we finally got to experience the rain! Then the weather kept getting hotter. Which is supposed to be good, but then I go home for more of the same! Which is supposed to be better, but apparently I like to complain! But seriously, time has passed and things went on.
We did the on-arrival training. We were introduced to the practices and activities that we could later find useful, when we would be working with the kids. Conversating with an experienced person helped us sort some good ideas out of the group and gave us more confidence. Our trainer was from Slovenia and he stayed with us even after the training was done, so we had the possibility to really know the person that was teaching us. The learning came through a sharing of experiences rather than some kind of frontal lesson and it is always fun to meet people, experiences and opinions that you could hardly find home.
We were then ready to go to the schools. We do two different kind of activities: we promote the Evs program in High schools and we go spend time with kids in Special schools. The presentation is quite simple, but effective. Our group is composed of Lili, Tanja, Martin and me, with the help of Eni, a local volunteer. First, the girls feel the need to throw a little plastic basketball to someone’s head, believe me they are messed up. No, the point is that the kid who picks it up then has to share what he knows about Evs and then throw it again. We write everything on the blackboard and then we give a talk about the program. Everyone gets to talk more or less, someone takes pictures, someone writes on the board. The roles are usually changed every now and then. At the end of the presentation, Eni shows some videos about Evs and gives an additional talk in her mother tongue. We had mixed experiences with the classrooms. Sometimes, the kids were nice beyond any expectations. At some points I thought, I wish we could present in my former highschool, so that I could see the German’s faces (I am the minority in this group!). Other classrooms were rougher, but all of us have been there. Overall, we could always fish some people that were interested about the program. It is known surprisingly little even where I live.
I go to the Special school with Federica, Tanja and Lili. There, we just spend time with the kids. We try to communicate, we play, we even dance if it is needed! And I have to say I am quite good. But apparently the second thing I like the most after complaining is complimenting myself, so take that! Yeah. The kids enjoy our presence, as there are rarely that many people who can give them attention. The teachers, which helped us a lot with all they could, often have many, many kids with them and it is quite hard. It was the firs experience of this kind for most of us and we still somehow felt unsure about our actions. After some time we broke the ice and just started going with it. Generally the kids know what they want to do and how to do it better than you do, they just need someone that plays with them.
And today we had our first day of Summer school. But I will keep that for a next post.
We had quite a bit of free time aswell! Good time! And good time runs fast! In 15 days I will be home and I cannot believe it. It seems like so little has passed. I didn’t get to see as much of Albania as the others Evs did. I spent some of the weekends hanging out in Tirana, with the locals or with whoever wasn’t travelling. We went up up to the Dajti mountain with the cable cars, once! We were stopped by two military guys aswell, because we had crossed a military zone. Now: sometimes I ask myself if stupid things happen to everybody everywhere in the world or if I somehow pull people into it. Anyway, the signal on the tree clearly said it, but we thought it was old (?!?). The first days of June we had a streak of free days and I managed to go to Serbia for one week and visit two close friends of mine from Erasmus. The best experience ever, crazy from the first moment to the very last. 40 hours total of bus trip, aswell. But I would do it all over again. And now, here we are!
Oh, and I am constantly spying on the Germans, but they don’t know it. They feed me strange things.