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.

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Friday, 10 March 2017

37 days with Maribor

I have been away from Greece before, however the last time was for my erasmus semester so it was only a limited 5-month-period. And also a quite different experience with different motives and expectations. My EVS is going to last double the time, which was something exciting and scary at the same time. Also a fact, that I only realized when I set my foot in Slovenia.

The last months before joining infopeka were quite strange for me but also a time period where I passed through different stages of adapting and getting used to my upcoming reality, moving from excitement and impatience for discovering a country that I hadn’t actually thought I would live in before, to sadness and melancholy for leaving Athens, the place where I have been living during the last 6 years and the place that felt so intimate, which will always hold a unique spot in my heart, but also sad for leaving my friends and family...and then back to excitement and anticipation for new adventures and experiences. Admittedly an emotional rollercoaster!

What happened during these 37 days? My fellow EVS partner, Coline has already given a quite detailed impression of the organization and our commitment to its different activities, so I will not get to it extensively. But I will just have to stress once more the really warm and hosting environment and atmosphere that infopeka and its members saved for us, trying to make us feel as comfortable and as integrated as possible, because it would be a pity if i didn’t mention that.

I found it really great that during this time we will have to deal with a plurality and variety of different activities and be exposed and collaborate with people from different age groups and needs, but I will have to stand on something that made me quite excited and looking forward for my future involvement in it, which is theater of the oppressed.

I already knew about the method before coming, but unfortunately, apart from a short involvement with theater with my university theater group, I didn’t have the chance to be engaged in it till now.

And what I realized is that social theater and theater of the oppressed are the types of theatrical expression that I want to focus on and develop. It is a process of endeavouring something new that you didn’t know or you didn’t expect you could do, but also reflecting on why you are doing it at the same time. The idea that there is no right or wrong, that each performance, each little piece of actions and choices you make can influence the development of the moment; the fact that a single movement, an image, an expression of your body can tell more than a hundred pages, the feeling that through your dedication in that you’ll have the possibility to reflect on your own actions socially and politically and realize what you can actually make real changes around you, the preparation of what comes in real world and what we all see and do without reflecting on, without really understanding why; it involves everything else that goes beyond the narrowness of executing and adjusting yourself on a written text (of course I am not saying that I don’t appreciate “conventional theater”, I think that it is something quite hard and demanding and admittedly something that has offered me a lot, from attending theater performances but also from participating, although in a really amateur way, in a group myself. And that in all these types of theater i can find something really intriguing, they all engulf something artistic within them, although serving quite different purposes. The first one awakening emotions, from giving you the pleasure and happiness of attending a fine and well-done performance to allowing you make your personal associations from attending a single performance and the second one, asking you to really be a part of the change that you and every single of us can do.

I could go on and talk more about my impressions of that but just leave it like this for the moment.

Exciting moment: Maribor has really beautiful sky colours and is amazing how different sunsets can be every single day! Maybe it is normal for Slovenians to watch such skies, but really for me, it’s not so granted..probably air pollution in Athens keeps away some impressive sunsets, so i have to enjoy it while I have it.

till next time,


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1st Month

This is it, one month already! On one hand, seems I just arrived yesterday, on the other, seems I already have my little habits in Maribor city. Strange feeling.

The departure was intense, full of a big melting pot of sadness, excitation, doubts and true happiness. The last month before departure was inegal, I was getting more and more impatient to arrive here, while I had to say “goodbye” to everybody and enjoy my last time in France. They were lots of pressure in theses goodbye, as if it had to be “a perfect last moment”, whereas Slovenia is not the moon!

The first week was really exciting, discovering the city, digesting lots of information and meeting Infopeka : We’re really lucky to have such a welcoming and warm team that cares about us to be comfortable and happy in our new life. After a global view of every field of activity that Infopeka does, Sofia (the other volunteer) and I decided to join several missions. We will be part of the Theater of the Oppressed, which has weekly workshop about society issues through theatre exercices. It’s a famous method that I didn’t know before coming, but that I really enjoy. We will be also part of two weekly workshop with kids, one with kids with special needs and another with kids from immigrate parents. It’s amazing to see how we can connect quite easily with them, despite the fact we don’t speak the same language ! We’ll help to organize several events, such as Filmopeka – movie projection followed by a debate- or StopTrick Festival. Finally, we are the members of Pizda- an engaged Fanzine where I do some Illustrations about feminism, homophobia…

I really appreciate the freedom that we have to create our own workshop or events, we can explore and invest in all things we’re interested by, and that’s a real chance.

We’ve been visiting Ljubjiana, a charming town were some part looks like fairy tales landscape. We went to Metelkova, an amazing place where Street Art is everywhere, full of concert places and bars. People join in that huge square, having fun on old kids playground…

This week-end was Pust, the traditional carnival of Slovenia. On Saturday, most of the people get disguised and go partying, and on Sunday happens the big parade in Ptuj. The entire city was in a happy mood, and we saw tons of sophisticated disguised, from all parts of Slovenia. We even met the Kurent Community, theses kind of big sheep with bells around them, that “chase the winter away” by ringing them ! I was so glad to see what looks like a traditional Slovene event… 

To sum up, I get more and more used to Slovenian way of living, and more and more invested in Infopeka activities… From what I’ve seen from now, this year will be full of cultural events intense experiences!