After the weekend we spent in Zagreb, Sofia and I headed to the train station in the morning. Despite exhaustive and detailed explanations regarding our trip we still had difficulties in finding our train. But that morning, Sofia once again convinced herself of hospitality and the attentive of people in Croatia and I felt a gentle pride. We have successfully started our On-arrival training at 15.10.
As I dozed off on the train, I could hear English all over the place with different accents. That atmosphere was a prelude to the one that followed. Nature and peace in Orahovica were good to us after Zagreb. In the afternoon we settled in our rooms and rested. The program started at 6 p.m. with the introductions of the game. I met volunteers from Spain, Italy, France, Armenia, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia and Portugal. The training managers Bojan and Domagoj demonstrated the professionalism and friendly side in a short time. The working but fun atmosphere continued throughout the week. We have opportunity to hear all about the Evs, about our rights and obligations, but also the obligations of other such as the Mentor, Supervisor, Send-organisations, Host-organisations and National agencies. In smaller groups the diversity of cultures came to the fore. The program of the day was eventful but entertaining. Fatigue never came to the fore, so after work we had fun with karaoke.
The program managers surprised us with traditional dinner and drinks. Volunteers had the opportunity to taste sarma, rakija and gibanica. Croatian music did not last that long in music repertoire. Soon we all danced listening “Macarena”.
In the middle of the week we had opportunity to hear the steps of project planning from Bojan, but also to plan our own little project in Orahovica. My group and I have decided on the idea of informing one class in high school about the possibilities of Evs program. For me it wasn’t the first workshop of this type but it was definitely one of the more interesting. The high school students were cooperative. The next day we presented our project to other volunteers and managers, and we heard what other groups were doing. At the end of the week we worked on the topic of Conflict, Communication and the diversity of cultures. That part was most useful for me. I realized that communication is indispensable in every work.
Saturday 20.10. was a time for greetings and evaluation. That was not the end of the fellowship. Most volunteers spent Sunday together in Zagreb. I think that different cultures, different language, fears and different expectations can only reconcile a program like this in Orahovica.