My perspective of Socijala Summer Festival – Gabriele Vacca

My name is Gabriele Vacca and I am a volunteer for SMILE&GO project in Petrinja, Croatia. I’m in Croatia for two moths, a short term project, since 14th of May and until 11th of July. During the first part of project I’ve felt really sad and alone because the first  impact with small city and with the people was really weird, the weather didn’t help me and I was feeling alone. I arrived in Petrinja with a low level of English but it was not a problem because I’ve met fantastic people who understend me and help me to improve my English and to comunicate with everyone. After one month other volunteers have arrived and they changed my life here, for real. We started to get to know each other better and all toghether we started to plan and to make decorations for ‘’Socijala Ljetni Festival’’, one of the best experience of my life, but I will speak about this later.

 We went toghether in Zagreb, just for a weekend, and there I really understood the importance of these people in this project and in my life. It was love at first sight. It was the first time for me that I shared completely myself with unknow people just beacause I was feeling to do it.

 After Zagreb I went to Budapest and to Romania, where I finally realaized one of my biggest dreams, seeing Dracula’sCastle. It was really amazing and satisfying for me; a magic and weird experience. I shared this experience with two friendly,  generous, honest, fantastic and lovely people that I will always bring with me in my heart.

Another amazing experience, in this two months, was the ‘’Socjiala Ljetni Festival’’, a festival built on friendships, happiness, coexistence, sharing, different cultures and good vibration. I don’t know if it is possible explain how I’ve felt in those days. The jam sessions, rock, rock’n’roll, blues, jazz, reggae, the 80’s party with dresscode and in the last the techno party… just two words: AMAZING and INDESCRIBABLE. I can talk a lot about Socjala: yoga, workshop, poetry, the baloon wars, dancing, vegan food and marshmallows on the fire, the river, the sun, swimming in the night and my lost watch… Yes, the river is a thief!!! I’ve really lived something indescribable, everything was in perfect harmony to the point that we imagined an Island, The Baby Island, where we can live all toghether in Socjiala mood forever. 

I’m writing this article one week before leaving and I can say I am really sad but this is life, something starts and comes to an end. Of courseI can’t forget this two months, the people and everything that have painted a lot of pages in my life’s book.

 Thank you very much for everything, thank you IKS, thank you Baby Girls and thank you Petrinja. I will bring you with me in my heart forever and ever.




This article was put together by EVS volunteer Gabriele from Italy for his project SMILE and GO. The project is cofinanced by the European Union through the Erasmus+ programme.

Članak je sastavio volonter Europske volonterske službe Gabriele iz Italije za njegov projekt SMILE and GO. Projekt sufinancira Europska unija kroz Erasmus+ program.