero fue la sonrisa de Sante, como siempre. Su sonrisa es lo primero que llega y que te llega, siempre es así. Poco después, casi a la vez, llegó el propio Sante. Junto a él y un exvoluntario que le acompañaba –Pierre– tomé mi primer caffè y esperamos a los chicos que faltaban por llegar. Llegaron casi al mismo tiempo, en el mismo vuelo. El primero de ellos fue Julian, el ragazzo alemán que sería, es y será, mi compañero de habitación, cervezas, confidencias y batallas durante estos 9 meses. Mi fratello, en definitiva. El segundo, y último ese día, sería el georgiano Gocha: compañero también de cervezas, confidencias y batallas. Pero no de alcoba, que uno siempre fue hombre de un solo hombre, todo hay que decirlo. Y así, una vez juntos, subimos los cinco a la furgoneta. “Welcome to Italy” nos dedicó Sante con el primer frenazo de la furgo, en la primera rotonda. Y no sería el último. Esa maltrecha furgoneta nos llevaría, a una velocidad impensable, primero a Altamura, donde conoceríamos al resto de gente de la asociación, y poco después a Matera, donde viviría los siguientes nueve meses. Y así, sobre ruedas, comenzó nuestra experiencia SVE. Y así esperamos que continúe. Matera es una ciudad de tamaño medio, es decir, grande para la gente de la Basilicata, pequeña para los que venimos de Madrid. Está perfectamente situada entre el tacón y la punta de la bota. Exactamente en ese punto estratégico, entre el tobillo y el talón, con el que la Rita Hayworth provocó taquicardias en medio mundo y donde el resto de los mortales sólo acumulamos sequedad y tonos grisáceos. Matera también es un poco así: mitad diva del pasado, mitad piel seca. Una belleza de otro tiempo y de 170


otro lugar: un conjunto monocromo de casas construidas, todas en tufo, la una sobre otra sin ningún orden aparente, donde el techo de una es el suelo de la siguiente. No es ni una fortaleza europea ni un laberinto magrebí, aunque es un poco las dos cosas, un extraño híbrido. Y demasiado incolora para ser una ciudad italiana, lo que la hace todavía más única. Es una pequeña joya surgida de Dios-sabe-dónde, no se sabe si ha aterrizado desde otra época u otro mundo o si emerge directamente de la gravina sin pedir permiso como una Atlántida recién despertada. Y es que Matera es una ciudad bellísima. Y lo sabe, ése es el problema. Consciente de esa singularidad tan suya vive ensimismada, enamorada de sí misma. No se cansa de mirarse en el espejo, se sabe hermosa y diferente, especial, y por ello mismo no comprende por qué no es la chica más popular de la clase. Se mira y se pregunta por qué no es más famosa, más turística, más conocida en el mundo y reconocida en su país. Y en ese eterno mirarse y pensarse continúa desde hace 20 años. O desde hace 200. Y mientras se mira, se piensa y decide qué hacer para dar un paso al frente, permanece impasible e inmutable, fuera de tiempo y de lugar. Como Butragueño en San Siro, que al ver alzada una vez más la bandera del línea veía que no sólo estaba tres metros por delante de los defensores milanistas, sino también una década por detrás. En un fuera de juego en el que convergen tanto espacio como tiempo: un fuera de juego casi existencial. Matera, sabedora también de su paso cambiado, no sabe si continuar como el secreto mejor guardado del sur (imperceptible para el ojo europeo, pero no para el objetivo de las Nikon japonesas) o si recolocarse, sin saber cuál es el paso a dar. Sin saber si la solución pasa por abrirse definitiva y descaradamente al turismo, lo cual es una bonita metáfora que seduce con abrir mentes y bolsillos, aunque lo que realmente implica es abrir las piernas; o por crecer de una manera diferente como la ciudad diferente que Scriptamanent #4

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es, dejarse guiar por esas nuevas generaciones de jóvenes que, tras un periodo fuera de su tierra, regresan a la ciudad con ganas de cambiarlo todo. Guiarse por ese movimiento asociativo que emerge no se sabe muy bien si con el objetivo de cambiar Matera como primer paso para cambiar el mundo o si cambiar el mundo como única vía para poder hacer cambiar su ciudad. Lo mismo da: el orden de los factores no altera los imposibles. Así está Matera todavía, intentando crecer a su manera, decidiendo como una eterna adolescente qué quiere ser de mayor. El problema es que a la chavala se le ven demasiado sus calcáreas estrías en los posados de verano. Y es que aquí lleva gente viviendo desde el Paleolítico, dicen. Dar los primeros pasos en Matera es sencillo y agradable. Adentrarse en la vida materana es fácil sobre todo porque desde la asociación de Altamura y los mentor de Matera se desviven por hacerte sentir como en casa desde el primer día. Sobre todo éstos últimos, los mentor Raffaele y Luca, que se toman su función tan a pecho que uno no sabe cuándo dejaron de hacer su trabajo para convertirse realmente en tus mejores amigos. Tal vez desde el momento en el que aprenden a decir su primer insulto en español, es decir, cuando ni siquiera han terminado el primer apretón de manos. Aún así, del mismo modo que es fácil comenzar a dar los primeros pasos en Matera, dar los siguientes es una tarea cada vez más complicada. Conocer otras gentes o e integrarse socialmente en Matera es como intentar abarcar los sassi a pie: desde fuera parece sencillo, pero una vez dentro ves que es un cúmulo de piedras, callejones sin salida y escaleras cada vez más altas, de piedras cada vez más duras. La dificultad radica en dos razones sencillas: uno, porque el que aquí escribe nació poco sociable por naturaleza; dos, porque Matera también. Matera es acogedora, te abre inmediatamente sus puertas y 172


te invita a entrar a vivir con ella. Lo realmente difícil es dejar de dormir en el sofá. La ciudad es tranquila y su gente es hospitalaria, aún más con la gente que venimos del extranjero. Acostumbrada al turismo, la ciudad da un cordial recibimiento al visitante pero, siempre sabedora que las relaciones turísticas son siempre fugaces, a menudo no da pie a grandes confianzas. Sabe que lo normal aquí es que la gente llegue, dé un par de paseos, se haga una foto en alguno de sus impresionantes miradores, se deje un poco de dinero en el comercio local y salga corriendo para no volver. Saben que la gente viene y va, y que es mejor no vincularse emocionalmente. Y al que dice que viene para quedarse no se la termina de creer. Saben que más pronto que tarde buscarás la salida más cercana. Y a poder ser con gasolinera, para poder salir volando sin mirar atrás y no detenerte hasta aterrizar en tu país de origen o en el planeta más cercano si hace falta. O más lejos todavía, en un pisito toscano desde el que poder escribir tus memorias, con tus lienzos de paisajes lucanos aún frescos bajo el brazo. Te irás enamorado de Matera pero te irás, como se van todos. Y así, entre lo uno y lo otro, vas viendo cómo ese mundo inicial de experiencias y novedades poco a poco se va ralentizando, sin que te des cuenta, hasta llevarte al punto de sentirte estancado. Que toda esa gente que empezabas a conocer no la conoces del todo. Y no sabes si eres tú, es la ciudad, la gente o el clima, pero vas viendo cómo todo se detiene, hasta invadirte la sensación de que aquí no pasa nada. Aun así, mientras el ritmo va haciendo lentamente su trabajo, que no es otro que el de minar poco a poco la moral del chico europeo y cosmopolita hasta convertirlo en un autóctono. En los primeros meses puede resultar una experiencia incómoda, en algunos casos hasta traumática. En ocasiones uno no puede evitar sentirse como un Alejandro a las puertas de Tiro, perplejo ante un pueblo tan cerrado. Y es que Scriptamanent #4

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más difícil adentrarse en un pueblo de ideas fijas que arrasar el Imperio persa. La situación es tan palpable y la frustración en ocasiones tan manifiesta que, después de cinco meses rondando la ciudad sin éxito, uno ya no sabe si encargar una torre de asedio y tomar la ciudad a ostias o abandonarse a Matera y convertirse definitivamente en el doctor Mateo. Tal vez aceptarlo sea la verdadera integración materana, dejarse llevar, quieras o no quieras, por su ritmo lento. Por su no-ritmo. Decir que eres extranjero y que vienes de Madrid conlleva consecuencias. Casi siempre la misma, que no es otra que un “No te preocupes, ya verás en verano. Ésto se llena de gente y hay tanto casino por las noches” como respuesta. No importa si después del “soy de Madrid” añades que te encuentras bien, que te gusta la ciudad o que, quién sabe, lo mismo podrías quedarte aquí por tiempo indefinido. No importa porque después de oír Madrid dejaron de escuchar. Saben que si has venido de una ciudad grande tarde o temprano buscarás jaleo, y que del mismo modo que la cabra tira al monte, el urbano tira a la multitud; y que llegará el momento –si no ha llegado ya- en el que Matera se te quedará pequeña. Porque debe ser que incluso a ellos se les reduce la ciudad en invierno del mismo modo que a Paris la Torre Eiffel se le encoge 6 centímetros con el frío, y no queda más remedio que esperar al verano, donde Matera parecerá más grande y animada, o simplemente más turística. Seguramente suceda así, básicamente porque todos los pueblos lo hacen, aunque la razón resida más en lo estival que en la ciudad en sí misma: si el verano puede convertir la crema de puerros en Vichyssoise qué no podrá hacer con una ciudad con el potencial de Matera. Y en lo que tarda en llegar el verano, uno intenta vivir en una ciudad como ésta, con sus particularidades y sus encantos. 174


Porque uno saber esperar, pero no quieto. Así que poco a poco aprendes a disfrutar de esos pequeños y tranquilos placeres que la ciudad y la región te ofrecen. A recorrer la Basilicata con Raffaele por pequeñas carreteras intransitadas e intransitables. A escapar de ella cuando surge la oportunidad, como los grandes viajes a otras zonas del país o las pequeñas expediciones junto a Julian -diurnas y nocturnas- en Altamura con Gocha y Carles, con Peroni y Padre Peppe. A recorrer los Sassi con Luca y descubrir recónditos lugares hasta ahora desconocidos incluso para él, que ha vivido 20 años en la ciudad. Tal vez no parece mucho, pero es lo mejor que se puede hacer en Matera. Éso y sumergirte en esas calles tan bien llamadas “un museo al aire libre”, adentrarte como un Owen Wilson en Midnight in Paris, a la caza de otro tiempo. Adentrarte en un pasado de silencio y piedra. Aquí no vienen a buscarte Fitzgerald ni Hemingway en coche para llevarte de fiesta, sino todo lo contrario: aquí no te espera nadie. En tus paseos no te acompaña más que ese silencioque lo inunda todo. Y es que Matera puede ser muchas cosas, pero sobre todo es una ciudad que se camina. Las vistas desde lejos, desde cualquiera de los miradores de la ciudad y desde el Parque de la Murgia te ofrecen panorámicas impresionantes, preciosas e inolvidables fotos turísticas; pero nada como caminar y respirar los Sassi, desde dentro, hasta el punto de convertirte en un adicto, en un cazador de vicolos desconocidos, en un amante de los callejones oscuros. Aprendes a querer estos paseos silenciosos que se acaban por convertir en el centro de tus días, tanto que los “espera al verano y ya verás” adquieren cada vez más el tono de una amenaza. Así, mientras Matera espera al verano, con sus gentes tomando a golpe de spritz las calles, con el trenecito turístico recién estrenado y las tropas de Hiroito cámara en mano a las puertas; uno al final casi lo que quiere es que la primavera no termine, Scriptamanent #4

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que las hordas de turistas no invadan esas desiertas y pedregosas callejuelas que ya casi son mías, que no me roben mi silencio. Que vengan, se hagan sus fotos, dejen algo de pasta y se vayan. Pero sobre todo que no molesten, como siempre se ha hecho. Convencido de que ese “aquí no pasa nada” es lo mejor que te puede ocurrir. O tal vez uno no quiere que termine la primavera porque sabe que después del verano llegará el otoño. Y con él llegará ese 3 de octubre que te dice que han pasado 9 meses y es momento de coger tu maleta, con los pocos sueños que te ofrece hoy en día el regreso a España, y marcharte de aquí hasta ver Matera tan de lejos como en las postales, donde la ciudad aparece tan preciosa como irreal, donde la ciudad se convierte en decorado.En un conjunto de casas sin calles, sin vida. Raffaele una vez dijo, en un atardecer en la Murgia y con la ciudad al fondo, que tiempo atrás los materanos tenían la orden de, al caer la noche, encender una vela en cada una de las ventanas de sus casas. Que así, viendo la ciudad desde el lugar en el que estábamos, no se pudiese distinguir dónde termina Matera y dónde empieza el cielo. Yo no sé si la historia es verdad o si la comparación es exagerada. La única verdad es que el cielo no tiene tantos rincones. Él se lo pierde.

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Volunteering

----------------------------Lorena Dumitrache 27 years | Romania 33EVS in United Kingdom, 2013

Il mio primo approccio con l’Inghilterra è stato salire in auto, dal lato sbagliato! E la pioggia! L’immancabile pioggerellina, o light rain come la chiamano qui, che mi ha fatto compagnia, ininterrottamente, durante la mia prima settimana da volontaria. E non solo… La mia destinazione era CSV Preston, un’associazione che tramite i nuovi media e l’educazione non formale, cerca di coinvolgere e recuperare giovani con minori opportunità. Un ufficio colorato, quello CSV, pieno di attrezzature professionale di ogni tipo, fotocamere, telecamere, strumentazione audio e video e una vera e propria sala d'incisione! E giovani, tanti giovani! Sono arrivata a Preston, la città che mi ospita, con l’idea di poter aiutare dei giovani nei loro progetti di apprendimento non formale, nell’ambito dei media e allo stesso tempo migliorare se non addirittura acquisire nuove competenze. Ma mi è bastato poco per scoprire cos’è veramente lo SVE. Essere volontario europeo significa lavorare per un progetto sociale, aiutare quelle persone con meno opportunità, persone svantaggiate, come i ragazzi che seguo in CSV. I learners come li chiamiamo “noi”, non sono ragazzi facili, spesso provengono da situazioni di disagio familiare e sociale: ognuno di loro con un background diverso, ma tutti accomunati da una vita piena di difficoltà. Tra i problemi più comuni genitori (o loro stessi) con dipendenza da alcool e droga, difficoltà di apprendimento, o comunque problemi di inserimento sociale che li hanno portati lontano dalla scuola, lì dove dovrebbero essere alla loro età. Aiutare questi ragazzi non era solo supportarli nei Scriptamanent #4

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loro compiti, nelle attività educative e formative, era soprattutto cercare di stimolarli, coinvolgerli in nuove attività o solo ascoltarli. È così che ho capito che essere volontario è diverso. Non è solo fare un’esperienza di lavoro e di formazione professionale. Ciò che conta non sono le competenze lavorative che acquisisci, o il supporto che dai all’azienda che ti ospita, ciò che conta è soprattutto cosa riesci a dare dal punto di vista umano. Essere volontario ti fa sentire parte di un qualcosa, il dente di una catena, il meccanismo di un ingranaggio che non gira intorno al denaro, ai bilanci dell’azienda, ma intorno alle persone, spesso quelle più deboli, un meccanismo che ti permette di aiutare gli altri, di fare del buono per qualcuno, anche per te.

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Nuef mois en Roumanie Du 6 juillet 2011 au 31 mars 2012, j'ai été volontaire dans la fondation culturelle Zamolxes, dans la petite ville de Câmpina en Roumanie. Mon histoire, je l'ai écrite noir sur blanc durant ces neuf mois, et en voici les bribes:

Les premières impressions - 7 juillet 2011 Hier, juste à mon arrivée à l'aéroport, j'ai été accueillie par Florin et deux autres volontaires, Beatriz et Émilie. Beatriz est espagnole, plutôt petite, les cheveux longs Scriptamanent #4

---------------------Noémie Clémenceau 22 years | France 33EVS in Romania, 2011

Au début: L'avion - Mercredi 6 juillet 2011 Les aéroports sont à la fois un lieu rempli de joie et de tristesse, de départs et d'arrivées, d'adieux et de retrouvailles. Me voici donc en route pour Câmpina. Bien que je sois assise dans cet avion qui survole déjà le continent, j'ai du mal à réaliser ma situation. Neuf mois, c'est parti. La vie est faite de mystères, d’inattendus et de hasards. On est là, on ne sait pas à quoi s'attendre. On ne sait pas ce qui arrivera, on ne sait pas quels lieux vont s'offrir à nos yeux, quelles couleurs, quelles odeurs vont emplir nos sens. Pourtant on y est, entouré de personnes avec qui l'on voyage le temps d'un vol et qu'on ne reverra jamais. Des personnes qui vont à la même destination, le même jour, mais qui pourtant n'ont rien d'autre en commun. Pas le même passé, pas les mêmes rêves, ni les mêmes ambitions et la même chose à accomplir une fois l'avion au sol. Des chemins qui se croisent et fuient dans des directions opposées, une fois seulement, aujourd'hui. J'ai l'impression que jamais je n'atterrirai, que l'avion va continuer de planer pendant des heures, pendant des jours, à l'infini.

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et noirs. Elle porte des lunettes. Émilie a les cheveux châtains et elle parle aisément, ce n'était pas un problème pour m'intégrer. Nous avons pris un taxi directement en sortant de l'aéroport, direction Ploesti pour faire quelques courses. J'ai été surprise de voir, sur la route, des bancs installés devant chaque maison mitoyenne où sont assises les mamas roumaines qui contemplent les mouvements de la rue. Les maisons sont différentes de ce que nous voyons en France. Beaucoup sont plutôt basses et petites, colorées de rouge, orange et jaune. En dormant hier soir, j'avais l'étrange sensation qu'en me réveillant, je serai de retour chez moi. Je ne sais pas si je vais tenir pendant neuf mois. Tout est différent ici. La journée fût excellente. Nous sommes allés au centre à 10h pour organiser la salle et accueillir les journalistes. Cheveux gras et à peine maquillée, j'ai été filmée et j'ai répondu à quelques questions en anglais. J'arrive à m'exprimer et à me faire comprendre, c'est le principal ! Nous avons créé une affiche pour la soirée Karaoké du 16 juillet. Nous l'afficherons dans les rues de Câmpina. Nous avons été assistées par deux garçons roumains, dont un plutôt mignon et sympathique. Un grand brun. Florin a dit que nous irons à Istanbul et en Pologne ! Ah, ce serait tellement merveilleux. J'ai l'étrange sentiment que tout est parfait. Je me plais déjà ici, même avec la barrière de la langue. Il fallait vraiment que je parte. Je crois que c'est la seule chose qui peut me rendre heureuse; voyager. - 11 juillet: Ce matin, j'ai commencé à planifier les activités que je vais faire au centre. Une jeune femme moldave est venue, elle parle roumain, russe, anglais, allemand et français. 180


J'ai eu mon premier cours de roumain hier ! C'est excitant d'apprendre une nouvelle langue. Les découvertes - 18 juillet 2011 J’avais planifié d’aller à Bucarest aujourd’hui, puisque qu’ayant “travaillé” samedi, j’avais mon lundi de libre. Avec Beatriz, nous nous sommes rendues pour 10h45 à la station d’autobus de Campina. Je me suis amusée avec des petits chiens, il y en avait partout et ils étaient réellement adorables ! À force de marcher à Bucarest, la semelle de ma chaussure s’est décollée. Je me suis retrouvée là, l’air bête, à ne pas savoir quoi faire et à ne pas pouvoir avancer. J’en rigolais parce que la situation était ridicule, bien que ça m’embêtait pour mes chaussures car ce sont mes préférées. J’étais dans la rue en chaussettes, et je me suis mise à arpenter la capitale ainsi, à la recherche urgente d’une paire de chaussures de secours. C’est magique de se balader dans une ville qui nous est totalement inconnue, où nous n’avons aucun point de repères, aucun point de chute, d’être livré à soi-même et de tout découvrir à chaque pas. Bucarest est une ville à différents visages, certaines places, notamment le centre historique, sont vraiment très belles, mais pour le reste, il s’agit de blocs de béton, marquant la triste période de la dictature de Ceauşescu. - 31 juillet: Arrival Training à Predeal On a chanté 'Frère Jacques' quand on marchait dans le noir. Les gens ont fait demi-tour par peur des ours. Konstantina connait Beirut. Je mange trop. Je pense aux jeunes de Ham Radio. Le français a critiqué mon style. Je n'ai pas de vêtements pour contrer le froid. Les chiens ont voulu nous attaquer. Je déteste partager une chambre. C’est fou de constater qu’on a l’impression de connaître depuis Scriptamanent #4

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dix ans des personnes qu’on connaît depuis une semaine à peine. J’ai eu l’occasion de faire la fête, de danser, de rire, mais aussi de découvrir Brasov, une cité médiévale non loin de Predeal. J’y suis allée après le training, accompagnée des personnes qui étaient avec moi la semaine durant. Ce fût une magnifique journée, Brasov est une très belle ville. Seuls les adieux ont noirci ce tableau idyllique. J’espère vraiment avoir l’occasion de tous les revoir. Chacun d’entre eux, si différents qu’ils soient, si uniques, sont tout autant extraordinaires. C’est dans ces moments là que je crois en l’être humain, et que je reste persuadée que les Hommes sont bons. On ne peut jamais être sûr que nos chemins se recroisent un jour. Seuls les souvenirs restent et demeurent, dans la mémoire de chacun, inébranlables. Et ce sont ces souvenirs qui nous lient les uns les autres pour toujours, quoi qu’il advienne. - 6 septembre: Aujourd'hui avec Bea nous sommes allées à l'orphelinat pour voir un show organisé par une troupe de gens incroyables, The Flying Seagull Project. Ils vivent dans une sorte de camion/roulotte, ils sont six et voyagent à travers la Roumanie depuis quatre ans. Bash, le leader, vient de Londres et nous a invité à prendre un thé dans la roulotte car Bea voulait l'interviewer. À l'intérieur, c'était un bazar de bibelots en tout genre, ambiance bohème et murs en bois; un moment magique où l'on apprend tant de choses en bavardant le temps d'un thé. - 22 septembre: début des activités Ce week-end nous devons cuisiner une spécialité de notre pays, puisque samedi soir ce sont les 15 ans d'existence de Zamolxes. C'est dommage car il y a un festival à Sinaia le même jour, j'aurais voulu y aller. 182


J'ai commencé mon atelier; il y a six filles qui sont venues, je les ai faites travailler sur le portrait. C'est stressant d'enseigner, il faut toujours être créatif pour trouver des activités à proposer. J'ai aussi commencé à aider les professeurs de français dans les écoles. Je suis surprise de voir que je ne suis plus aussi timide qu'avant. L'aventure - 2 novembre Je m'en vais à Ploesti acheter mon Balkan Flexipass ! C'est décidé, en fin de semaine, je pars seule en direction de Veliko Tarnovo en Bulgarie. Ensuite, sur la lancée, passage à Plovdiv, puis Sofia. Je traverserai la frontière pour aller en Serbie à Belgrade et Novi Sad, pour retourner finalement à Bucarest. Dix jours dans les Balkans, dix jours d'aventure. Il faut vivre son présent, pour construire des mémorables. - Youth Exchange, Pologne - 18 novembre Au programme, activités et jeux pour apprendre à se connaître, parler du volontariat, écriture et mise en scène d’une pièce de théâtre sur le thème du volontariat, que nous avons jouée dans le gymnase d’une école ainsi que dans un bar-restaurant. Chaque soir, un pays représentait sa culture en cuisinant des plats traditionnels, en organisant des activités ou encore en visionnant des vidéos montrant les plus beaux endroits de leur terre natale. Nous avons eu la chance d’assister à un concert de banjo, visiter des musées, se promener dans la ville et goûter à l’eau de source aux multiples vertus de la ville de Krynica, une cité avoisinant Piwniczna. - À la fin: février & mars Des rencontres magnifiques avec les volontaires d'Arad lors du Mid Term Training en février. Avec eux, j'ai voyagé en stop jusqu'à Sinaia, puis Sibiu où était organisée une rencontre entre Scriptamanent #4

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volontaires. Nous avons créé des liens étroits, je suis allée leur rendre visite plus tard, depuis Câmpina: 500 km en auto-stop, une grande première pour moi, et une expérience mémorable. Je veux les revoir. Je ne veux pas quitter cette vie, je refuse de devoir revenir à la réalité. Qui me comprendra une fois rentrée ? Qui pourra savoir qui sont Bella, Sanita ou Marina ? Qui pourra mettre un visage sur leurs noms ? Il n'y aura que moi et ma mémoire. Je prie pour qu'elle ne me fasse jamais faux-bond. Ne jamais oublier. Ma vie commence seulement maintenant. Je ne connaissais rien, tout s'ouvre à moi jusqu'à présent. Je ferme maintenant ce journal de voyage en Roumanie. Je relirai son contenu dans quelques mois, quelques années. Des flashs-backs surgiront dans mon esprit, accompagnés de souvenirs et d'anecdotes. La vision d'une vie à 2000 km de la précédente, et combien de kilomètres de la suivante ? Cette expérience m'a fait grandir plus que n'importe quelle autre. Je suis née à 20 ans, en Roumanie. La personne que je suis actuellement n'existait pas avant cela.

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Being lost

---------------------Silke Mooldijk 20 years | Netherlands 33EVS in Turkey, 2011

Surrounded by men with dark hair and women wearing colourful headscarves I obviously got a lot of attention while waiting for my aeroplane to Gaziantep. I was eighteen years old and had decided to spend half a year in Southeast-Turkey before starting university. An old woman, eager to find out why I was going to Gaziantep, approached me. She assured me that Antep was a beautiful city and its food delicious. After I had declined her offer to buy me a coffee twice, she went to the counter and returned with two cups. It was my first experience with Turkish hospitality; countless friendly words and cups of coffee would follow. It was this warmth that made me feel welcome in Turkey and assured me EVS had been a good choice. Yet I felt incredibly lost during the first days in Gaziantep. Without friends, a mutual language, and a safe home to return to I felt like a first grader in secondary school again: overwhelmed by many new impressions. Although I settled quickly, the feeling of being overwhelmed by both friends and strangers did not go away. Their stories changed my view on the world, confused me, and impacted my life.December My host organization had developed several projects focused on disadvantaged children and youngsters. Every week I went to the oncology hospital of Gaziantep and visited the children over there. We made beautiful drawings and folded aeroplanes out of paper. One day I stood with my fellow volunteers in the elevator when a woman asked us what we were doing in the hospital. Another woman, mother of one of the children, answered: “They are foreigners who play with the children,” She smiled, “I happy they are here, because they are doing a great job.” She herself, however, was most incredible of all people in the elevator. Every time I came to the hospital, this mother would be there: singing softly Scriptamanent #4

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and hugging her daughter. She made me realize that courage is not merely about doing things you are afraid of, rather it is making the best of a situation you do not want to be in.January I was not the only stranger in town. Apart from the other EVS-volunteers, there were many Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Gaziantep. I became friends with Aya, an Iraqi girl who had fled Baghdad ten years earlier and was waiting for permission of the UNHCR to move to a western state. On a cold day in January she invited me to her home, a two-room apartment that she shared with her three siblings and parents. Aya showed me family pictures; her mother immediately made us coffee, and Aya’s little sisters danced with me. I had found a home away from home, and wondered why this family could not be offered the same in the western world.April I spoke with Syrian youngsters, who had been sent to Turkey by their parents. One boy, Ahmad, told me a friend of his was arrested by troops of the government and thrown into prison without being tried. Ahmad was not sure whether he would see his friend ever again, yet he spoke without emotion. Some weeks later I encountered Ahmad again and this time we spoke about the Houla massacre. Western media and Aljazeera accused the government, but Ahmad, definitely not a proponent of President Assad, argued rebel troops were responsible for the killings. This confused me, because if Ahmad could not take sides in this conflict, then how would the rest of the world be able to?June My favourite project was visiting the boys who lived in a shelter my host organization had good relations with. Although their lives were full of problems, the boys were always polite, happy, and hospitable. I spoke with them about school and soccer, an English-Turkish dictionary close by. We played table soccer and two boys even made me do arm wrestling. It was like having a bunch of brothers. I spent the evening before going back to the Netherlands with the boys; we played a last match of table soccer, 186


and had supper together. When I finally left, I got many hugs and kisses, and everyone told me I could come back any time, because I was part of their family. Hours before I boarded my aeroplane I was already homesick for my beloved Gaziantep. When I look back at my time in Turkey, I realize EVS was mostly about getting lost. Physically, when I strolled around in unknown parts of Gaziantep and mentally when I tried to identify myself and did not understand the world around me. The beauty of being lost, however, is discovering things you would otherwise have missed. At the end of the day, all the sights, moments and experiences I encountered by accident are more important than the confusion, frustration, and tears. EVS changed my life and I never want to go back to who I used to be.

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Ciak, SVE, si gira Mi hanno detto: “Parti fra dieci giorni”. Partire per fare uno SVE è come andare in guerra ed essere in “Rambo”. Tranne che non puoi morire. E che non metti un’arma nella valigia (o si spera, soprattutto per passare i controlli di sicurezza all’aeroporto). Ok, non è esattamente come andare in guerra. Ma giuro che c’è una somiglianza. La mamma piange molto, rumorosamente; gli amici ripetono ogni due minuti: “speriamo di rivederti fra poco”; porti un sacco di cose da mangiare, in caso il cibo fornito dallo Stato Maggiore sia veramente schifoso e per finire, nella testa hai queste frasi: “Devo essere forte, un volontario non può piangere!!! Vedrò il peggio fra poco, ma sopravvivrò a tutto!!! Ce la farò, vincerò, CAZZO!”. Non so se sono autorizzate le parolacce in questo concorso, però adesso mi sento nei panni di Silvester S. e onestamente non lo immagino dire altrimenti, anche se non ho mai visto un suo film in italiano. Non siate scioccati, davvero. Volevo chiudere la frase con una bestemmia a due parole ma alcuni amici italiani mi hanno detto che non si fa! Arrivare per uno SVE è come essere nel 1492: “La conquista del paradiso” di Ridley Scott. Come Cristoforo Colombo sei sovraeccitato per aver scoperto una nuova terra, ma anche un po’ preoccupato. Perché ci sono GLI ALTRI (Quasi quasi passiamo a Lost…). Tutto è nuovo: apri bene occhi e orecchi per provare a capire la gente, la lingua, i gesti, le abitudini; apri bene la bocca per assaggiare le specialità culinarie, dalla pasta all’ungherese alla pasta alla fragola (la più terribile non è quella che credete); sorridi sempre, non perché sei sempre contento, ma perché credi che sia un’espressione positiva universale, anche se la gente potrebbe pensare che tu sia un po’ stupido. Non è grave, 188


tu vuoi essere accettato dai locali e, a volte, sei torturato tra la fedeltà che devi alla tua nazione e il bisogno umano patologico di contatto con altri esseri viventi. Confesso, adesso sono pazza del cappuccino della mattina, della pizza della domenica quando mi sveglio dopo una notte di festa e, ancor più grave, del fatto di non dovere correre nella metropolitana milanese tanto come nella parigina. Questo, credetemi, è il tradimento supremo, perché la velocità estrema dei Parigini è il nostro modo per individuare i turisti. Non so se riuscirò a ridiventare una ragazza antipatica e brontolona quando ci tornerò. Mi preoccupa tanto.

Essere un volontario europeo è come essere “Forrest Gump”. Capisci la metà di quello che vedi, però, stranamente, sei contento. Davvero contento. Beato. Chiacchieri con la gente sull’autobus, sillabi lentamente il tuo nome per presentarti (hai imparato a pronunciarlo con l’accento delle persone del paese, Scriptamanent #4

------------------Aurélia Indrieri 26 years | France 33EVS in Italy

Fare uno SVE è come essere in “Memento”. Metti dei post-it dappertutto nella casa per ricordarti il vocabolario della nuova lingua. Sembra che, come nel film, hai perso la memoria a breve termine, perché non ti ricordi ancora di “specchio”, nonostante lo guardi ogni giorno. Tuttavia non credi che sia grave, perché davanti allo specchio sei sempre da solo e che la mattina, anche in madrelingua, non hai per niente voglia di parlare con qualcuno. Ogni volta che vai a una serata o in un nuovo posto, fai una fotografia alla gente e la metti su Facebook, sperando che si tagghino, cosi puoi associare il nome al viso. Non sono scortese o distratta, ma vi giuro che incontrare così tante persone in così poco tempo, che hanno tutte un nome che finisce con la O o la A (a seconda del sesso) o peggio, che hanno un nome che non puoi pronunciare, è difficile. Ricordarsi perfettamente di tutto sarebbe una sfida anche per un elefante.

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nessuno capisce come ti chiami se lo dici correttamente) e parli di cose ovvie per la gente, perché in un altro paese tu sei un po’ come un bambino: “Oh, mi piace un sacco questa marca di biscotti con il mulino sulla confezione!”. “Ma sì sai, è tutta gialla e ci sono frasi carine per descrivere i biscotti!”. Preciso per i nonItaliani che questa marca è LA MARCA di biscotti nello Stivale. Se non la conosci, significa che hai meno di 3 anni o che vivi su un altro pianeta, almeno dal punto di vista italiano. Svolgere lo SVE è come essere in “Dirty Dancing”. Fai delle cose che non avevi mai fatto prima: per esempio andare al liceo per spiegare lo SVE a dei giovani. E quando provi a nasconderti dietro agli altri volontari venuti con te, un bel professore dice, guardandoti negli occhi: “nessuno può mettere Baby in un angolo”. E devi parlare davanti alla classe. Onestamente, è tanto difficile quanto fare una piccola coreografia che finisce in un volo dell’angelo. Durante lo SVE, come nel film, incontri tante nuove persone, che non avresti mai pensato né di incontrare né di apprezzare. E balli tanto. Per concludere, alla fine dell’esperienza hai l’impressione di essere cresciuta, di essere diventata “una vera donna”. Impegnarsi nello SVE è anche, ovviamente, come essere in “Gandhi”! Credi in idee umaniste, profonde, hai delle grandi aspettative per il mondo e quindi vuoi cambiarlo. Ma con la nonviolenza. Diventare un volontario è una scelta più pragmatica di quella di Gandhi- è vero- e il rischio di essere assassinato in questo ruolo è molto limitato. Ma, anche tu, fai il giro del paese (ammetto che è più per visitare che per convinzione politica, però l’implicazione fisica è la stessa) e provi a convincere tutti ad entrare nella grande famiglia europea del volontariato. Non sei ancora sicuro di aver raggiunto la saggezza e il carisma del personaggio, perché nessuno ti ha ribattezzato “Mahatma”, 190


Grande Anima, ma non perdi la speranza di ricevere quest’onore un giorno. Potrei continuare cosi senza fine, perché il numero di storie “SVE”, come quello dei film, è enorme e ci sono nuove uscite ogni settimana. La trama ti farà ridere, piangere, vibrare, stressare, pensare, dubitare. Come il cinema (intendo quello buono) lo SVE non ti lascerà indifferente, ti permetterà di vivere un po’ più forte l’istante presente e forse, anzi, il futuro. A volte ti chiederai come in “Titanic”: “Ma perché ho avuto l’idea stupida di comprare il biglietto per questa crociera di m….?!” (una parolaccia in un concorso è sufficiente). A volte sarai felice come all’inizio di “Trainspotting” o “Requiem for a dream”, ma non sarai neanche sotto droghe pesanti. Ti auguro il meglio e, vedrai, vivere uno SVE “It’s a wonderful life”.

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Green messenger in UK Quando misi piede per la prima volta in Inghilterra lo feci da turista. Correva l'anno 2008. Ero poco attratto dalla lingua e non particolarmente disposto a mescolarmi con la popolazione locale. In fondo ero lì per una settimana solo per ammirare le bellezze storiche ed architettoniche di quel paese. I musei di Londra, prima di tutto. Musei in cui ci trovi il mondo e non solo l'Inghilterra. A distanza di qualche anno, maturo il desiderio di ritornare in Inghilterra, ma non in veste di turista. Voglio poter vivere un'esperienza che sia utile ad imparare la lingua e a conoscere meglio una cultura diversa dalla mia. Così, cerco un progetto di volontariato europeo e trovo la possibilità di partecipare ad uno “short term”, di due settimane in agosto, che svilupperà al Leeds Festival. Per intederci, il Leeds Festival è uno dei festival musicali più importanti d'Europa che si svolge annualmente nella campagna circostante alla terza città più grande del Regno Unito: Leeds, per l'appunto. Vista l'età che mi ritrovo, è la mia ultima occasione di prendere parte all'EVS. Non la butto via. Dal momento in cui accetto di partecipare al progetto fino a quando l'aereo atterra all'aeroporto di Manchester, ho cercato di non rendere vana la mia attesa. Per non sentirmi impreparato, ogni giorno mi sono informato su ciò che mi attendeva e, soprattutto, ho cercato di migliorare la mia comprensione dell'inglese frequentando volontari europei nella mia città. Una volta giunto all'aeroporto di Manchester, attendo qualche minuto in un piazzale antistante l'entrata conversando con altri ragazzi italiani. Dopodiché salgo a bordo di un van alla guida del quale c'è uno dei responsabili dell'associazione ospitante e con me ci sono gli altri otto ragazzi italiani con i quali condividerò questa esperienza. Durante il tragitto dall'aeroporto al camping 192


----------------------------Adriano Antonacci 30 years | Italy 33EVS in United Kingdom, 2012

non scucio una parola di bocca. Il mio sguardo è fisso fuori dal finestrino, osservo ciò che passa a tiro dei miei occhi. Rifletto finché la mia riflessione viene interrotta dalle gocce di acqua che lambiscono il vetro del finestrino. È la pioggia che mi da il benvenuto. Nel giro di un giorno passo dal caldo torrido tipico della zona in cui vivo, all'aria umida ed al cielo plumbeo tipico dell'isola britannica. Non sento più il cicaleggio assordante e non vedo più il giallo luminoso dei campi di grano in cui sembra specchiarsi il sole. Non sento più il tanfo insopportabile della terra arsa che ti entra fin dentro il cervello quando costeggi i campi di grano già mietuti. Qui c'è un contrasto tra il verde della vegetazione rigogliosa ed il grigiore del cielo plumbeo. L'aria che si respira è fine e ti apre i polmoni. Dopo un paio d'ore di autostrada, giugniamo al campsite di Hatfield. C'è una radura con un piccolo lago attorno al quale sorge un centro sportivo nel quale troviamo già allestite le nostre tende. Mi renderò esattamente conto del luogo in cui mi trovo solo il giorno successivo perché ormai è sera tarda e nel buio riesco a mala pena a scorgere la sagoma di una ragazza che ci viene incontro. Parla inglese, ma non è inglese. Viene dall'est europa. Poco dopo si avvicina un ragazzo, parla italiano con un accento del nord. Si sincerano che il nostro viaggio sia andato bene e ci accompagnano sotto una grande tenda invitandoci a prendere qualcosa per rinfocillarci un po'. Ceniamo con Fish&Chips e dopo qualche ora di relax e libera conversazione ci sistemiamo nelle tende. Si dorme. L'indomani mattina al banco dove è riposto il cibo per la colazione, vedo tanta gente e sento mescolarsi tante lingue. Nel campsite ci sono quasi sessanta volontari: una trentina di italiani ed il resto sono estoni, polacchi, francesi e portoghesi. Scriptamanent #4

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Entro subito in confidenza con alcuni di loro. In serata le ragazze estoni offrono cibo del loro paese dopo aver inscenato un balletto sulle note di “Podral maja”, una canzone popolare estone. Diventerà il mio tormentone. Restiamo al campsite di Hatfield qualche giorno, durante i quali visitiamo la città di Doncaster e pratichiamo un po' di sport. Poi, smontiamo tutto, selezioniamo l'attrezzatura più decente e la carichiamo sul van che ci porterà nel posto in cui avrà luogo il festival. Arrivati a Leeds facciamo un briefing in cui ci viene spiegato quale sarà il nostro lavoro nei giorni seguenti. Poi facciamo un sopralluogo a tutta la zona del festival. È enorme. Qui ci arriveranno qualcosa come ottanta mila persone. C'è l'area staff dove abbiamo installato le nostre tende, la “guest area”dove si sistemeranno gli abitanti di Leeds che, data l'ospitalità che offrono al festival, potranno godere di servizi privilegiati e di biglietti a prezzo ridotto. C'è l'area principale, la “main arena” dove sono installati cinque palchi su cui si esibiranno i vari gruppi musicali. E poi ci sono le varie aree camping suddivise per colori (yellow, orange, white, purple, blue, green e red). Abbiamo giusto un paio di giorni prima che inizi il festival e ne approfittiamo per visitare alcune città non molto distanti dal luogo in cui ci troviamo. Andiamo a York, un'antica città britannica. Resto fortemente colpito dalla sua bellezza. Poi visitiamo Leeds. Siamo alla vigilia del festival. Indosso la mia casacca verde con la scritta “Green Messenger” sul petto ed il numero identificativo marchiato sul retro. Mi tocca andare poco fuori l'ingresso ad accogliere la marea di gente che arriva in autobus. È questo il compito che mi è stato assegnato il primo giorno. La gente passa e gli indico l'ingresso giusto. Ce ne sono due, uno per chi ha i biglietti e l'altro per chi ha già i braccialetti al polso. Ogni tanto qualcuno si ferma a chiedermi informazioni e spesso faccio fatica 194


a capire quel che mi dicono. Si avvicina un ragazzo, indossa una casacca di un colore diverso dalla mia e nelle mani ha un mucchio di programmi stampati. Stringiamo subito amicizia e cominciamo a dialogare. Sbirciamo il programma per vedere quali saranno i gruppi che si esibiranno nella tre giorni del festival. Parliamo della nostra vita, di musica, di calcio… poi nella nostra discussione tocchiamo argomenti un po' più seri come l'economia e la globalizzazione. Devo ringraziarlo ad ogni modo perché mi da una grossa mano nel gestire le situazioni più critiche. Tipo quando un tizio piazza il suo cellulare al mio orecchio e mi chiede di spiegare al suo amico la strada per raggiungere il festival. Non avrei mai saputo spiegargli una cosa del genere! Gli dissi subito: “ask him!”, indicandogli con la mano il ragazzo col quale avevo da poco stretto amicizia. Resto lì per tre ore, poi rientro alla mia tenda. Nei giorni successivi il mio compito cambia. Mi occupo prevalentemente di riciclo di rifiuti. Munito di una pinza raccoglirifiuti e di un cerchio al quale ho attaccato una busta, percorro in lungo ed in largo l'area del camping assegnatami, raccogliendo lattine, bottigliette di plastica e cartacce varie. Ogni busta piena la consegno al punto di raccolta dove ci sono altri Green Messenger che selezionano il materiale differenziandolo. Mi alterno con loro. Una volta raccolgo, un'altra seleziono. In più, alle lattine vengono rimosse le linguette che vengono messe in un contenitore a parte. Saranno inviate ad un'associazione umanitaria che con quel materiale realizza borse, collane, cinte e altri accessori che rivende destinando il ricavato ad organizzazioni che aiutano i bambini in Africa. Nel frattempo il festival è iniziato a tutti gli effetti. Le varie band suonano alternandosi, un'ora a testa, dalle 12:30 sino alle 23:30. Per tre giorni di fila sui palchi della “main arena” si esibiscono gruppi come The Black Keys, The Cure, Kasabian, Foster the people, Kaiser Chiefs, Foo Fighters, Florence and The Machine, Justice, Metronomy, Katy B, The Vaccines, Paramore… solo per Scriptamanent #4

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citare i gruppi a me più noti. Si lavora di giorno, ci si diverte la sera. Tra un turno di lavoro e l'altro, tra un concerto ed un altro, ho stretto tante amicizie ed ho vissuto tante situazioni piacevoli. Le lunghe conversazioni fatte la sera attorno al fuoco, le grigliate di carne, il baked potato, le scanzonate e le schitarrate fate nel tempo libero. Tutto molto bello. A festival concluso, quando ormai l'area camping si è svuotata di gente, ci tocca raccogliere il resto dei rifiuti. Ma non più lattine, bottigliette di plastica e carte. Dobbiamo raccogliere tende, sacchi a pelo, materassini, cuscini e tutto l'equipaggiamento da camping che è riutilizzabile. C'è tanto materiale da recuperare perché chi frequenta questo genere di festival in Inghilterra acquista il suo equipaggiamento da campeggio ad inizio estate e lo utilizza per più festival fino ad abbandonarlo a quello che chiude il periodo estivo. Ed in effetti il Leeds Festival si svolge a fine agosto, quando l'estate si archivia con largo anticipo rispetto, ad esempio, all'Italia. Il materiale in condizioni accettabili viene inviato ad un'altra associazione umanitaria che crea dei kit da rivendere e il ricavato lo destina ai senzatetto. Mi sono sentito molto utile in queste situazioni. Il nostro lavoro è finito. Lasciamo Leeds e ci spostiamo in hotel a Manchester, a pochi passi dall'Old Trafford, lo storico stadio dello United. Qui trascorriamo gli ultimi tre giorni prima di prendere il volo per il ritorno in Italia. Il giorno prima di partire andiamo tutti e sessanta i volontari a cenare insieme in un pub inglese. A fine cena usciamo fuori dal pub per farci qualche foto di gruppo. Alcuni sorridono, altri si commuovono. Un ultimo abbraccio collettivo prima di ritornare nei nostri paesi. Non importa che sia durata solo un paio di settimane. Ciò che conta è l'intensità con la quale ho vissuto questa esperienza. Indimenticabile.

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Cadere o volare?

---------------------Jessie van Erp 20 years | Netherlands 33EVS in Italy, 2012

Un paracadute non funziona mai se non si ha il coraggio di lanciarsi. A volte sembra molto più facile e sicuro restare fermi sulla mongolfiera. Ma chi sa cosa può succedere se si cede alla curiosità e alla tentazione… Vi racconto della volta in cui ho usato il mio paracadute, per far capire che molte volte vale la pena di usarlo. A 18 anni sono partita dall’Olanda per un lungo viaggio, che si è rivelato ricco e pieno di adrenalina: sogni, cambiamenti, novità, nuove culture, curiosità, buon cibo, nuove esperienze, amicizie, amore e tant’altro, in Italia con l’associazione Link. A dire il vero, la prima impressione quando ci si butta, è proprio quella di cadere nel vuoto, perché non si sa quello che può succedere. Appena arrivata ho dovuto confrontarmi con un altro mondo: 43 tipi di caffè, gente che guida come Schumacher, che gesticola continuamente o che parla ad alta voce, mille tipi di pasta, due baci sulla guancia (e non tre!) ad ogni persona, un odore fortissimo di pane, il continuo essere in ritardo, tantissime lingue, dialetti, ma neanche una persona che parlava olandese. Impressionante, vero? Per poter affrontare tutte queste novità nel modo migliore, c’è bisogno di essere aperti, curiosi e, soprattutto, è molto importante non essere spaventati di tutto ciò che c’è attorno. Mi son resa conto di quante cose è possibile scoprire quando si è predisposti ad avere una visione molto ampia di tutto ciò che è nuovo. In più, è possibile riscoprire tante cose che si pensa già di sapere o conoscere. Per esempio, la piazza grande viene vissuta in maniera totalmente differente rispetto all’Olanda. Sembra essere sempre piena di gente. All’inizio non riuscivo a capire il perché e mi chiedevo: “Ma…che cosa fanno tutte queste persone qui?”. Dopo sette mesi di volontariato non Scriptamanent #4

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riuscivo a immaginare la mia vita senza un posto così simpatico, interessante e importante, in cui si può conoscere e incontrare tanta gente. Le sorprese che ti può riservare un’esperienza come lo SVE sono incredibili, mi ha motivato tantissimo e mi ha fatto diventare ancora più aperta. Non dimenticherò mai la prima volta in cui ho capito uno scherzo in italiano o in cui ho assaggiato la lasagna di Lucia. Indimenticabile anche la prima volta in cui ho bevuto un Padre Peppe (per i visitatori in futuro, assaggiatelo e godetevelo) e tutte le volte in cui ho fatto qualcosa di singolare e speciale, come dipingere la mia faccia come un uovo di Pasqua, farmi la doccia nella fontana durante un viaggio in autostop, essere svegliata dall’acqua degli irrigatori in un giaridino ad Assisi, contare le stelle cadenti per tutta la notte, partecipare al maggio di Accettura, trovare amici da tutto il mondo e tante altre cose. Tutte queste cose non sarebbero state così splendide e piacevoli se non avessi conosciuto le persone con cui ho condiviso tutte queste esperienze. In ogni progetto ho incontrato persone speciali e curiose, in particolare durante JAM II. Si trattava di un progetto di musica e riciclaggio, che si è svolto in campagna sulla Murgia materana durante l’estate. C’era tanto sole (leggere 45 gradi sul termometro era alquanto preoccupante!), a volte poca acqua (tant’è che il motto era ‘when the water is finished, we stand up and SING!’) e tantissime persone interessanti da paesi diversi. Per me le persone indimenticabili erano quelle con cui stavo molto bene e che mi amavano o sopportavano nei momenti in cui non sono stata veramente “amabile” (dopo dieci giorni intensi in campagna senza poter fare una doccia ogni giorno per risparmiare acqua, si può immaginare che eravamo tutti un po’ sporchi e ‘back to nature’). Alla fine l’atmosfera che abbiamo creato e che poi abbiamo trasmesso al pubblico durante il concerto finale, mi faceva sentire come se avessi trovato il 198


“modo” giusto di volare con il mio paracadute. In realtà non ho percepito quest’atmosfera solamente durante JAM, ma anche in altre situazioni: quando si ballava in piazza a Matera durante un concerto jazz, quando si facevano le cene insieme e specialmente ogni volta che ci si incontrava tutti insieme in piazza Duomo ad Altamura. Lo SVE mi ha fatto accettare anche la sfida di amare e di affrontare l’inaspettato. Ma “l’amore estivo” è anche una forma di educazione internazionale, giusto? Mi piacerebbe conoscere il futuro, ma adoro ancora di più il gusto del non sapere e del vivere alla giornata, aspettando sempre belle sorprese. La mia avventura dello SVE è finita ma continuo sempre a svolazzare con il mio paracadute. Spero che con questa mia testimonianza possiate prendere coraggio per vivere esperienze così forti. È bello sognare, ma realizzare i propri sogni riesce a farti volare veramente. Dobre ciao!

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A moment of happiness in Portugal I take a deep breath and then another one. I can feel the scent of trees in the air, maybe the one of the eucalyptus tree, which is so popular here in this area. I can smell the bonfire, that we just sparked and very gently the barbecue meat (chicken, as we have also Muslims amongst us). I can feel the spring in the air which smells so different here than at home in Germany. I can smell the freedom, which I am feeling for already 7 months now. It is night. I look down on the city. It lays there in the valley like a chain of lights. From up here in the mountains, one has the best view over the city - this small city, which captures such a big place in my heart. I am happy in this moment. I feel as being exactly in the right place. I cannot imagine any other place where I’d prefer to be right now. I let myself fall back on the blanket. I see the dark treetops - they rise so high in the sky. They seem to almost touch the stars, flashing through the dense leaves- and needles roof. A few scattered raindrops are falling on my face. The bonfire is warming my feet. Around me, I notice the voices of the others. From the people, that became so important to me over the last months. Without whom it would not be the same. People from different countries, with different nationalities. They are laughing. It seems as if somebody told something funny again. They are laughing together, even though many of them do not speak the same language. Most of them speak various languages, but sometimes, not a single one overlaps. But however, we understand each other. Since 7 months I am here in Portugal now. 7 months in which i have learned so much: about other countries, other cultures; a new language, about my work, about life, about myself. I'm not living next to the seaside, in one of these touristic places. My town is located in the middle of the mountains. They nature here is so untouched and unexplored. It is so unique. Sometimes, the beauty of the landscape just tales away my breath. In 5 200


----------------------Johanna Reger 19 years | Germany 33EVS in Portugal, 2012

months my project will be finished and then I will go back to Germany- back into my old life? But I don't want to think about this yet. Here, I've learned to enjoy the moment. Because it is exactly these moments when I can enjoy life as it is. Between these people from different countries, I suddenly remember some lines of a text from my Portuguese class: “É bom ser branco como o açúcar amarelo como o Sol preto como as estradas vermelho como as fogueiras castanho da cor do chocolate.” Meninos de todas as cores – Luisa Ducla Soares) [It's good to be white as sugar Yellow as the sun Black as the roads Red as the bonfire Brown as the chocolate And in my mind I add: It is good to travel, It is good to meet different cultures on different journeys. Cultures, with all their peculiarities and habits that often seem weird at their first appearance.It's good to see different places and meet different people. I already know that in 5 months, I will be longing for this country, longing for Portugal. I will have “saudade” after my new home, after this tiny town and after all the people who grew so close to my heart. “Saudade” after this language, which I regarded as so un-aesthetic in the beginning. I will feel “saudade” after the Portuguese nation, which constantly floats in “saudades”. And suddenly I realize, that I understand the Portuguese culture much better than I thought I would. It seems to me as if I finally understand the deeper meaning of this word now: Scriptamanent #4

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“Saudade�. A word, which so many tourist guides considered as untranslatable. My thoughts are interrupted by the filled plate, which is shoved right under my nose. It smells fantastic. I leave my world of thoughts, but the feeling of being in exactly the right place, stays.

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End – Vakuum – Start Before – During - After 22 e 23 anni / Ungheria e Slovacchia EVS in Spagna, 2007/2008. EVS in Spain made Sasha and Zsuzsu lifelong friends and split their lives into three distinct parts. Let the two ex-volunteers use simple words to describe the undescribable: End do videnia asleep pressure ego objective elsewhere edit threatens Sopron numb Bežovce empty Youth in Action nadir rodina aim Magyarország gather remélted-e emotions Slovensko otthonom meaninglessness split thereafter rozlúčka álom

Start tartalmas snow Where am I home? egolessness Skype European citizenship peace energies so coooold deep pohodlie erős ízek known nostalgy of Catalan new-old friends story teller rodina ¿Ahora qué? empathy young go openminded differ reformar rest HUNGARIAN - ENGLISH Sopron – Zsuzsu’s home town Magyarország – Hungary remélted-e – Have you ever expected? otthonom – my home álom – dream Scriptamanent #4

-----------------------Zsuzsu Szánthó & Sasha 28 years | Hungary 33EVS in Spain, 2007

Vacuum molt bè Egészségedre! exchange Europapa airport Terrassa Antonius Pius San Jordi inspiration nomad difference equality You united derűsebb belief freedom mariscos szerelem Minyons San Joan Na zdravie! España action nationality Year of challenges

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Egészségedre! – Cheers! derűsebb – brighter szerelem – love tartalmas – meaningful erős ízek – strong Hungarian flavours

SLOVAK - ENGLISH do videnia – see you later Bežovce - Sasha´s home village rodina- family Slovensko - Slovakia rozlúčka- farewell Na zdravie! – Cheers! pohodlie – comfort

SPANISH – ENGLISH mariscos – seafood España – Spain ¿Ahora qué? – And… what’s next?! reformar – to reform CATALAN - ENGLISH Molt bè – very well Terrassa – Zsuzsu’s and Sasha’s town of EVS in Catalonia Antoninus Pius – street where the host organization was Sant Jordi - Day of Sant Jordi has similarities to Valentine's Day Minyons – Minyons de Terrassa is a human tower association San Joan – San Juan's night is full of bonfires, fireworks, music and dancing

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La vida del Sahara Occidental

------------------------------Ivan Llop Huete 33 years | Spain 33Other in Western Sahara, 2007

La Hamada Argelina es una zona del desierto del Sahara inhóspita, donde no crece la vida mas que la de los refugiados Saharauis, que viven y sobreviven gracias a la ayuda humanitaria, un exilio que dura ya mas de 35 años, alejados de sus tierras, de su hogar. se encuentran en una zona de la Hamada Argelina al sur de Argelia, país que los refugio, y que les ha dado un trozo de tierra. una tierra la cual en invierno alcanzan temperaturas de día de unos 25º-28º, por la noche pueden alcanzar los 0º, y en verano pueden llegar hasta los 50º, con unos vientos fuertes acompañados de arena del desierto que se llama Sirocco, este puede arrancar las Haimas donde viven, y desplazarlas a lo largo de metros de distancia. el agua que utilizan es enviada semanalmente por camiones cisterna que llenan unos depósitos de agua qeu tiene cada familia. A pesar de esto, los niños y la gente de allí viven su día a día lo mejor posible, los niños nunca les falta una sonrisa que dibujar en su rostro. Una tierra, una gente que no dejan indiferente,. Conocer un Saharaui? un amigo para toda la vida y una causa en la que creer.

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There Do you all know what is going to happen in 57 days in my life? Yes, yes, yes! I'm going to visit THERE. Yes, exactly – this special THERE! I'm so happy because of that! Och! C'mon! Don't you know where THERE is? I talked so much about it so many times and you still don't remember… THERE is in this strange strict country that seems to lead the whole European Union. Yes, this one with one of the best economical situations in Europe. Exactly this where so many migrants are and where people drink beer, eat sausages, have very good football clubs and good highways! You need more hints about THERE? THERE is in this big region in the richer part of the country. Yes – it has many well-known companies and airplanes going to every part of the world. Still nothing? Ok, THERE is in a lovely city of a great dialogue philosopher – Martin Buber, outdoor swimming pool, shops closing at 8p.m. and a hostel situated in a castle on a hill. Finally THERE is in a white building that can host 60 people at the same time, employs 25 nice people ans has a big garden with many funny trees. THERE is also called “Haus am Maiberg” and is a centre for civic education. You're probably wondering why I'm so excited about the visit in 57 days. So, THERE was a place where I lived for one year of my intensive life! I worked in THERE as a volunteer helping to organise and coordinate international youth exchanges. Every day I wrote tons of e-mails, called thousands of people, copied millions of sheets of paper and prepared seminar rooms for our workshops on Europe, diversity and democracy. But it's not everything what THERE was. I also lived in THERE, slept, ate, took a rest, trained gymnastic in the garden, prayed and stood next to the window while raining. You know, I also met in THERE people from different countries and these two important Kasias from Poland. Why is it so special to me and I'm paying so much 206


---------------------Paulina Jaskulska 26 years | Poland 33EVS in Germany, 2010

attention to THERE? Probably because of the fact that THERE opened my professional life path – I try to work with young people coming from different places in the world. Probably because I often felt cheerful (especially after swimming in the morning!) and needed in THERE. Maybe also because people were nice to me and smiled even if I didn't understand what they're talking about. But at the same time I have also some „less” nice memories. THERE made me feel lonely, frustrated and angry on everybody around me. THERE tried to convince me that I’m too weak for such kind of job. THERE made me think that I'm indecisive, inpatient, egoistic, wanting a special attention from everybody around and not being able to deal with any problems. Actually there were many moments when I thought about ending my stay in THERE. THERE was sometimes like a survival that I wasn't used to. Was it a good decision to stay in THERE until the end of the project? Surely yes. This survival realized me what a strong person I'm and how much courage, craziness, spontaneously I have. THERE brought to the light my biggest talent – of very quick adapting to different places, situations and people. THERE helped me to understand according to what values I want to live and that the freedom of choice is a crucial thing in decision making process for me. Right after the EVS I felt like I would have discovered a new „me” which was actually an old „me” but in a new – more selfconfident version. Thank You very much for making me stronger, my THERE and see You in 57 days!

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Une histoire de février! Voilà quatre mots qui donnent envie. Le 5 février 2012, un projet SVE. Une association qui se nomme l'Adice située à Roubaix dans le nord de la France est partenaire européen pour le SVE ( Service Volontaire Européen ). Association Link dans laquelle j'ai été accueilli jusqu'au 5 mars 2012 donc un projet de 1 mois très enrichissant voici le parcours en quelques lignes … Arrivée en Italie !!! Je peux vous dire que je n'avais pas beaucoup voyagé auparavant donc un stress énorme de la découverte, le ventre qui se ferme, les lèvres sèches … Je descends de l'avion, une personne de l'association Link devait venir me chercher. En entrant dans la salle, il me repère tout de suite. Très bien accueilli. Les présentations commencent, heureusement qu'il parlait français. Une bonne demi-heure de route avant d'arriver à l'appartement dans lequel j'ai été accueilli pendant la période de mon projet. Il m'explique que je doit rester là cette nuit et que demain matin on viendra me chercher. J'étais avec un espagnol très timide mais très sympathique! Le lendemain matin je suis à l'association. Là, je fais connaissance des présentes personnes et je me suis vite intégré au groupe ! Pourtant les volontaires super géniaux ! Enfin parlons du projet: je me suis occupé de personnes handicapées. Le premier pas un peu difficile mais très attirant. Mon rôle était de les occuper de 16h à 18h, 2h intenses et très enrichissantes, la langue, la façon de s'exprimer, leur façon d'être attirés par des personne venant d'autres cultures, une expérience inoubliable ! Surtout avec les moments passés avec les autres volontaires comme Jessie avec laquelle je garde toujours le 208


-------------------Hocine Hamlaoui 20 years | France 33EVS in Italy, 2012

contact, Henrietta, Inma, Daniel, et Severine. Au début, le premier contact, un peu effrayé de voir des personnes d'autres pays et de devoir communiquer avec la chose la plus compliquée la langue mais une chose qu'on a su surmonter très vite ! On a découvert des plats typiques, des chansons, des jeux … La suite en photos Avec un grand merci à l'association Link donc Birghite, Lucia, Mino, Sante et Claodio!!!

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Unutmayın: 'Paylaştıkça Çoğalır' Herkese merhabalar, Ben Oğuzhan Gürsoy. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Siyaset Bilimi ve Kamu Yönetimi bölümü öğrencisiyim. “Paylaştıkça çoğalır” cümlesini benimsemiş bir insan olarak bu projeyi duyar duymaz yine hikayemi insanlarla buluşturacak olmanın heyecanı ile geçtim bilgisayarın karşısına… Benim projemin gerçekleştiği ülke Çek Cumhuriyeti’ydi. Kuruluşumun adı: Středisko Volného Ĉasu Ivančice. Projemin adı ise 'We change the world to volunteers' idi. Projemin konusu ise spor ve dış mekan aktiviteleriydi. Projem süresince genel olarak; kuruluşumun profesyonel çalışanlarının yanında futbol, basketbol, hentbol, tenis, floorball antrenörlüğü yaptım. Ayrıca şehrimde düzenlenen festivallerde ve 3-6 yaş arası çocuklar için düzenlenen etkinliklerde sorumluluk aldım. Benim Avrupa Gönüllü Hizmeti serüvenim gönderici kuruluşum Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı'ndan Volkan Abi'nin lise 3. sınıfa başladığımız dönemde yaptığı EVS sunumu ile başladı. O sunum salonundan çıktığım andan itibaren hep EVS'in hayalini kurdum. Ben bir EVS gönüllüsü olmalıydım. 18 yaşında olmadığım için 2 yıllık bir bekleme ve araştırma dönemi geçirdim. Üniversiteyi kazandıktan sonra hemen gitmek istedim ama başvurduğum projelerden kabul alamadım. 2011 yılında üniversitede İngilizce hazırlık sınıfında okurken proje araştırmaya devam ettim. İstenilene uygun formatta dikkat çekici bir C.V. ve motivasyon mektubu hazırlayıp gönüllüsü olmak istediğim projelere başvuru yaptım. Ardından proje sonuçları açıklanmaya başladı ve 47 red alsam da Fransa, Romanya ve Çek Cumhuriyeti’nden kabul aldım. Bunun sonrasında elektronik postalarıma en hızlı dönen, web sayfası en kaliteli olan, projesi ve yaptıkları ortada olan ve proje konusu bana en uygun olan Středisko Volného Ĉasu Ivančice’yi seçtim. Bana atılan kabul postasını alır almaz koordinatörüm 210


----------------------------Oğuzhan Gürsoy 21 years | Turkey 33EVS in Czech Republic, 2010

Levent Abi'ye haber verdim. Sonrasında da aileme. Projemin başlamasından 5 ay öncesinde seçilmiştim. Ama asıl süreç bundan sonra başladı. Pasaportum bile yoktu. Zorlu bir süreçten sonra vizemi elime aldığım güne kadar geldim. Vizemi aldığım bilgisini gönderen kuruluşuma ilettim. Ardından telefondan gelen bir ses: 'On arrival eğitimine yetişebilmen için bir an önce gelmeni istiyorlar. Yarın uygun mu sana?' Sonrası her şeyi, herkesi geride bırakıp yeni bir maceraya atılmanın vaktiydi… Hayatım bir günde değişmişti. Beni karşılamaya gelen ve coğrafya okuduğu halde Türkiye'nin çöl olduğunu sanan o kişiyi, beni ilk gördüğü anki gülümsemesini, eve girdiğim ilk anı hatırlıyorum… Ukraynalı ve Letonyalı ev arkadaşlarım karşısında İngilizcemin kötülüğünün yüzüme çarptığı o anları. Rötarlı kalkan o uçak beni hayallerimin en orta yerine taşımıştı. İlk geldiğim zamanlar dil ve yemek konusunda ufak sıkıntılar yaşamıştım. Ama 3. haftamda artık bir Ivancice nüfusu 10.000+1 olmuştu. Ivanciceliyim ben. İsmimi telaffuz etmek onlara zor geldiği için bana yeni isimler verdiler: Ozy, Ogy, Ogi… Hatta arkadaşlarım Siyaset Bilimi okuduğum için onların ilk cumhurbaşkanları olan Vaclav Havel’in isminden esinlenerek bana Vaclav adını verdiler. Kuruluşumdan Türkiye sunumu yapmam için teklif geldi. Kuruluşumun gençlik merkezinde Türkiye günleri düzenledim. Ardından ilgi git gide arttı. Bunun sonucunda ilçemdeki okullardan teklif geldi. Bunun sonucunda okullara gidip Türkiye sunumları yapmaya başladım. Sonrasında diğer gençlik merkezlerinde ve farklı ülkelerde sunum yapma imkanı yakaladım. 'O kadar ilginç sorular geliyor ki anlatsam inanmazsınız: Türkiye'yi Afrika'da sanan, Türkiye'yi çöl zanneden, Scriptamanent #4

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Sokaklarda nasıl gezebiliyorsunuz diye soran… vb. milyon soru… Dinimiz, bayrağımız, ülkemiz, eğitimimiz, kültürümüz… Bugüne kadar temsil edilmemiş buralarda… Türkiye'yi tanımıyorlar. Tanımadıkları gibi inanılmaz ön yargılara sahipler.' Son bir haftadır Türkiye sunumları yapıyorum. Her sunumdan sonra inanılmaz alkışlanıyorum. İnsanlar Türkiye'ye uçak bileti ne kadar, üniversiteleriniz ne kadar gibi sorularla geliyor. Bu şehir artık Türkiye'nin çöl olmadığını ve Türkiye'ye kar yağdığını biliyor. Bu şehir artık Atatürk'ü biliyor. Sunumda en çok alkışı her zaman Pamukkale travertenleri, Fethiye ve Palandöken alıyor. Çek Cumhuriyeti yemek kültürü açısından ve sosyo kültürel açıdan Türkiye ile taban tabana zıt bir ülke. Aslında beni Çek Cumhuriyetine gitme konusunda teşvik eden de bu zıtlıklar ve bilinmezliklerdi. Çek Cumhuriyeti’nde kuruluşum konusunda çok şanslıydım. Şehrimdeki insanlar tarafından seviliyor ve itibar görüyordum. Kendimi oraya ait hissediyordum. Çek Cumhuriyetinde kendimle hesaplaşmaya alışmıştım ben. Hep başımı alıp gidebilecek kadar cesur, ama hep kalıp savaşacakmış kadar gözüpek olabilmiştim. Sessizliği, sese dönüştürebilmiştim en önemlisi… 'Ve sırt çantasını her daim hazır tutmalı insan… Yollarla barışmalı…' Benim favori mısralarım bunlar. Yollarla barışmak… Çek Cumhuriyeti’nde Plzen ve Usdi Labem hariç bütün şehirlerde bir vesile ile bulundum. Prag, Viyana, Bratislava gibi şehirlerin yanı sıra Polonya'nın bir kaç küçük şehrini de gördüm. 10 Nisan 2012 tarihinde ise 2 yıl öncesinde hayalini kurduğum Avrupa turuna çıktım. Bunun için kuruluşumdan tatil izni istedim. Hiç sorun etmediler. Hatta bu seyahatten sonra çeşitli ortamlarda gezi notlarımı paylaşacağım sunumlar yapmamı istediler. Hikayemin adı: “19 yaşında, tek başına binlerce km gitmek”ti. 13 ülke görme ayrıcalığını yaşamak. 212


Tüm bu seyahatlerim çok büyüttü beni. Hayallerime kavuştum. Seyahatlerimin sonuna yaklaşırken Türkiye’yi değil Ivancice’yi özlüyordum. Oraya geri dönmek için sabırsızlanıyordum. Ivancice kelimesini başlarda telaffuz bile edemezken artık oralı olmuştum. EVS çok değer kattı bana. Çok gezdim, çok eğlendim, çok öğrendim ve çok ilhamlandım. Çok güzel işler başardım. Şehrimin futbol takımı ile antrenmanlara çıktım. Yerelde bir çok arkadaş edindim. Aynı zamanda dünyanın her yerinden arkadaş edindim geçen 1 yılda. Hentbol ve floorball takımlarım ile turnuvalara katıldım ve çeşitli dereceler elde ettik. Brno’da düzenlenen Avrupa Paralimpik oyunlarının Çek Cumhuriyeti ayağında organizasyon ekibinde yer aldım. Şehrimin 800. yıl kuruluş etkinlikleri çerçevesinde düzenlenen atletizm yarışında birinci oldum. Beni en çok ilhamlandıran kişiyi yani Usain Bolt’u, Çek Cumhuriyeti Ostrava'da düzenlenen Zlata Tretra yarışlarında stadyumdan canlı olarak izledim. Buz pateni yapmayı Çek Cumhuriyeti’nde öğrendim. Gönüllülük çerçevesinde gitmeme rağmen kendimce o çerçeveyi yeniden çizdim ben. Çok ilhamlandım, çok örnek aldım. Dilerim birilerine de ben örnek olabilirim. Sonra proje sürem bitti ve veda zamanı geldi. O zaman anladım ki onlar bana değer kattı, ben de onlara çok değer katmıştım. Veda etmek istemememe rağmen daha koşacak çok yolumun olduğunu düşünerek yeni bir sayfa açtım kendime. 15 ülke gezip görmenin ayrıcalığını EVS ile yakaladım ben. Bir çok hayalimi EVS sayesinde gerçekleştirebildim. Seyahat etmek değişmektir. Seyahat etmek, yeni insanlar ve yeni mimariler görmek kişinin hayatında devrimlere, en kötü ihtimalle reformlara yol açar. Hayatı algılaması değişir insanın. Yaşadığımız yerler dışında başka insanlar, başka kültürler, başka şeyler varmış diye düşünür insan. 'Buralarda hava farklı kokuyor','insanlar garip giyiniyor' cümleleri dökülür ağızdan. Gidilen yerde memleket, memleketin insanları, memleket toprağı Scriptamanent #4

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ve havası özlenir. Orasıyla burası kıyaslanır. Hatta bir önceki şehirle-ülkeyle kıyaslanır gezilen yer. Gezmek öğretir. Nerede yaşamalı acaba diye düşünülür hep. Kısacası gezi, dışarıda yapılan bir salınım olmasının yanında iç dünyaya yapılan bir yolculuktur. 'Ve sırt çantasını her daim hazır tutmalı insan… Yollarla barışmalı…'

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Bir Gönüllünün Günlüğü-Bicske

---------------------Şule Gürle 28 years | Turkey 33EVS in Hungary, 2012

Bir Akdeniz ülkesi olan Türkiye’den kalkıp gitmiştim bir Doğu Avrupa ülkesi olan Macaristan’a sadece hayatımı değiştirecek o mülteci kampında gönüllü olmak için… Arkadaşlarım, ailem anlam verememişti bu yaptıklarıma. “Sen kalk buradan sadece gönüllü olmak için mülteci kampına git ve orada bir üç ay yaşa!” İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı’na gidiş yolundayken, yalnız başıma olduğum takside de, gerçekten “Ben nereye gidiyorum?” demeye başlamıştım. Beni götüren taksinin şoförü bile bana: “Herkes Avrupa’ya giderken, sen neden Macaristan’a gidiyorsun?” demişti. Sonra kendimi bir mülteci kampında bulmuştum. Sanki küçük bir Afgan köyüne gelmiştim. Penceremden duyulan Farsça sözcükler, kampı saran Afgan yemek kokuları arasında: “Bir sabah odamın penceresinden Farsça müzik seslerini duyarak uyanmıştım..Odam sözde okul denilen ve öğrencilere sadece iki saatlik örgün eğitim veren binaya bakıyordu ve her sabah bazen baş örtüleri ile, bazen başörtüsüz önümden geçen çocukları ve insanları görmek beni mutlu ediyordu. O gün ise uyandığımda penceremden Farsça müzikler sızıyordu odama ve çocuklar oynuyordu… Kampta Afganlar çoğunluktaydı, ama sonradan Somaliler de, Suriyeliler de çoğalmaya başlamıştı. İşte bu yüzden farklı renkler ve farklı sesler daha bir güzel olmuştu. Bir masada Somalilerle otururken, diğer masada ise Suriyelilerle oturuyordum, bir zaman sonra da çocuklarla oynarken Farsça kelimelerle boğuşmak zorunda kalıyordum ve bunu çok seviyordum. Çünkü benim aklım Afganistan’da takılı kalmıştı.” Bu hikayenin sonrası ise bir mülteci ile gelmişti… Çünkü nereye gidersem gideyim hikâyemi yazmak için beni hep bir mülteci karşılıyordu ve o hikâyelerin sonu hep bir mülteci ile bitiyordu. Bicske geçiciydi kimileri için, kimileri içinse, iki Scriptamanent #4

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yıldır yaşanılan bir yerdi, gidecek başka bir yer yoktu ama burada da yaşam kurulmuyordu. -Entegrasyon adı altında işlev görmesi gereken Bicske’deki bu kampın geleceği kafalarda soru işareti bırakırken, gerçekten de kampta iki yıldır kalan kişiler bulunmaktaydı.- Eskiler gitmeyince yenilere bir türlü yer açılmıyordu. Bundan dolayı başka bir şehirdeki sığınmacı kabul merkezinden mülteciler otobüse bindirilip buraya gönderiliyorlardı. Bicske bende garip bir etki yaratmıştı. Buraya gelmeden önce Budapeşte, Doğu Avrupa’nın kalbi olmasına rağmen, altı aylık gönüllülük projemin çoğunu Bicske’de geçirmek istemiştim. Ama proje gereği Budapeşte’de üç ay geçirip, Bicske’ye dönme vakti gelince, alışmışlık duygusu, beni asıl amacımdan uzaklaştırmaya başlamıştı. Korkuyordum mülteci kampı kelimesinden. Soğuk yüksek duvarları olan binalara kapatılmış insanların suratına zorla gülümseme yapıştırmak için oraya gidiyormuşum gibi geliyordu bana. Önceki gönüllülerin anlattığına göre, mültecilerle aynı binada kalacaktım. Aynı yurt gibi olacaktı ve Budapeşte’deki gibi kendime ait bir odamın yerini burada birkaç kişi ile paylaşacağım bir oda alacaktı. İnternet olmayacaktı ve sabah yemek kokuları ile yeni güne uyanacaktım. -Evet gönüllü aktivite odasına her gidişimde burnuma gelen o yemek kokusu artık bana tanıdık gelmeye başlamıştı ve hoşuma bile gidiyordu.- Sonuçta tüm bu korkularımın arasında Bicske’de bir mülteci çıka gelmişti. Onun kelimeleri beni avutmaya başlamış ve hikayemi yazmamda da yardımcı olmuştu. Zaten sonrasında da hikayenin sonu onunla gelmişti… Ve ben Bicske’deydim… Kimse anlam veremiyordu burada ne yaptığıma.Bir kız vardı, kampın içinde sürekli geziniyor ve çocuklarla oynuyordu. Bu yüzden hep sorulara maruz kalıyordum: “Burada mı çalışıyorsun? Sosyal çalışmacı mısın yoksa öğretmen mi?” Bir türlü anlatamıyordum “gönüllü” kelimesinin ne olduğunu ve o kelimenin içini doldurmak için burada bulunduğumu. Hele bir 216


de kampın içinde onlarla beraber yaşadığımı öğrenince iyice şaşırıyorlardı. En sonunda anlamayınca da “yani mülteciler nasıl yaşıyor, ne yapıyorlar bunu görmek için buraya geldin herhalde” kararına varıyorlardı. Türkiye’den bir gönüllü vardı ve o da mülteci kampının içinde yaşamaya başlamıştı. Projenin tüm olumsuzluklarına rağmen belki de en güzel şey bu kampın içindeki havayı mültecilerle soluma imkanımın olmasıydı. Hele bir de baharla karışık yazın gelmesi ile- kış çok uzun sürmüştü ve bahar kendisini şöyle bir gösterip yerini yaza bırakmıştı- akşamları da kampın içinde yaşama ayrıcalığımdan dolayı, mültecilerle sohbet, gece yürüyüşü derken kamp hayatı zevkli geçiyordu. Kampın içindeki sözde en fiyakalı odalardan biri olan internet odasının yanındaki “guest house” da kalmaya başlamıştım ve mültecilere verilen beyaz nevresim takımları yerine gönüllülere verilen hastane havasında olmayan renkli nevresim takımı ayrıcalığından da yararlanıyordum. Bir gün mültecilerin deyimiyle “sosyal building”den renkli nevresim takımımı aldıktan sonra dışarı çıktığımda, elimdeki renkli nevresim takımı bir mültecinin dikkatini çekmişti. “Good good” diyerek yanımdan ayrılmıştı… Sonra da hikâyemin devamı, başından beri bana yardımcı olan o mülteci ile devam etmişti. Ama güzel günler de bitmek üzereydi. Çünkü buradaki üç ayımın sonuna bile yaklaşmaya başlamıştım. Bilmiyorum bana neler oluyor? Son üç gündür her şeyi tepetaklak hale getirebilecek kadar ileriye gidip, sonra her şeyi tekrardan ilk haline döndürüyorum veya döndürmeye çalışıyorum. Yeni durumlara alışmam zaman alıyor, ama alıştıktan sonra da bırakıp gitmek zor geliyor. Anlamışsındır mesajlarımdan son üç gündür nasıl kızgın olduğumu. İnternetimiz kesilince, tüm dünyam alt üst olmuştu. Gecelerimi dolduran sesin, görüntün olmayacaktı ve ben bizim koordinatöre “geceleri ailemle konuşmam gerektiği için internete ihtiyacım var” diye bir yalan uydurmuştum. Aslında ağlamalarımın sebebi sendin… Seninle artık geceleri Scriptamanent #4

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konuşamayacaktım. Bir anda dünyamı mutluluğa boyamıştın ve adını koyamadığım bu duyguları tanımlama zorluğunda beni bırakıp gitmiştin, aynı hayatıma giren tüm mülteciler gibi… Siz hep hareket halindeydiniz ve nedenini sana sorduğumda: “Şule, mülteciler sürekli hareket halinde değil. Onların sadece “paper”lere ihtiyacı var. “Paper”ları olduktan sonra bir yerde durup kendi yaşamlarını kuracaklar!” diye cevaplamıştın. -Sınırlar olduğu müddetçe, insanlar hareket halinde olacaklardı. Sığınma ve göç birbirine girecekti ve aynı Macaristan örneğinde olduğu gibi, mülteci olsalar bile, tekrardan yollarda olacaklardı, çalışmak için ve çalınmış hayatlarını kurabilmek için.Evet belki buraya gelmemdeki, asıl amacım gönüllü hizmet yapmaktı, ama altında yatan neden benim kabullenmekte zorlandığım ama senin haklı olduğun gibi, C.V’me mültecilerle alakalı referans eklemekti. Böylece ben de bu tarz işlerde yer alarak, aslında mültecilerin bir “business” haline getirilmesinde payımı düşeni alıyordum. Siz olmasaydınız, birçok kişi işsiz kalacaktı. Ama sence dünya “business” üzerine kurulmuş değil miydi? Tüm bunlara rağmen hayatıma başka bir bakış açısı kazandırmıştın, ona şüphe yok! Senin bu yorumlarından sonra kendimi bir girdabın içinde bulmuştum, çünkü aktivist kimliğimin altında yaptıklarım aslında bu göç alanında kendime yer edinmek olarak açıklanabilirdi. Sana dediğim gibi, bu dünyada beni tatmin eden şey yardım etmek üzerine kurulmuştu. Keşke doktor olsaydım da, mültecilere dolaylı olarak yardım edebilseydim ama olmadı ve ben de bu yolu seçtim, her ne kadar sistemin bir parçası olsam da. Ama bankada çalışsaydım da, yine sistemin parçası haline gelmeyecek miydim? İşte bu yüzdendi ağlamalarımın nedeni. Sen yoktun ve ben Bicske’de bu düşünceler arasında bazen dibe vurup, bazen kendimi göklere çıkarıyordum. Aynı bugün olduğu gibi… İşte sonuç olarak, kamptaki yeni kural gereği beşten sonra internetimiz olmayacaktı. Ben de son üç gündür ağlamalarımı ve internetin yokluğunu yapıcı bir duruma 218


dönüştürme kararı almıştım ve havanın da Macaristan’da artık yavaş yavaş ilkbaharı hatırlamasına sevinerek kendimi kampın içine atmıştım. Amaçsızca çocuklarla oyun oynamıştım, ergen kızların çat-pat konuştukları İngilizceleri ile aşk hikâyelerine konuk olmuştum, parkta çocuklar gibi salıncakta sallanmıştım. İşte bu yüzdendi son üç gündür tüm ağlamalarımın sebebi. Arkadaşlarım gittikten sonra, Budapeşte daha sıkıcı olmaya başlamıştı. Artık gece hayatları yoktu, artık canım sıkıldığı zaman kendimi Budapeşte’ye atıp, bir gece konaklayabileceğim bir ev bile yoktu. Bunlardan dolayı kendimi Bicske ile avutuyordum ama işte her zaman gülen gözlerimle dolaşamıyordum evlerin arasında. Sonra bir bakmıştım ki, benim de zamanım gelmişti bu kamptan gitmek için, aynı senin gibi. Senin o küçük çantanla kampı terk etmenin aksine, ben koca bir bavulu doldurmuştum anılarımla. Aslında buradan nefret ettiğim de çok günlerim olmuştu ve bir o kadar da bağlanmıştım çocukların seslerine, farklı seslerine. Arkadaşlarım da şaşırıyordu bu halime. Çünkü nasıl olur da internet olmasa bile, buradan kendimi koparıp Budapeşte’ye koşamıyordum. İşte buna bir türlü anlam veremiyorlardı. Ama şimdi kendimi Bicske’den de koparmam gerekecekti. Çünkü artık dönmem gerekiyordu bilinmezliklere… “Khoda Hafez” (Hoşça kal)

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A girl who has a to do list was in Altamura Dear Italian diary, the first day I got lost and took a taxi. I said to myself. Okay. I hit my shoes each other and I will be my home. Let me start from the beginning. When I first came across with the EVS application form, it took me only for a minute to decide to apply. Suddenly claiming that “I am moving to Italy” brought some tough resistance as well. Well, how did my EVS story began? First of all like all other EVS volunteers all time there was the question: “How am I going to spend my two month ahead” in my mind. Of course getting lost was not on the list. Or, likewise, explaining where I intended to go in English to Italian taxi driver whom does not even speak a word in English was not part of my plans. Finally, I arrived to the typical meeting point called Porta Bari and was welcomed there by an Italian man saying “Welcome to Altamura”. Well, now you get to know Sante whom not only is an entertaining Italian but also very gentleman driver taking me home where I was going to live. Then I found myself working with precious people whom never stopped showing me support with always smiling faces. My colleagues whom never lose their positive energy however they were tired and busy were Birgit, Lucia, Sante, Carles and Mino: builders of LINK. Life was very peaceful in calm Altamura. I became a real French among my French home-mates. In between us, until other homemates who are British arrived, I thought I was going to learn French soon. Then another French, a German and a Macedonian arrived. Followed by a Spaniard, an Armenian and many more. You should have seen how people at home were striving to find wifi connection. Sharing pasta was Sunday tradition; kitchen adventures and discovering other cultures… I had already formed my social life. Well, the thanksgiving day was on at the door. 220


Who would ever like to spend thanksgiving day alone? That night when everybody presented something from their own culture, serving Turkish coffee was my part. Please tell me whom can translate the phrase that I used while giving a fortune telling session to a friend: “Hanene ay doğmuş: The moon rose in your home”. Even google translate could not interpret that. Since the number of Italians who speak English did not increase, we immediately started taking Italian language courses. Those Latin languages, feminine and masculine… A little warning for you, should never try to make an accent when an Italian person teaches you Italian language. During one of meetings that I suddenly attend, we decided to make a project which was about recycling for the Christmas time and named it “Green Christmas”. We invited the public in weekdays and organized several workshops for them. Then, I moved to Milano (Verbania) for a training. My calm and peaceful town life got replaced with the consumption culture. Cultural exchange with new volunteer people, karaoke parties and gangam style dances not to freeze in cold. All meant to same to me, fun fun fun…

The girl who grew up with Woody Allen’s movies returned home very happy with her less weighting “to do list” in her pocket. Thank you very much EVS! With love from Lemon Hande Scriptamanent #4

-------------------Hande Alagöz 22 years | Turkey 33EVS in Italy, 2012

EVS was an amazing experience for me. Living with people who have distinct cultures, spending Christmas time being a volunteer and celebrating the new year’s eve with friends while feeling like home… Seeing yourself that you can do many things for other and now witnessing that you also did many things for yourself…

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Rekolteler ülkesi Bu kesinlikle bir delilik olmalıydı, ya da bir süredir hücrelerimde gezinen tutkulu oynaşmaların sonucunda gelişen kıymetli bir yanılsama. İkinci kez Evs yapma hakkına sahip olmanın o dayanılmaz hafifliği ve mutluluğu sayesinde yine yeniden Macaristan'a gelmeyi planlıyordum. Kısa dönem Evs deneyimimi de yine bu ülke sınırları içerisinde yapmıştım. Ve bir gece, tesadüf eseri gördüğüm “acil” kodlu bir ilan beni tekrar buralara getirdi. Mistik olarak baktığımızda bana ihtiyacı olanların yardımına koşmuştum ama tam tersi olarak onlar beni içinde bulunduğum çıkmazdan alıp, bu ülkenin sınırlarına tekrar getirmişlerdi. Artık ışıltılarla bezenmiş sokaklarda tekrar yürüyebilirdim, ama tek başıma değil. Bunun benim için anlamı bambaşkaydı. Evet, kabul edebilirim ki EVS harika bir deneyim ve fırsatı olan her insanın yapmasını, bu tecrübeyi tatmasını gönülden isterim. Ancak ben bunu daha anlamlı hale getirmeyi amaçladığımı büyük bir gururla itiraf edebilirim sanırım. Bilmenizi isterim ki beni kendine çeken şey kesinlikle Macaristan değildi, beni buraya getiren şey; bu ülkenin sınırları içerisinde tanıştığım sarı saçlı ve mavi gözleri olan bir kadındı. Çünkü bu kadın, bu ülkeyi benim için anlamlı hale getiriyordu. Onunla ilk EVS deneyimimde - Kaposvar’da – tanışmıştım. Bir aylık bir süreyle orada olacaktım ve benim ev sahibi kurumum, aynı zamanda onun gönderici kuruluşuydu. Ben o zaman onun ülkesinde EVS yapıyordum, o ise daha öncesinde benim ülkemde bu deneyimi yaşamıştı. Ben onun dilini anlamıyordum, ancak o benim dilimi sular seller gibi konuşabiliyordu. Beni kendisine çeken bir çok ayrıntıya ve tutkuya sahipti ancak en önemlisi daha ilk görüşte aklımı başımdan almış ve ruhumun küllerini adeta sınırsız sulara savurmuştu. İkinci Evs deneyimimde çok zor zamanlar geçirdiğimi 222


---------------------Ilhan Irem Yüce 23 years | Turkey 33EVS in Hungary, 2012

hatırlıyorum. Günler adeta geçmek bilmiyordu ve ayakta kalmaya, mücadele etmeye devam etmek için tutkulu ve anlamlı bir savaş veriyordum. Karşılaştığım bütün olumsuzluklar beni daha güçlü ve olgun bir insana dönüştürdü zaman içinde. En önemlisi bu süreçte farklılıklara saygının ne demek olduğu öğrenmiş ve yardımseverliğin ne kadar anlamlı bir duygu taşıdığını görme fırsatı bulmuştum. Macaristan benim için bir rekolteler ülkesi olmuştu artık. Bu ülkeye bu ismi vermemin sebebi, beni hayatın anlamına dair yeni ve güzel şeylerle tanıştırmasından mütevellitti. Buraya gelme amacımı az önce okudunuz. Bu çok güzel, anlamlı ve yerinde bir karardı. Hiç bir zaman pişman olmadım. Buna rağmen gelmeden önce düşlediklerimi burada bulduğumu söyleyemem. Projemin ilk beş aylık dönemine kadar bir çok sıkıntılar yaşandı. İçinde bulunduğum kuruluş ve koordinatör ile yaşadığımız tartışmalar, 2000 nüfuslu ve neredeyse hiç kimsenin ingilizce bilmediği bir köyde – Nagyvazsony’de - yaşamak gerçekten zordu ancak ben bu küçük dünyanın içerisinde kendi büyük dünyamı inşa etmeye karar verdikten sonra her şey daha bir güzel, daha bir yaşanılası oldu. O güne kadar yapmak istediklerimi gerçekleştirememiş, kendimi paslanmış bir insan gibi hissetmiş olabilirim. Çünkü burada işe yarayan hiçbir şey yapamıyordum. Ancak ondan sonrasında her şeyin daha iyi olacağına inandım. Çünkü bir felsefem vardı. Eduarda Galeano’nun da dediği gibi; “Hayat vermektir, en yüksek mutluluk budur.” İşte ben de bütün coşkunluğumu, tecrübelerimi, arzularımı, heyecanımı bu projeye vermeye artık hazırdım ve kim ne dersin bu kararımdan asla vazgeçmeyecektim. EVS bir amaç mıydı yoksa bir araç mı? Bence ikisi de birbirini dengeleyen bir bütündü. Geleceğe yönelik getirileri oldukça fazlaydı. İnsan kendisini farklı bir dünyanın ve sonatın içinde bulabiliyor ve eğer isterse Scriptamanent #4

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kendini en iyi şekilde geliştirebiliyordu. Düşünün ki dil öğrenmek için Avrupa’ya gelen onlarca insan vardı ve bu insanlar oluk oluk para akıtıyorlardı, ancak EVS’de bunun tam tersi bir oluşum söz konusuydu. Bütün masraflarınız karşılanıyor ve kendinizi daha iyi bir ortamın içinde bulabiliyorsunuz. Avrupa’nın diğer ülkelerinden gelen gönüllülerle her zaman iletişim halindesiniz. Bitmek bilmeyen partiler, bazı bazı organize edilen aktiviteler, eğitimler sizlere hayatın farklı bir yüzünü daha gösteriyor. Ayrıca geldiğiniz ülkenin dilini öğrenme şansını da elde ediyorsunuz. Nihayetinde insan kendisini yine insanda tanıyordu. Eğer ki EVS’e bir şans niteliğinde bakarsak kazanacağımız tecrübeler gelecek yaşamımızda bizlere fazlasıyla yardımcı olacaktır. Hayatın günden güne zorlaştığını göz önüne alırsak bu harika bir fırsat. Dilini bilmediğim, yaşayışlarına anlam vermekte zorlandığım bir ülkede yaşıyorum. Çocukların yüzlerinde gördüğüm küçücük bir tebessüm bile beni mutlu etmeye yetiyor. Onlar için bir şeyler yapmak, onlara yardımcı olmak düşüncesi bile harika bir şey. Belki şimdiye kadar okuduklarınız içinde EVS’e dair pek fazla bir şey bulamadınız ancak olması gereken de zaten bu değil mi? Herkesin beklentileri farklı ve bazı şeyler ancak yaşanılarak öğrenilebilir iken; nasıl olur da sizlere şöyle veya böyle yapmanızı söyleyebilirim. Tek diyebileceğim; neyi, niçin istediğinize karar verin. Çünkü gerisi gelecektir nasıl olsa.

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Afrika Günlükleri

--------------------------Büşra Güder 26 years | Turkey 33EVS in South Africa, 2011

Afrika’da 4 haftalık bir AGH projesi için bulunuyorduk. 4 haftanın her biri için bir tema seçilmişti, ilk hafta genel olarak ülkedeki sorunlar üzerine konuştuk ve sonrasında bu konular arasından performanslarımızda hangi konulara odaklanacağımızı seçtik. İlk performans günümüz geldiğinde kaldığımız kamptan yaklaşık 3-4 km uzaklıktaki alışveriş merkezine yürüyerek gittik. Sonra da hep beraber 'sho sho louza' - belki 2010 Dünya Kupası’nı izleyenler bu şarkıyı oradan hatırlayacaklardır- şarkısını söyleyerek tüm dükkanların ortasında bulunan bir sahneye gittik. Böylece etraftaki insanların dikkatini çekmeyi başarabilmiştik. Yöntemimiz 'forum tiyatro'; oyun ilk seferinde seyircilerin karşısında normal bildiğimiz performanslar gibi sergileniyor, sonra ikinci defa tekrar oynanıyor. Bu sefer oyuna seyircilerin de katılması gerekiyor. Oyunu istedikleri yerde durdurup, durumu daha iyiye götürebilmek ya da oyundaki sorunu çözebilmek adına değiştirebiliyorlar. Oyunda ezilen oyuncunun yerine geçiyor ve çözümünü oynuyor. Ama ezen karakterleri değiştiremiyor seyirci, çünkü hayatta da onları değiştirmemiz mümkün değil. Amaç seyircileri sorunların çözümü hakkında düşünmeye teşvik etmek, konular hakkında farkındalıklarını arttırabilmek. İkinci haftamızın konusu sağlık idi. Peki sağlık sorunlarından en gündemde olanı ne olabilir bir Afrika ülkesinde? Tabii ki HIV-AIDS. Biz de bu konu üzerine çalışmaya başladık. Zaten varış sonrası eğitim sırasında diğer gönüllüler için bir HIV-AIDS oturumu da yapmıştık. Bilmeyen ya da yanlış bilen arkadaşları bilgilendirebilmek açısından oldukça verimli geçmişti ve bu haftaki çalışmalarımız için de faydalı olmuştu. İlk hafta sonrası bir de sadece forum tiyatro yapmamaya karar verdik. Çünkü herkes tiyatro Scriptamanent #4

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çalışmak istememişti. Dans etmek, şarkı söylemek isteyen gönüllüler vardı, görünmez tiyatro yapalım fikri çıktı… O hafta yine aynı alışveriş merkezinde konumuzla ilgili bir tiyatro oyunu, dans gösterisi ve iki şarkı, ayrıca da bir görünmez tiyatro (invisible theatre) performansı sergiledik. Bir sonraki haftamızın konusu için kamp dışı gezilerimiz ve özel bir de konuşmacımız vardı. Konu ne dersiniz ? Su! Günümüzde bundan daha önemli bir konu var mı ki? O hafta sonu gösterimiz için Mafikeng isimli şehre gittik. İki tiyatro oyunu sergiledik. Yine başka bir alışveriş merkezindeydik. Burada bir milli parkın içinde kalıyoruz. Her hafta turistlerle dolup taşan, safari yapılabilen, karavanlarıyla gelip insanların kalabildikleri bir yer. Ayrıca gelip otelde de kalınabiliyor ya da müstakil evler kiralanabiliyor sanırım. Yaklaşık 55.ooo hektar alan üzerine kurulu bir alan. Biz de Bosele Children Camp adındaki yerleşkede kalıyoruz. Büyük ahşap binalarda bulunan yatakhanelerin içinde ranzalarımız ve demir dolaplarımız var. Tuvaletler ve banyolar ayrı bir binada bulunuyor ve bahçe içinde ayrı bir yerde devasa bir mutfağımız ve yemek yeme alanımız var. Mutfağın olduğu binanın önünde gölgelikli masaların yanında, dışarıda oturup sohbet edebildiğimiz ve etrafına toplanıp ateş yakabileceğimiz bir alan da hemen yani başında… Aynı alanda duvarlardan biri filmlerin yansıtılabilmesi adına beyaz ve düz olarak tasarlanmış ve hemen o duvarın arkasında da yüzme havuzumuz var. Tabii bizim için farklı olan kısım bunlardan ibaret değil; farklı olan şey bu kompleksin Savan’ın ortasında bulunması ve bir hayvanat bahçesindeymişçesine - artık kanıksadığımız bir şekilde- günlük yaşamlarımızda göremeyeceğimiz hayvanlarla beraber yaşamak. İlk gün gelir gelmez tanıştığımız hayvanlar bambiler oldu. Aslında isimleri impa ama biz onlara bambi diyoruz. Sanırım en evcil olanları onlar çünkü her daim etraftalar ve ürkütmemeye özen gösterdiğimiz sürece kaçmıyorlar, etrafta 226


otlayıp duruyorlar. Ben şanslı olanlardanım sanırım, çünkü daha geldiğimiz ilk gün bir de zürafa gördüm. Daha sonra babunlarla ilgili hikâyeler duymaya başladık. Aslında hikâyeden ziyade uyarılardı bunlar. Etrafta yiyecek bırakmayın, odalarınızın kapıları hep kapalı olsun gibi uyarılar. Çünkü babunların bizden akıllı olduğu, eğer etrafta bir şey bulurlarsa hemen alıp götürecekleri ve daha sonra da hep gelecekleri söyleniyordu. O yüzden babunlarla karşılaşmaktan korkar olduk. Kamptaki 3. günümüzdü sanırım, hazine avı sırasında küçük maymunlarla tanıştık, etrafta gezinen yaban domuzlarını gördük. Ertesi gün kaçınılmaz durum yaşandı. Kampımız babunlarca basıldı! Aslında olayın tüm suçlusu biziz. Babunlar hemen yandaki boş alandan sürü halinde geçerken, grubumuzdan biri onların fotoğraflarını çekebilmek için delirmişçesine koşmasaydı, babunlar da öylece geçip gideceklerdi belki de. Hayvanları böyle yaparak ürkütmüş olduk. Tabii ilk karşılaşmamız olduğu için nasıl davranmamız gerektiğini bilmiyorduk. Doğal olarak panik halinde kamp içinde bağırarak odalarımıza kaçışmaya başladık. Odalara girmeye çalışan babunlar olunca, dışarıdaki insanlar babunları kaçırmak adına bağırarak türlü şebeklikler yapınca iş iyice çığırından çıktı ve maalesef babunlardan biri Joe’ya saldırdı. Merak etmeyin bir şekilde kurtardılar, bir şey olmadı ama bu deneyim bizi çok korkuttu. Neyse ki ertesi sabah eğitim için kamptan ayrıldık da bir nebze olsun babun korkusundan uzaklaşabildik. Kampa geri döndükten sonra artık nasıl davranmamız gerektiğini, babunların erkekleri tehlike olarak algıladıklarını ama kadınları algılamadıklarından zarar vermediklerini ve benzeri şeyleri öğrendik. Artık kampa geldiklerinde sadece mutfağın kapısını kapatıyoruz, onun dışında diğer aktivitelerimizde bir değişiklik olmuyor. Zürafalar ve zebralar da arada bir yandaki boş alana otlamaya geliyorlar ama onlar sık sık gelen ziyaretçilerimizden olmadığından daha çok ilgi çekiyorlar. Benim de favorim onlar açıkçası, çok muazzam bir görünüşleri var. Scriptamanent #4

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Bu hafta, güneş doğmadan uyanıp Türk ekip olarak safariye gideceğiz. Bakalım Big Five’ ı görebilecek miyiz? Big Five, Güney Afrika’da paraların üstünde resimleri olan büyük hayvanlar(Aslan, leopar, buffalo, gergedan ve fil.) Tabii ki bu hayvanlar fazla büyük ve tehlikeli olduklarından etrafı korunan kapalı safari alanlarında tutuluyorlar. Dolayısıyla sabah uyandığımızda Big Five’dan biri ile karşılaşmak mümkün değil! Safariye gittiğimizde bu hayvanları görmeyi umuyoruz.

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Un viaggio dentro di me

--------------------Olimpia Quattromini 28 years | Italy 33EVS in Poland, 2012

Penso che le esperienze negative portino sempre qualcosa di positivo nella vita. È l’altro lato della medaglia. Dopo ogni salita c’è sempre una meravigliosa discesa verso la scoperta di un nuovo mondo. È proprio quello che è successo a me nel 2012. Non ho vissuto un periodo facile ad inizio anno: l’ennesimo stage non retribuito dove mi hanno sfruttata fino all’ultimo secondo come un animale da lavoro per nulla. O forse no. Qualcosa ha smosso in me questa esperienza. Mi sono chiesta: “E adesso che faccio?.. Continuo a stare male, a piangermi addosso o prendo in mano la mia vita e comincio seriamente a vivere per me stessa?!”. Conoscevo già da tempo i progetti di volontariato europeo, ma non ho mai trovato il coraggio dentro di me per parteciparvi. Ho sempre vissuto con la mia famiglia, coccolata ed iper protetta dai miei. Anche per questa ragione non sono mai stata all’estero, nonostante abbia 27 anni suonati. Ho cominciato a sentire dentro di me che era venuto il tempo di cambiare. Mio padre ci ha provato fino all’ultimo a farmi tornare sui miei passi, quando ho comunicato alla mia famiglia la mia volontà. Ma ho avuto la forza di resistere e di partire. Rifarei questa esperienza di volontariato e di vita altre mille volte, magari al posto di tante altre stupide ed insignificanti cose che si decidono di fare erroneamente nel proprio percorso. Ho scelto la Polonia: Bystrzyca Klodzka. Quasi non riuscivo a pronunciarlo il nome per quanto fosse complicato. Ma io amo le sfide. E quando ho saputo che sarei andata lì completamente da sola è stata la conferma che quella esperienza avrebbe fatto parte della mia vita. Sono partita il 3 Settembre con l’Italia nel sangue, con la mia famiglia ed il mio fidanzato nel cuore e tanta, tantissima voglia di conoscere il mondo ed ancora di più di conoscere me stessa. Un viaggio dentro di me. Scriptamanent #4

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2 aerei (mai stata su un aereo prima di allora!), un pullman, la metro, un tram, un altro pullman (perché mi sono persa a Praga!) ed infine un treno per la Polonia “Ce l’ho fatta!” ho pensato… sono scesa una fermata prima! Davanti a me il nulla: mi sono trovata in mezzo alla foresta, quasi al buio, con due uomini che lavorano alla ferrovia che parlavano solo polacco. Mi è presa una grande voglia di piangere e di disperarmi. Poi un angelo (come lo chiamo io): un uomo che molto somigliava a Babbo Natale è arrivato con la sua auto (chiamato dai due della ferrovia), ha preso la mia pesante valigia e mi ha invitato a salire in macchina (in polacco). “Devo fidarmi?..Sì, devo” ho pensato. Grazie all’angelo sono arrivata davanti al mio nuovo appartamento. In quella serata ho capito come sono i polacchi: amichevoli e soprattutto pronti ad aiutarti nel momento del bisogno. I giorni vissuti in Polonia sono stati una scoperta dietro l’altra: il meraviglioso paesaggio che ogni mattina allietava i miei occhi dalla finestra della camera con le montagne e tanto, tantissimo verde; il cielo quasi sempre coperto da nuvole, da cui ogni tanto faceva capolino un timido sole che da solo non riusciva a scaldare la fresca e a volte gelida aria del Nord Europa; la vita quotidiana del paese, che molto somigliava all’Italia degli anni ’50; la semplicità dell’abbigliamento, dei modi di fare, dei pensieri della gente del posto. Ho capito quanto il popolo polacco vuole riscattarsi da un atroce passato (la visita ad Auschwitz è stata straziante), quanta importanza essi danno ai valori ed ai sentimenti più che alle cose materiali, quanto sono importanti i rapporti umani rispetto a quanto ricco è il conto in banca. Ho “lavorato” in un centro d’aiuto per anziani, ed ogni volta che uscivo da lì mi sentivo così felice di aver speso il mio tempo con persone tanto deliziose! Nel pomeriggio invece trascorrevamo del tempo con studenti che venivano da ogni parte delle Polonia per la settimana dell’Europa. Ho presentato a loro così tante volte l’Italia, ed ogni volta era un’emozione 230


nuova…Una sera un ragazzo turco mi ha chiesto perché guardassi tutto quello che mi circondava con gli occhi sbarrati e carichi di meraviglia, come una bambina…Per me è stato tutto nuovo! Questa esperienza mi ha fatto conoscere persone meravigliose, dai membri dell’associazione ospitante (mentori, presidente, coordinatore) ai volontari dei tanti paesi del mondo (non solo d’Europa); dalla gente del posto che era così felice di sentirmi pronunciare qualche parola in polacco agli anziani e studenti che ho incontrato durante l’opera di volontariato. Ma c’è una persona che più di tutti ho avuto modo di conoscere: me stessa. Ho scoperto di non avere solo qualità negative ma anche di essere socievole, comprensiva, pronta a dare una mano a chi ne ha bisogno, coraggiosa, positiva, paziente, riflessiva..e potrei continuare all’infinito. Sono maturata tantissimo e penso che dopo questa esperienza posso affrontare la mia vita con molto più entusiasmo e con maggiore consapevolezza, non perdendo mai di vista anche un pizzico di follia e di incoscienza, che a volte rendono le situazioni uniche ed irripetibili. Come questo SVE in Polonia, una esperienza che porterò sempre nel cuore e che mi accompagnerà per sempre, seppure sia durata solo un mese. Un dei mesi più belli vissuti finora! Grazie Europa per avermi dato questa occasione!

Stralci di diario 06/09/12 Quasi non ci credo che mi trovo in un’altra nazione…arrivare a Bystryzka Klodzka è stata un’impresa impossibile ma ce l’ho fatta!!!! Mi viene da mettere tanti punti esclamativi quando scrivo… forse per via di tutta la meraviglia che provo… parlo solo in inglese e riesco a comunicare e ne sono meravigliata.. ho preso l’aereo per la prima volta e ne sono meravigliata… mi sono persa Scriptamanent #4

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a Praga e sono riuscita comunque a trovare la strada per arrivare qui e ne sono meravigliata! Così sono in Polonia…mamma mia che emozione! 10/09/12 Oggi sono rimasta a casa, sono raffreddata! Questo fine settimana sono stata a Wroclaw. È una bella città e devo dire che si somigliano un po’ tutte le città della Polonia. Sono molto tranquille, con un clima molto variabile. La mia prossima gita sarà a Cracovia e ad Auschwitz. So che è un posto terribile ma penso che ognuno nella vita dovrebbe vedere un posto del genere per rendersi conto di quanto male una persona può fare o meglio di quanto male gli umani possono fare ad altri umani. 23/09/12 C’è tanta gente intorno a me… quasi tutti turchi che parlano tra di loro nella loro lingua… è davvero molto divertente ascoltarli e non capire assolutamente nulla! Sto cucinando una torta per Flo, la mia amica francese che domani va via. Abbiamo deciso di preparare delle cose da mangiare per lei. È davvero molto bello tutto ciò…culture differenti, lingue differenti, piatti differenti, fumo, molto fumo… sono turchi d’altronde e fumano davvero troppo per i miei gusti. È bello stare con loro… è bello tutto quello che mi sta succedendo. E poi sto imparando così tante cose! Per esempio ho imparato che i turchi vogliono trovarsi tra di loro (solo uomini) per bere ed esternare le loro pene e le donne devono servirli e riverirli. Non trattano benissimo la donna secondo il mio punto di vista. Le donne del Nord Europa, al contrario, sono molto disponibili con i ragazzi e poco amichevoli con le ragazze. Le ragazze polacche invece, pur essendo seduttive, non si concedono con molta facilità, mentre gli uomini sono veramente molto molto rispettosi nei confronti delle donne. Ti guardano solo negli occhi, al contrario degli italiani! Fumo, molto fumo… 232


30/09/12 Ore 15:30. Arrivo ad Auschwitz. Quante volte ho visto questo posto in TV, sui giornali, nei film… ma stavolta sto calpestando con i miei stivali il fango e le pietre che milioni di persone trucidate, senza motivazioni comprensibili umanamente, hanno calpestato… magari a piedi nudi, magari con un paio di scarpe che ora si trova dietro la vetrata assieme a migliaia di altre paia di scarpe. Paura. Un vuoto allo stomaco. La sensazione di voler scappare via e di avvertire sensazioni negative. Un luogo maledetto, di morte e di pura cattiveria “umana”. “Non vedo l’ora di andarmene” penso. Le fotografie. La cosa che più è rimasta impressa nella mia mente è la sconvolgente quantità di foto che i nazisti hanno scattato ai loro prigionieri… foto che nessuno vorrebbe vedere, che ti fanno male al cuore. E quando sono dall’altra parte del cancello, che rappresenta la fine dell’”incubo”, l’uscita del campo, penso: “Quante persone avrebbero voluto essere dove sono io adesso e non hanno potuto.” 03/10/12 Mi mancherai Polonia, ma ti prometto che tornerò, perché stare qui è come essere a casa.

Olimpia, una italiana felice di essere europea e ancora di più cittadina del mondo e protagonista della sua vita.

Scriptamanent #4

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Simple story Welcome to my simple story that actually changed EVERYTHING in my life: I am a non-EU citizen; first Turkish Cypriot then Turkish, I have two citizenship. Since Northern part of Cyprus is not recognized in international area I have to apply with my Turkish citizenship to EU projects collaborating with Turkish NA. I am writing you those because I want to show different perspective of the effects of EU mobility programs for not only as a non-EU citizen but also as a person from a country which is not actually a 'country'. My direct connection with mobility programs started in the last year of my BA degree. After a test and calculation of my average with its result, I had chance to be one of 4 or 5 students of my faculty to do Erasmus. Imagine, within 1000s of students of my faculty who mostly doesn't even know what is 'Erasmus' (I don't know the exact number) only 5 students! This number is increasing every year since the awareness and knowledge about Erasmus is increasing. You know what does this mean? Every year, more and more young people have an opportunity to meet the world, to gain completely a new perspective of education/ life/culture. I know, because it happened to me. Since the first day of my Erasmus experience in Warsaw/Poland I learned more than I would learn by reading books, watching documentaries or studying. I met a lot of people from different cultures and with every person I met, I discovered the similarities within differences we have. I met with another type of education system which was involving students/us more. During the lectures I have learned different situations in different countries in a particular subject which you cannot even 'google' to learn. I had chance to travel inside and around the country which also has a high 234


importance as a person who needs visa (it's not only a simple application believe me, it's a long, expensive and mentally & psychically tiring process). Every new city/country I visited, I discovered world more which caused actually to discover myself. It is not easy to even write what I learned, how I improved myself during Erasmus neither it is possible to summarize. Therefore, I would recommend everyone to do Erasmus to understand & discover new perspective of everything in general.

Beside those long-term experiences, I had the chance to participate in an exchange about Bio-Diversity in a lovely village of south Italy. Again; to be with people from huge diversity of backgrounds (not only country Scriptamanent #4

----------------------Melike Kalkan 24 years | Turkey 33EVS in Portugal, 2011

Erasmus was the first step, the rest was clearer for me. What I want to do, what kind of environment would make me happy to be in. After working in a company in Cyprus for a year, I had been accepted to an EVS project (after tens of applications) as a volunteer in Lisboa/Portugal. The motivation to meet the world second time within EU awareness was extremely high that I didn't mind to quit my job, leave my country, manage all bureaucratic process and spend the money that I saved (not for the project itself, EVS is covering all the project costs). Unfortunately, a year passed like couple of months. I was working in an organization that was working on EU youth projects. I had role on other young people's new experiences abroad as a volunteer and this is not something which you can measure with any material in universe. During one year, I learned more and more with every person I met, every city I visited, every food I ate, every music I listened, every event I participated and every training I took. It is impossible to explain the positive effect of EVS in my life with words, again, only thing I would say is: Do EVS, be volunteer!

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but also age/education/skills/interests) even in such a short time it connected me more to the facts of the social effects of this kind of programs in a community. Only 10 days were enough to gain awareness on the importance and effects of biological diversification within people's lives. Personal improvement was also quite high for such a short period of time. Imagine! 20 people, who got better after 10 days, imagine how big the effect could be for our future! And now, I am working in the same company that I was working. Besides, I am keeping in touch and looking for different international opportunities. I am in the beginning of volunteering for an organization in Cyprus and also trying to attend events/activities which are not so easy to find in here. I am also giving an online support to my sending organization in Turkey especially for mentoring the future volunteers. All I know from those experiences I had within the roof of EU is that I learned a lot (more than I could in any other way) and I gained a wide perspective and efficiency to analyse everything around me. I can easily say I hope, one day, every young people would have chance to be part of this kind of big opportunities and open themselves into a bigger world. Meet the world! Melike Kalkan

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Blank pages for your travelling notes. Pagine bianche per i tuoi appunti di viaggio.

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For extra contents visit our website www.scriptamanentproject.eu and download the App from AppStore or GooglePlay


The project ScriptaManent + is a project aiming to promote international volunteer activities involving ex volunteers and other young people. The project also intends to provide new interactive tools to youth organizations to disseminate good practices and mobility opportunities in Europe, bringing innovation in youth work. Ex-volunteers have been invited to write about their volunteer experiences and to produce multimedia supporting materials. The final outcome of the project are: the website www.scriptamanentproject.eu with all the stories of the volunteers and all the “extra� materials such as videos, pictures, audio files, etc.; this book collecting all the stroies in different languages; an e-book including the stories and hyperlinks to extra materials. All the materials will be distributed in all the participitating countries and will be available and downloadable for free from the official website. These tools will be used by youth organizations and by ex-volunteers to support information campaigns and promotional activities, with the aim of increasing the volume of young people involved in international projects. The project also foresees training activities for youth workers who will act as multipliers in their local realities and promotes cross-media trainings at local level, contributing to decrease digital exclusion. Scriptamanent Plus gives more visibility to international volunteer activities and helps to involve other young people meanwhile introducing innovation, new technologies and new media in daily youth work. The project promotes multilingualism and cultural diversity, active participation, commitment and sense of initiative and enterpreneurship of young people and contributes to the quality of youth support systems in Europe. http://scriptamanentproject.eu/ 248


Il progetto Scriptamanent+ è un progetto che promuove le attività di volontariato internazionale svolte da ex-volontari e giovani in generale. Il progetto vuole fornire nuovi strumenti interattivi che permettano alle organizzazioni giovanili di disseminare le buone prassi e le opportunità di mobilità in Europa, portando innovazione nel lavoro coi giovani. Gli ex-volontari sono stati invitati a scrivere le loro esperienze di volontariato e a produrre materiali di supporto multimediale. I risultati finali del progetto sono: il sito web www.scriptamanentproject. eu che contiene tutte le storie dei volontari e tutti i contenuti “extra” come video, foto, audio, ecc.; il presente libro che raccoglie le storie in diverse lingue; un e-book sul quale è possibile trovare sia le storie che i link ai contenuti extra. Tutti i materiali prodotti saranno distribuiti nei paesi partecipanti e saranno disponibili e scaricabili gratuitamente dal sito web ufficiale del progetto. Questi strumenti saranno utilizzati dalle organizzazioni giovanili e dagli ex-volontari per offrire supporto alle campagne informative e alle attività di promozione, con l’obiettivo di coinvolgere un maggior numero di giovani nei progetti internazionali. Il progetto prevede inoltre attività di formazione per animatori giovanili, che saranno moltiplicatori del progetto nelle loro realtà locali, e promuove attività formative cross mediali a livello locale, contribuendo così a diminuire l’esclusione digitale. Scriptamanent + offre una visibilità maggiore alle attività di volontariato internazionale e facilita il coinvolgimento di nuovi giovani introducendo, allo stesso tempo, innovazione e nuove tecnologie nel lavoro giovanile di tutti i giorni. Il progetto promuove multilinguismo, diversità culturale, partecipazione attiva, impegno e senso di iniziativa e imprenditorialità dei giovani e contribuisce alla qualità dei sistemi di supporto giovanili in Europa. Scriptamanent #4

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The promoter / Il promotore Link [Italy] is an cultural association established in 2003, that promotes non-formal education, active citizenship and participation. The association works on regional level through the organization of activities for young people and citizens with European themes such as fighting against racism and promotion of diversity. It promotes international projects to encourage the knowledge of other cultures and to bring citizens closer to European issues. Link organizes exchanges, voluntary projects and international training courses, seminars and other opportunities for mobility. Link promotes the intercultural dialogue through non-formal education activities with schools, institutions and other organizations of the civil society. In 2012 Link has been recognized, by the European Commission, as a body active at Europen level in the youth field (ENGO) Link [Italia] è un’associazione culturale creata nel 2003 che promuove l’apprendimento non formale, la cittadinanza attiva e la partecipazione. L’associazione opera a livello regionale attraverso l’organizzazione di attività con giovani e cittadini su temi europei come lotta al razzismo e promozione della diversità. Link promuove progetti internazionali per favorire la conoscenza di altre culture e l’avvicinamento dei cittadini all’Europa, alle sue istituzioni e ai temi del dibattito europeo. Organizza scambi, progetti di volontariato e corsi di formazione internazionali, seminari e altre opportunità di mobilità. Promuove il dialogo interculturale con laboratori di educazione non formale, attività con scuole, istituzioni e altre organizzazioni della società civile. Nel 2012 Link è stata riconosciuta come organizzazione giovanile attiva a livello europeo (ENGO) dalla Commissione Europea. [www.linkyouth.org] 250


The partners A.C.T.O.R. [Romania] The society we all dream of would be based upon a direct, clear and efficient communication. Origami and theatre are special ways of expression everyone likes. They are able to make this vision come true. The members of A.C.T.O.R. are young artists, psychologists, pedagogues, students and also high school pupils, who realize how important communication is. Through our actions (shows, exhibitions, workshops, pedagogical and therapy programs, international youth exchanges), A.C.T.O.R. wants to make the youth to discover new possibilities of self-expression. This can help them develop in harmony with themselves and with the society. When the youth are able to express themselves freely, they become aware of the fact that their attitude to society is important and they should be responsible for it. A.C.T.O.R.’s motto:If you really want it everything is possible.“I can’t” doesn’t exist! [http://actorromania.wordpress.com] Eurocircle [France] Founded in Berlin in 1993, the EUROCIRCLE network is a European grouping of project managers in the social sectors of education and employment. In 1995, the network became a non-profit-making organisation under French law, and settled in Marseille. Ever since, EUROCIRCLE has been endeavoring to support project managers in their implementation of a European approach by initiating European partnerships in order to set up transnational projects. The service on this web site, which puts partners in contact with one another, is structured around an information service that concentrates on the technical aspects of funding programs. [http://www.ec-network.net]

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La Vibria [Spain] is a non-governmental organisation composed of youth workers and volunteers, both national and international, and young people from Terrassa. We are active in Youth in Action Program; we organise and participate on many youth exchanges, seminars and trainings. We are also a EVS hosting, sending and coordinating organization. In addition to our international activities we also work on a local level with children, youth and the wider community. Some of our main activities include giving intercultural learning workshops in schools, preparing cinema forums, excursions, language classes as well as a host of other initiatives. [http://www.wix.com/lavibria/en] Activar [Portugal] Activar had been created in 2000 by a group of young adults who wanted to created a space for reflecting and acting at local level. Slowly, the association grew and nowadays, 17 persons are working there, 9 in part time and the others at full time. Activar has mission to promote sustainable local development in the region of Lousã, in a transversal perspective, respecting the rights of citizens living in this community and the environment where its action takes place. Activar has for objectives “to support citizens (children, young people and families) promoting their communitarian integration by increasing their capacities.”Activar also pretends “to promote the sustainable development of the community where the association is acting, in cooperation with different local actors and not only, by valorising the existent resources with sport, educational, social, environmental and cultural initiatives.” [http://www.activar-lousa.blogspot.it]

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LinkYouthUK [United Kingdom] Linkyouth UK CIC is a non-profit organisation based in Merseyside, UK. As an organisation our main aim is to develop and offer innovative non formal learning, voluntary and training opportunities to young people.Our main target group is young people between the ages of 18-30 who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, (ex; homelessness, ex offending, drug/alcohol abuse). We believe that through non formal learning and volunteering, young people can gain new motivation, skills and direction in their journey towards professional and personal stability. [http://linkyouthuk.com] Yasar University [Turky] is a foundation university, located on the Western coast of Turkey, in Izmir. It is a young university formally established in 2001 by one of the Turkey’s leading industry group namely Yasar Holding. Yaşar Üniversitesi with its high-calibre teaching and strong collaboration with industry and commerce is willing to provide graduates, capable of operating in an international context. Yasar University EU Center functions to stimulate and strengthen the participation of Yasar University in the EU Research and Education Programmes, and monitors the developments in this field. These programmes include Life Long Learning/Erasmus, YOUTH, 7th Framework, Jean Monnet, Marie Curie, and other EU Education Programmes. [http://www.yasar.edu.tr]

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Youth in Action Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union’s future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU’s borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background: Youth in Action is a Programme for all. Scriptamanent+ has been granted under a specific call to support projects targeting the introduction, implementation and promotion of innovative and qualitative elements in non-formal education and youth work (Action 4.4 - Projects encouraging innovation and quality).

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Gioventù in azione Gioventù in Azione è un Programma che l’Unione Europea ha pensato per i giovani. Esso vuole incoraggiare un senso più ampio di cittadinanza attiva, di solidarietà e di tolleranza tra i giovani europei e renderli partecipi della costruzione del futuro dell’Unione. Il Programma promuove la mobilità all’interno e oltre i confini dell’UE, l’apprendimento non formale, il dialogo interculturale e l’inclusione di tutti i giovani, indipendentemente dal loro background culturale e sociale. Gioventù in Azione è un Programma per tutti. Scriptamanent+ è stato finanziato tramite un bando specifico per quei progetti che mirano all’introduzione, all’implementazione e alla promozione di elementi innovativi e qualitativi nell’educazione non formale e nel lavoro coi giovani.

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Finito di stampare nel mese di ottobre 2013 presso la tipografia Grafica&Stampa, Altamura (Ba) per conto dell’Associazione Culturale Link


The 4th edition of Scriptamanent is Plus. Link and its international partners, through accepting the invitation from the Youth in Action Programme to present projects in the field of innovation, thought to implement a multimedia project for promoting the international volunteer activities, the active European citizenship, the young people participation and the intercultural dialogue. La quarta edizione di ScriptaManent è Plus. Raccogliendo l’invito del programma Gioventù in Azione a presentare progetti nel settore dell’innovazione, l’associazione Link e i partner internazionali, hanno pensato di sviluppare un prodotto multimediale per la promozione del volontariato internazionale, della cittadinanza europea attiva, della partecipazione giovanile e del dialogo interculturale.

www.scriptamanentproject.eu

10 years

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