We in Zakopane

After 4 hours in the bus from Kielce. We arrived to the wonderful city of the mountains. I was imagining that Zakopane was just one mountain and a really small city. But I was wrong.

 

I think that the city is much bigger that I was planning and the beautiful houses made of wood with particular details drived me crazy.

 

The waeather was amazing shiny and everyone was outside and happy. Our hostel had a balcony with a view to the mountains.

 

I was so excited to try the food of the region that I bought that random cheese. Was a fail, is really salty and strong.

 

Anyway out of the experience with the cheese I liked everythink, specially because was my first time tavelling to mountains.

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Home sweet home…

Hi, it’s me, this yellow pretty house in 13 Wydrynska Street. I live surrounded by my close friends, other polish houses. I was first built as a brothel, I saw a lot of things, and a lot of people passing under my roof… After a while the people which were first taking care of me disappeared and other owners adopted me. They changed my look, they customised me and transformed me in order to be able to welcome new guests. Cos yes, the time of brothel had finished, I heard that I had to put up young adventurers coming from all Europe… The owner gave me 5 bedrooms for my future lovely stranger kids… Now, I take advantage that my new residents are not there to describe you my new way of life in 13 Wydrynska Street since the 22 of September…
I was still feeling stressed when they arrived. I dressed up to the nines, I was so cute that I still remember this day. When Corentin, Agathe and Jack opened the door, they felt home. Then I saw Sofia, and I discovered them step by step… But to tell the truth, I became a really mother for my kids when I welcomed Kristina in November. Then the family was all present.
Since they are here, they had time to make the bedrooms their own. I can see that they arranged my walls to their liking. They taped up photos and pictures. I can smell the perfume of flowers in some of the rooms…


After the work, I look at them running in the stairs, leaving their shoes in the corridor. They look like kids after school… And the corridor looks like a real shoe store! Flip flops, boots, trainers… Then they relax, I’m expecting this time so much cos I know that at least one of them will put the speakers and share music. By the time, I know that Jack is used to listen to the music in the second floor. My ears let me hear that Sofia was doing the same downstairs. Their style is different, but still so pleasant to listen. The funny thing on it is when Agathe tries to sing like Celine Dion… Believe me, my roof is about to collapse!
I like observing the guys in their everyday life. When the evening is coming, I can hear the sound of the utensils resonating in both kitchens. I’m making fun at Kristina’s experimental food! I just hope that she will never set on fire to my shelfs ! After dinner, they often meet together in the living room or even in the kitchen. These are my favorite moments. Looking at the kids growing up together. By the time, they become closer and closer. I like their smiles, and the sound of their laughs. Sometimes I have to lock my shutters when they make fun about each other and joke together. The reasons of those laughs can be so varied and incomprehensible that I close my eyes and let them go.
During the week end, I like to slip on my party dress to welcome new people in the living room. The guys do their best to organize great moments, inviting guests from all Europe.


I feel sad when they go. My adventurers are used to travelling, and sometimes I feel alone. They leave home with their luggage travelling to beautiful cities… But when they come back, they share the feedbacks and souvenirs… I feel they are quite bummed to go back. But it doesn’t last.. Cos they are coming back home. Home sweet home.

 

Agathe

Torún

The city of Nicolaus Copernicus, the older cities of poland was the localization of our middle term training. This time not all the team was there. Only me(Sofia), Coco and Kristina. Not even the last mates we meet in the first training. So it was a totally new experience for us.

The Hostel was totally in the midle of the city, in front of a big church. This time we had different rooms, more comfy and a pretty bohemian style. I felt really comfortable so I passed all the training walking around the hotel with socks while the rest of the team was being polite using shoes.

The week was amazing, we walk around the medieval city, we went to the theater, we did outside activities like the one in a beautiful museum of photography. And of course, one more time we ate a lot, that I get sick in the second day of training. Continue reading

Zakopane

When living in a foreign country for an extended amount of time, I think something you should definitely try to do is to visit as many places as you can whilst you have the chance. So last week, I invited a friend from the UK over to Poland to spend a little winter break in Zakopane, known informally as the “winter capital of Poland”.

I should mention that before we travelled to Zakopane, Rich (the friend) came to Kielce for one night and was instantly introduced to Polish hospitality at the celebratory party of one of our Polish friends for graduating from university (congratulations, Mateusz!). There were many offerings of vodka shots and kiełbasa and a bunch of people trying to talk to us about the English Premier League with broken English by just reeling off the names of players for respective teams. I think we were both ready to head to the mountains. Continue reading

1 of January

1 of january after the sylvester everyone is trying to get back the energies to restart one more year. But also was my birthday, the first time that I passed the day without my parents. So I was ecited to have a new experience and new views because in the same time I was travelling since my trip back to poland from Portugal. Continue reading

Następny przystanek

I’m in Poland since 4 months now, and I had now the opportunity to observe the way of life of polish people, and to emerge in the heart of this culture, unknown to me before !
I have lots of different option to gaze at people and to see how they are different, how they make the things differently from my culture. But I can also see how polish people can be so close to me.
A BUS LOVE STORY
All basically began in the bus. That’s seems weird isn’t it ? To tell the truth, I have never ever passed as much time in buses since I’m in Poland ! Between the Eurolines, the Polskibus, the one which link up our house to the office, the other one that we have to take to visit schools… Trust me: your warrior experience will begin once in the bus ! Continue reading

My first French lessons

Part of our EVS work in the Centrum Wolontariatu is to create workshops for youth. The Polish programme, “Przystanek Młodych”, includes free workshops for the people of Kielce led by the volunteers of the association. I decided to give one hour every friday especially dedicated to basic French lessons. Such a nice discovery! For the students, but also for me.. I’m learning more everytime about french grammar construction and to say the truth, my colleagues give me some advice to improve my Polish ! I really enjoy this kind of exchange as if sometimes, I have the impression of not being professional enough… At the end, I know that it’s not the meaning of those workshops (fortunately!), and that allows me to fix some objectives every week. Every week, I try to remind my student by a facebook event to come to my workshop. Some of them teach me new things about french language, like one student who told me a quotation from Antoine de Saint Exupery, I was impressed! Continue reading

On-Arrival Training in Warsaw

An essential part of any European Voluntary Service programme is to attend two training sessions during your stay. The first, On-Arrival Training, should occur within 60 days of you entering whichever country your project takes place within. There is also Mid-Term Training which should take place somewhere roughly in the middle of your stay. As we were waiting for the 5th and final volunteer to arrive for just over a month, we had to wait a little longer for our On-Arrival Training! Eventually, on the 14th December, just before the Christmas break, the five of us set off on a Polski Bus to Warsaw to stay in a hostel for the week with volunteers from other cities in Poland, and originally from many other countries in Europe. Continue reading