European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljska služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

Za bolj podrobne informacije nas lahko kontaktiraš na:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Hello from Belgium :)))

It's time for an update :))

Last time I forgot to mention that I also volunteer for another organization here in Belgium called VFG (Vereniging van personen met een handicap or organization for people with a handicap). I went with a group from VFG on a sea trip around Belgium and Netherlands. It was quite a ride for me because I got pretty seasick.

Nevertheless, I survived :)). We also had some live music (one of the workers from VFG played on an instrument). It is a great experience and I will definitely do it again.

OK, back to my EVS work. From the 31st of October until 4th of November YFU offered free culture games to different organizations. Me, a Belgian student (Kira) and a co-worker went to these organizations. I went with, to mainly see how students, who usually carry out these games, do it. It was quite interesting and I learned a lot from Kira. After a couple of games, it was time for me to try it! I was nervous at first (especially since it was in Dutch), but with some help of my co-worker it went pretty great :)). Next games are for winter holidays, but I won't be in Belgium because I'm going home for a visit.

This was on a trip to Antwerp :)))

After my visit at home, I have Dutch exams! I like Dutch so far and I'm trying to talk as much Dutch as I can.

Around the end of January we have a mid-training for EVS. It will be nice to see ALL the EVS volunteers again.

Oh, last week I also met a famous Belgian chef! His name is Roger van Damme. He signed his book for me :))

Until next time :))


Monday, 7 November 2011

EVS in Maribor

Hello everybody, this is the first time I write on this blog. So I may introduce myself first. I’m Katrin from Germany and I’m EVS volunteer in Pekarna. I’m often asked, why I’ve decided on going here… why Maribor… why Slovenia? There is a simple answer: Why not? Slovenia is so diverse in terms of culture and landscape. Maribor is transforming from an industrial city into a city of culture and will be the European Capital of Culture in 2012. Almost every day you have the chance to visit concerts, performances, film-screenings and exhibitions. In short: Maribor is small, but a city with lots of charm.

Two months ago I arrived in Maribor and spent three weeks in the new hostel of Pekarna before moving to a shared accommodation which is situated in the north of the city. But thanks to Maribjke  I can reach the city centre and Pekarna in just a couple of minutes, where I, among other things, work on the programme Guest Room Maribor: Artists from all over the world and from every imaginable artistic field have the opportunity to stay in Maribor for one month, to use the workspaces of the city and to present their works to the public. We are hosting the artists, bring them in contact with other artists, show them around the city and support them in preparing their presentations.

Pekarna is also a member of TEH – Trans Europe Halles, a network of independent cultural centres. Thanks to that I could go to Bordeaux last week, where the second annual meeting of the network took place. It was really great meeting all these creative people from all over Europe. Merci beaucoup TEH and TNT!!

More news next time,

Sunday, 9 October 2011

My first month in Belgium

Hello all!!!

This is my first entry, so there is a lot to write. I currently live in Mechelen, Belgium. I arrived here a bit earlier because I wanted to go on holidays first (I went to Tenerife :p). Mechelen is a beautiful city, full of friendly people and things to see. I've been coming back to Mechelen for the last 5 years and I always find something new and interesting to see. Lets move on to EVS now....
I started my EVS project on the 12th of September, due to some other volunteering I did here in Belgium. My first 2 days at YFU (Youth for Understanding) were packed with YFU database training. It basically means that they are trying to put all the data from papers and excel files into a joint database. So I did that for 2 days and after that I put some of the data in it. After that I collected data of some organizations we work with and put it in the database.
For the past week I've been working on cultural games for YFU. We offer 7 or more games to different youth organizations or schools all over Belgium. They usually take place in the morning (10-12) and afternoon (14-16). This week I've sent emails to this organizations with our offer for fall holidays. I'm waiting for their replay now! :)
I work with 4 other people in the organization: National director, inbound and outbound coordinators and an intern that works with schools. We all get along very well and joke around which makes it that much more fun. On the 15th this month we're going to Antwerp to present our organization to kids and students, who want to go abroad. It will be fun to see other people (EVS representatives are there too :)).

I've also been on the EVS arrival training from the 23rd-27th of September. It was quite the experience. I've met other EVS volunteers (there were 33 of us there). We played some intercultural games, got some of our EVS questions answered and just talked with each other. We are all meeting again pretty soon :D
I've also been taking Dutch lessons which is going good. It's not that big of a problem if you know German and English (I've taken lessons in Slovenia too).
For now everything is going smoothly. My host family is great and I'm enjoying my time here.

Till next time :))

PS: You can read more info about the organization and their work on:

Petra xoxo

Monday, 26 September 2011

Hello from Maribor!!! (so good to say it)

My name is Nebojša, I'm one of the 2 new EVS volunteers at Pekarna in Maribor.

I come from Serbia from little town called Kikinda, I will not bother you where is it - if you are interested, it is easy for you to find out. But will I try to tell you about my first actions living in Maribor and Slovenia for 25 days already.

View from bridge in Maribor, I made a pic, then saw that they have it on postcards :)

It is all mixed up for me now - I have spent really fulfilled 25 days, and kind of don't have exact words to say how I feel here. For that time, I have traveled to on-arrival training to Bohinj Lake, explored Maribor and I still haven't managed to see all what I want, tried to help in organizations of events in GUSTAF hall - and sometimes even I helped, not just watched what others do.

Smiley faces of great EVS company from on arrival training at Bohinj lake

I will tell you few of my official assignements (order is not by priorities),
- promotion of EVS in schools in Maribor,
- technical support in Gustaf Hall (my favorite),
- technical support for PC-s in organization (as much as I know, and learn...),
- bring some music bands from Serbia and maybe region,
- will have MY OWN RADIO SHOW (my second favorite)
- and when I can, repair some bicycles if needed - from the bicycles which are ment for renting

The fact why I can't say much about my impressions is that I had only good times here for now, and I will spend 12 month - so I know that I'm not here on vacation. I wait for some bigger problem to show up and then find out how quickly it will be solved!
I don't want to tell you fairytale, because for me it is all so good - and it would look like one.

So I hope I will have more inspiration to write next time, and say more about my impressions - I will give my best to update blog soon.

Lep Pozdrav

EVS na Nizozemskem

Uff sedaj pa strniti moje leto oz. če smo natančni 11 mesecev v ne post na EVS blogu. Ja ja lahko bi pisala sproti in vam že skozi leto zaupala, kakšne zanimive dogodke in pripetljaje in res sem hotela, vendar potem nekako nisem našla časa, volje, trenutek ni bil pravi in vsi ti standardni izgovori.

No pa začnimo na začetku. J Na Nizozemsko, natančneje v Amstelveen (to je predmestje Amsterdama) sem prišla na začetku septembra 2010. Polna zagona, motivacije in novih idej. Prvi vtisi so bili mešani. Novo okolje, novi sodelavci, oprema je bila super. No mogoče bi morala malo več povedati o moje projektu. Moj EVS je potekal v PoppodiumuP60, to je nekakšen mladinski klub v Amstelveenu. Moje delo je bilo sestavljeno iz tehnične pomoči, torej sem bila del tehnične ekipe (luči, video, reklame,…), prav tako pa sem morala občasno delati tudi v garderobi ali kako drugače pomagati pri samem večernem dogodku.

Slika: Outside

Vsekakor je bilo zanimivo pretvarjati se, da vem kaj delam, ko sem se igrala z lučmi, in eden najbolj stresnih dogodkov tega leta je bil, ko te posedejo za 'light desk' in ti rečejo, tako sedaj pa si sama in moraš speljati cel večer.

Slika: Priprave na večer

Vendar pa se moje življenje ni odvijalo samo v klubu, kjer sem delala, veliko prostega časa smo preživeli doma (naš dom je bila stara šola) ali pa v Amsterdamu. V šoli smo si uredili eno izmed učilnic v takšen mali studio, kjer smo lahko preizkušali naše zvočne, video in še kakšne sposobnosti. Tam smo dobivali ideje za nore stvari, ki bi jih lahko preizkusili ob večerih.

Slika: Party / Priprave na Farewell party v šoli, z vso tehniko, ki jo je naš klub omogočal /

Sedaj po vrnitvi domov, dobim veliko vprašanj: »Kako pa je Amsterdam?« ali pa »Amsterdam pa je tako ali tako super«, vendar če povem po pravici, NI. Predvsem mi Amsterdam ni bil všeč, ker je poln turistov, turistov, ki so prišli tja z enim samim namenom. Po nekaj mesecih sem se počutila kot pravi Amsterdamčan, to pa pomeni, da se na veliko izogibaš mestnemu jedru, če pa že moreš tja, potem pa se na veliko jeziš nad turisti, kako se ne znajo voziti s kolesi, ne vedo kje naj hodijo,… Vendar pa seveda ni vse tako grozno, Amsterdam ima veliko prijetnih kotičkov, ki samo čakajo, da jih odkriješ. Izmed nešteto kavarnic, majhnih klubov, bo vsak našel nekaj zase, vendar pa je res, da se moreš potruditi in odkrivati drugačne predele mesta. Ena izmed mojih najljubših aktivnostih je bila obiskovanje Squat-ov, kjer si vedno našel koga za dober pogovor, včasih se je vrtel kakšen film, spet drugič si si privoščil odlično vegansko večerjo za samo 3€.

Slika: Dam / Največji trg v Amsterdamu /

Problem Amsterdama je seveda tudi to, da je grozno drag in z EVS budžetom je veliko stvari, ki bi jih rad obiskal, pa jih ne moreš, vendar če se znaš malo znajti je bil EVS denar zadosti za hrano in tudi za zabavo. Nizozemska je taka zabavna dežela, saj se velikokrat zelo začudiš, za kaj vse hočejo denar od tebe, npr. plačaš vstopnino v klub, seveda plačuješ pijače, nato pa moreš vsakokrat, ko hočeš na WC, plačati še dodatnih 50 centov. Ne vedno, vendar se zgodi. Med EVS-ovci je obstajala šala, da na Nizozemskem še zrak ni zastonj (ja, tudi tega moraš plačati na določenih bencinskih). Vendar se tega načina razmišljanja kmalu navadiš in tudi sam začneš iskati poti naokoli in si pozoren na vsako malenkost, kjer bi lahko privarčeval kakšen cent. Tako na primer v večjih nakupovalnih centrih lahko v samopostrežnih trgovinah dobiš zastonj kavo :-)

Slika: Kava

Veliko prostih dni sem se le brezciljno potepala po Amsterdamu. Velikokrat sem se med takim potepanjem tudi izgubila, vendar nič za to, poplačana sem bila z neverjetno ljubkimi majhnimi kavarnicami, trgovinami z norimi oblačili ali čevlji J, ali pa sem včasih samo zašla v prijetno in ljubko ulico. Največji problem teh potepanj pa je bil, da v večini primerov nisem več našla istih uličic in trgovin, tako da je bilo moje igranje turističnega vodiča, ob prihodu prijateljev ali sorodnikov kar malo oteženo.

Okoli Amsterdama se prav tako ponuja ogromno zanimivih stvari, nekaj se pa vsekakor morate zavedati, da gurmanskega turizma na Nizozemskem ni. Hrana Nizozemcem ne pomeni veliko in takšna je tudi njihova kuhinja, veliko ocvrtega, veliko predpripravljene hrane. Ena izmed njihovih tradicionalnih jedi je Haring, surova riba, ki so jo 2 tedna preparirali v soli s čebulo. Pravzaprav niti ni slabo :-)

Slika: Haring

Po nekaj mesecih življenja v Amsterdamu, ko sem spoznala mesto in njegove skrite čare, mi je priraslo k srcu in vem, da me čaka še ogromno neodkritih kotičkov. Amsterdam je eno izmed tistih mest, ki se jih nikoli ne naveličaš, saj te neprenehoma presenečajo.

Slika: Adam Snow

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Volunteering Actually

Springtime in Maribor started for real as it was predicted by the natives when we were hanging around in Ptuj, in a group of 4 one cold day in the beginning of March. Predicted or rather requested by the thousands of pandas, princesses and pirates, but mostly by the Kurants. The amazing creatures of Ptuj’s carnival! According to the tradition, young unmarried men were dressing this costume, drinking wine and chasing girls. Nowadays, as it was explained by our friend, Kuranty dress this really heavy costume, drink wine, chase girls and they don’t have to be neither young, nor unmarried. There is however one important rule that Kuranty must apply to – they must fight, jump, sing and yell for the springtime! And so they did. And so it came.

I guess that it first came to Maribor on this particular day when “Days for Changes” started. When we first heard of the idea maybe we weren’t so much excited. We were just supposed to accompany with a camera the voluntary service actions organized in the city by the different social organizations. All of us received timetables, maps of locations and so off we went – to fill our EVS duty! The whole event took three days and maybe because of this beginning of springtime, or maybe just because, it turned out to become really cheerful and optimistic days. For those who don’t believe me – we’ve got everything on the tape and we have already started our editing work! Maybe it’s not so impressive when you start to talk about it – it’s just spending time with the seniors, playing pikado and chess with them in Dom Danice Vogrinec Maribor, preparing healthy snacks with the bunch of kids in Youth Home, hanging around in the local park. But once you were there, you could feel the sense of the voluntary service in simple being with the others and for the others.

Best regards,


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Looking forward to Stoptrik


As far as now only Zoltan has posted his messages on the EVS blog of Pekarna, but it’s a high time that you all should recognized me, the other volunteer.

I’m Polish. I’m 23 years old. And all my projects are connected to the cinema.

Let’s begin with the Stoptrik International Film Festival, which is the most important project for me. It all started in the very beginning of my stay in Maribor. It turned out that Pekarna has been willing to organize film event devoted to stop motion animation for last few years, but this year there is a real big chance to have settled the project. Maribor is going to be European Culture Capital in 2012 and one can senses the great creative spirit in the city. Everyone is trying to establish new projects as a part of the Maribor 2012 programme. And so do we! It’s a real challenge to attend the meetings with the members of council, present them our idea and – don’t be scared to use this word – lobby for this as much as it’s possible.

I come from the city with rich and long tradition of animated film festivals. For several years I’ve been working with the organizers of Krakow Film Festival and I have noticed how hard is this work. But right now in Pekarna I discover how pleasant and exciting it is as well. As a Festival Director I contact artists and producers, keep an eye on our team, create budget and last but not least introduce idea of Stoptrik to everyone who is willing to support this project. Although, my major worries concern the sponsorship. Without involvement of the companies we won’t be able to organize a professional event.

And this is the thing about Slovenia – it’s worth to have such festival here. People are willing to attend screenings of animated films. I saw it in December in Ljubljana during the Animateka. And even next week there’s going to be held an evening of Polish animated films in Škofja Loka. But Slovenia it’s only about Ljubljana and I believe that Stoptrik is the chance for Maribor to have their own highly professional film festival.

Wish me luck!


Friday, 14 January 2011

Just to let you know

It was a long time ago when I posted here last time. The reason is not, that nothing happened. On the contrary, maybe too much. And yes, I haven’t writing inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to write my feelings in English. But right now, I try to summarize, what was in the last almost three months. But not for sure, in timeline.

In the beginning of November I moved my new flat… to my own Kingdom. It’s a small flat, but I really like it.

And till the end of the year, here were many event in Gustaf. I worked sometimes, and of course sometimes I just went to have fun…. or both. One day for example I was the light master during the concert, and other day I was barmen during Yoga Rave. But I was ticket seller too. It is always funny, cause usually the visitors didn’t know, that I can’t speak Slovenian, and they were surprised when I said: “in English please”.
Somebody actually was hurt in the first time, cause he was from abroad, but told me something in Slovenian, but I didn’t understand. And we had a conversation like this:

Guest: - I tried to speak with you in your language.
Me: - Why do you think, it was in my language?
Guest: - Why, are you not Slovenian?
Me: - No, I’m not, I’m from Hungary …

So.. yes, this two month was really diverse with really much experience.

But the EVS life is not only about Pekarna. I travelled a little too. The on-arrival training was in Goriška Brda, I celebrated the new year’s eve in Ljubljana, and last weekend I was in Slovenske Konjice. And yes, it was perfect. I could see other places, and met new people too.

Well, that was, and in January we started to clean Gustaf, and make some new order inside the concert hall.
The programs will be continued from 21st of January … so I think, I won’t be bored.

I will write here later … peace