Post 12

So, guys, here we go, this is my final – farewell post! Its been an amazing year, that literally changed my mindset and opened up a whole new world for me! I’ve experienced not only new fields of knowledge but the brand-new way of living. So, let’s get to the beginning for some reflection. We gonna get back in time for one year.

At that time, it was “young”, unexperienced me, who was in torments with the question of what I want to do next and what would be my next goal? And then, like a smile of fortune, appeared from nowhere the info pack of Multimedia ninja project – the title had cached my attention immediately and after reading it all through, I knew for sure that I would love to try applying. And I did that! So, I came to Slovenia with hope to figure out what I want to be and get more of life experience. When I first arrived, I was amazed by the beauty of Slovenian nature. But at the same time, I was stressed and scared of everything so maybe that’s why I don’t remember much of those first two months. But, anyway, in the beginning, I learned a lot of basics that have set the foundation of everything that I got and improved later on. I may say, that this year I made a lot of things, I can be proud of. Every small flyer, promo video or long mockumentary or other was a small victory for me. I’m also proud of my traveling experience, I visited almost all the places I planned, and the rest of the list I want to finish in the nearest future.

You know, now when I’m trying to raise all that happened with me this year in my memory, I see it as a river with the waterfall just in the middle of its length. And the first half of it runes fast, through the mountains so there many unexpected rapids and turns and all the way you don’t know what to expect. And then comes the waterfall – the point of kind of relief, where you set free all your fear and realize that adaptation officially over, you overcame most of the difficulties and now you can go with the flow, measuredly.

If you ask me what would I change my answer would be – Nothing. – because all the obstacles we face at the beginning, it’s a completely natural part of gaining experience, that is how we learn things the best, by overcoming problems. And if you feel satisfied at the end then everything went as it should be.

I would like to finish this post with a short message for the next EVS’s: Don’t let the difficulties on your way broke you down and stop you from reaching your goals, try to fight them, leave your comfort zone and you going to be rewarded at the end. And, of course, do not forget that this journey is also full of fun, parties and new cool friends! So, go for it!

And for me, it’s a high time to say: bye-bye!) It was a pleasure to share my experience and thoughts with you!)

Maryna Polovko.

Post 11

When you going to leave the place, you have a bond with, you start to think over all moments you spend there; try to etch on your memory that place and leave something there after yourself. I know it for sure because currently experiencing it. That’s why I was happy to take part in redesigning living room in our office. It’s great task from all perspectives: chance to switch computer work to the actual one, opportunity to use creativity and create something on your own and leave a trace in the place after yourself.  So, during this month we were collecting materials for sketch board, doing measurements, looking for materials and brainstorming a lot on how to make office’ living room look cozy and be functional at the same time – not the easiest task but that is exactly the funny part also.

Along with that, we have started one more not less creative project – making an animation for Socialna academia with its own authentical characters. Together with one colleague of mine, we designed two cool characters: smart doggy and silly sheep that going to be the main characters. So, soon we can breathe life into them and start animating.

This month was also not without a bit of traveling. Together with my co-worker, Angela, we spent a day by the Adriatic Sea in one small nice town called Izola. It was the time of just simple summer relaxation when you enjoying swimming and sunbathing. No rush, no duties, just calm rest)

And the last but not least is my first climb to real mountain called Nanos and observation meteoric shower on its top. The way up might be hard but the view from the top and satisfaction of what you overcame is worth it. After the ascent, I realized that I want to set up for myself a new goal – to climb one other mountain probably much higher than 1313 meters, to challenge myself again.

This is all for now)
Next post from me is going to be the last one, so I will use this time to think over all my yearly experience and write a conclusion for you, my dear readers!) Spend this month happily. Bye!

Maryna Polovko

Escape the ordinary!

We all probably have a book on our nightstand that we read before bed and maybe we struggle to finish because we don’t like it or because it’s boring.
So the question is why do we have to finish it? Because we bought it or because we want a new one?
I’ll tell you a secret: there is no excuse to keep it, if you don’t like it, choose another one!

I know it’s not always as simple as with books (many of which also have a happy ending) but what if you start seeing everything in black and white, even if you’re not part of an old photograph?
You know, they have their charm because they smell of experience, history, friendship and family…old pics I mean!

Time is the greatest gift we’ve ever received, so why waste it doing things we don’t like or don’t care about? Why regret lost possibilities?
There are only two letters “no” … or rather “NO”. Doesn’t your book sound interesting? Get another one. Is the color of the wall monotonous? Choose a more lively one and so on and then, step by step, it will be easier and more fun!

When colors did not exist yet, artists used pigment powders to paint…this to emphasize that there is always a mean that allows you to reach your goals, even if it’s not perfect or it might seem difficult.

And how many times you can read about it, how many people can tell you, it will never be as satisfying as when you decide to change something, to take the first step…the first of a long series, to have new experiences, to satisfy your curiosity and to feel that there is nothing to lose!

So my dear reader, start your change … and your challenge!

escape the ordinary
Angela

Post 10

The countdown is started…3,2,1!

Only three posts in this blog separate me from the finish of my project. It’s rather sad and excited at the same time. From one point, one amazing year, full of new experiences, meetings and knowledge, coming to the end; and from the other – it leads me to the new page of my life.

Anyhow, I still have opportunity to share with you my experience I got this month. So, let’s get it started.

The past month I was involved in different events that took place in the organization. I was helping the group of young people with filming an interview for their documentaries, made a presentation for “Social week – Socialni teden” – the yearly holding meeting for partners of Social academy. That was meeting in a very warm and friendly atmosphere, where I was lucky to try traditional for Slovenia golaž and pie called gibanica cooked by Janko – unofficial “Dad” of our office team. I was helping with promo material and shooting for the week-long camp for children called “Jaz, novinar”, where they can not only play and have fun but also use all their creativity and create an actual product – video, short film, broadcast, ect., they can try themselves in a role of scenarist, director, costume designer, cameraman, actor and espouse their talents.

In addition to that, I opened for myself a new field of knowledge – I’ve started to learn how to create a webpage from a scratch and now I’m in the prosses of creating my own. Let’s hope I will manage to finish it until the end of the project. Wish me good luck?

Among other, I finished editing video from the event I’ve told you about in my previous post and have started to fill in the Youthpass.

I was lucky enough to have this month a kind on excursion to the most artistic and free-spirited place in Ljubljana called Rog. It used to be a bicycle factory then transformed into a community space for alternative content. Now, Rog is a synonym for free art and mindset. It is an autonomous social and cultural center, that hosts a number of artist studios, gallery spaces, two skate parks, a social center for disadvantaged groups (such as migrants and refugees), various concert and clubbing venues, a bicycle repair shop, and so on.

You never find a better place to get to know real Ljubljana then Rog! I’ve been knowing about it since I arrived and had planned to visit it so many times but always postponed it. And finally, it happened. We visited building where studios are, drunk a homemade beer in the cafe outside, visited the library, claimed up to the roof and were enjoying the view on the city lights of the center and listening to the blues concert holding not far. Great time from my perspective!

With the summer coming in Ljubljana a lot of interesting events started to take place. For example, in the Ljubljana Castle have started to display films under the stars, I also didn’t miss such a great opportunity and went to the premiere of the film of one Slovenian director. The film called “My last year as a loser”, it´s a comedy but with the strong existential meaning behind it. I’ve been enjoying every minute, watching it and my poor Slovenian wasn’t a problem because there were eng subtitles inserted, so I could get the sense of what’s going on on the screen.

To relax and keep my physical shape in good condition helped me two times attending yoga classes in Tivoli park. Imagine: early evening, when the sun is shining through the leaves but not hitting anymore, greenery starts to spread around amazing smell, birds and crickets are singing and you breathing deeply and calmly and stretching your body laying on the grass. That gives me so much pleasure and power for living!

On this high note, I’m gonna leave you to the next month! Be relaxed and enjoy the summer as much as I do =)

Maryna Polovko.

NexTiVal: Neat Tiny Value!

Do you remember those sunny and warm days when you want to relax in the park? Where you wanna lie on the grass or walk with your dog? And instead, you arrive at the park and find it decked out at the party?!
Sure Nextifal is this: a melting pot of colors and sounds, where you can feel at home!
Because the sportsman who teaches you how to use weights, or the street artist who tells you how to express your creativity with a canister of color, you don’t have the chance to find them every day together, side by side.

And if instead, you liked something more dynamic or, on the contrary, more relaxing you can find an activity that is also suitable for you!
You could take part in a hip hop contest or try to swing 3 or 4 pins in the air while balancing on a wooden board, but maybe you’re a bit lazy like me and then listen to live music and watch people that dance is the best solution!

Nextival it was an opportunity to confront, to meet new people, to laugh together, to learn about a new point of view and to discover new interesting activities…
And then why stay at home when you can become part of a bigger story?

Angela

Post 9

As far as it is the 9th post, after it will be finished, I can start a final countdown (sad emoji here TT). And this fact leads me to the thought that there is not much time left but still a lot of things to do. At first, you think that you have so much time that will be able to make all your plans happen, but the time runs so fast that at one minute you look backwards and you see – there almost a year passed – and it gets clear that you actually didn’t manage to complete even a half of your to-do list. So now I have this strange feeling of a strong need to arrange a time as productively as possible during these 3 months, just to feel completeness and satisfaction afterward.

Anyhow, I need to tell you how I spent this month.

It started with filming some material for promo of one big project Socialna akademija was part of. It was held in a big hall. The event itself was full of youth spirit so it had an extremely good impression on us. It consisted of 2 main parts: active groups’ rewarding and entertaining part. Skipping the first, I’m going to tell more about the second and most fun and impressive one. There was a performance of one famous acrobatic group called “Dunking Devils”. They were doing complicated tricks combined with basketball play. The performance was so catchy that I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

 

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Besides this event, I was also doing small tasks and was practicing with Adobe Illustrator.

And the cherry on the cake – voyage to Paris.

 

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It wasn’t just a sightseeing trip, I also went there for my favorite Korean band’ concert – BTS. It has been passed 2 days since I attended it, but I still can’t believe it. I need some time to realize that it actually had happened and one of my biggest dreams in life came true. My emotions were so strong that I even cried after it has ended – and it unusual for me, believe me!)

Furthermore, I met a lot of nice people who are also BTS fans. And this is amazing to see how music can connect people of different nationalities and ages, and make them behave like best friends from the very first encounter. I can say that I never felt more included in society. From now on I will set another goal for myself to go to their concert one more time, whatever it takes! Just to feel all those emotions once again! Because what we will keep with us for the whole life and what doesn’t have expiry date is our memories and strong emotions we got through.

Maryna Polovko

Post 8

I’m going to start this post by telling a bit sad news that took place this month – unfortunately my co-worker and my first and best-ever foreign companion, with whom we’ve got through so many, from very first day in Slovenia – Eliza – left the project and went back to her life in order to continue study. We both hate goodbyes so her farewell dinner we’ve ended as if it wasn’t our last met – and I dare to hope it wasn’t.

But anyhow I’m still here and volunteer life for me continues.

Well, this month were two events that got right into my experience box and they both contain filming. The first event was dedicated to the business theme and called “Solidarnost v poslovnem svetu”. We were filming this event for more than 2 hours, so it was exhausting, to be honest. Furthermore, all speakers were talking in Slovenian except for one Portuguese businessman so I’ve managed to get some tips of running my own business =D.

The second event was devoted to the very famous, as I understood, Slovenian actor of passing years. This 90-year-old but young-soul, charismatic man was talking about his years on the stage, was joking all the time, making lough the whole audience. Even I, not knowing a word, was enjoying his talking – it proves that real talent is never getting old. Despite all inconveniences with filming (too dark hall, problems with setting a camera and no place to sit and space to move) I was glad to be present at the event.

 

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And as we’re coming closer to the end, I don’t want to break established tradition of reporting travel stores. This time it was a voyage to Italy.

Our way was laying through Verona to Trento – small town surrounded by mountains and high hills – where we spent 2 days. We were living in a newly build house up in the hill with a wide terrace with the view on mountains – it was splendid.

During staying in Trento after we’ve finished sightseeing there, we made a small voyage to famous Italian lake Garda (Lago di Garda). I literally don’t have words to describe it’s beauty and if you don’t believe my words then believe George Cluny’s taste because he bought a villa in this place. Anyway, we were hiking there – walking along the lake on a nice hiking trail, on the left side are the lake, mountains half-covered with a soft blanket of fog and on the right side high steep cliff raising up to the sky – not bad, huh? I guess George Cluny would agree with my point.

 

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Before going back to Ljubljana, we spent a day walking around the most romantic Italian city, where «story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo» was taking place – Verona. My comment on it: it is an absolutely incredible city, I literally felt an unexplained warm feeling in my chest, there is something in the air that makes you fell in love with the city – some flavor of romance spreading around. It definitely worth to visit again, I hope I will do it with my soulmate next time.

 

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On this high note I’m leaving you till the next time)

Maryna Polovko

Remember to learn…without forgetting yourself!

I have been in Slovenia for almost two months and I can tell you something about it…

It would be too easy to talk about the beauty of its landscapes, the splendor of its lakes and the wealth of history that its cities enclose.


Even as I write, it is enough to look out the window to see very high mountains with the top still covered in snow…
Actually, Slovenia, as well as any country that welcomes you, is not just geography, but it’s the people who compose it, who surround you, who don’t make you feel lonely even if you are miles away from home…and this is my Slovenia, the place I want to talk to you.

I am used to living in a big city, because I like its noise, the chaos of the night, the chatter of people … here I live at the entrance of a town called Brezovica, where everyone knows each other, they are friendly and the children smile at you. The person of whom you couldn’t do without here is Majda, my landlady: any problem there is she runs to resolve it, if there is any tradition to know she is the right person … especially if you like to eat sweet stuff, Majda is the best company there is.

When you arrive in Ljubljana you can visit Socialna akademija, participating in one of the many workshops that it organizes .. and it’s here that the day gets interesting.
Any question? Any problem? Don’t worry… there are Sabina and Vesna. You can’t imagine how many things you have to look for when you arrive in a new country and how difficult it’s not knowing the language…and in this, I’m an absolute disaster, as indeed just a bit with technology and that’s why there are Andraž and Rok that bear me and run to my rescue every time I make a mess (Rok speaks Italian, so I also use him as my personal translator :P)
Usually in Italy when you have to make a request to talk to the boss. The problem here is that I haven’t yet figured out who he is or how many there are. One thing is certain ˝I’m the real boss˝…but now I should talk to myself?! (I already imagine Matej and Yanko laughing out loud but I’m serious).
Do you think you will arrive in a new place and know the language perfectly? Forget it…that’s why there is Eva that corrects my Slovenian and Marina helps me to practice my English and not only.


Actually, the beauty of these rooms is that you can meet people from anywhere in the world and even if they speak different languages, learn something from them anyway!

This is also the beauty of Slovenia, of Ljubljana: just walk down the street to hear Slovenians, English, Spanish, Italian … and feel a little at home! Because you can remove an Italian from Italy, but not Italy from an Italian!

Angela

Post 7

Today is the time for my post but before starting to write it I’ve decided to go for a run early in the morning that haven’t done for a long-long time. In five minutes’ walk from my place, there is a hill with lots of trails and beautiful flora, so I went for a run there. The reason for this was not to get in better shape, as you might think, but to “run” over all that happened this month….to reflect a bit. I was really needed to clear my mind because with the time passing by, I feel that it is harder and harder to share my thoughts and that I want to keep them only for myself. So, I had no doubt that “exercise” would help me to come up with some conclusions and it did.

Well, today I’m not gonna mention small things, but will point out a few remarkable ones only.

I was part of a team that organized 2 days event for high school students. Why I put it on my list? – Because it was the first time I’ve been playing the main role in filming and completely in charge of catering the event at the same time. What I got out of it? – Enormous experience of multitasking and the skill of overcoming the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. Later I also made a promo video out of the material I’d filmed.

Then comes absolutely unplanned visit to Planina Cave (formerly known as Malograjska jama or “Little Castle Cave”). I guess I’ve told before that observation of such places, always leaves a mark on my soul, so there is no need to explain why it’s a noteworthy occasion for me. But what I would like to point out here is that now comparing two caves I’ve been to, I can be aware of that everything that is made by nature is unique and has its special charm. For me, a cave is not only stones which are the same everywhere but a masterpiece created without human hand that’s why it is so priceless.

The next occasion had been 3 days long and took place in Ankaran – a small coastal town in Slovenia, near the border with Italy. It was our mid-term evaluation. Of course, it was full of communication, reflection, and exercises on self-awareness. But the things I will remember from those three days are morning swimming in the Adriatic Sea with only 12.5 degrees temperature water, which I really proud of; and  evening trip to Isola (another town nearby) for dinner to the restaurant that one dynasty of winemakers is keeping for a long time. I will never forget crazy ride uphill on a winding road with steep turns, vineyard owner’s explanation on how the moon phase influence the taste of wine (young and growing moon takes away power of the Earth and leaves the wine with light elegant taste and just the other way around, the full moon fills the Earth with energy and gives to the wine strong, vivid and rich taste) and, of course, I will keep the memories about amazing taste of white sweet wine, called Muscat.

And the last thing in the list is treasure hunt I’ve been yesterday to. It was really fun to go around the city center of Ljubljana, to complete some creasy tasks and just enjoy the company and evening walk. The meet point was in one of the best cafes in Ljubljana with one of the most spectacular observational decks – perfect end of the day, isn’t it?)

That is all for now)
Thank you for reading this till the end)

Maryna Polovko

Post 6

I have a strong belief that everything that I start need to be finished no matter how I feel about it, that is why I would like to start this post by announcing that I have finished mockumentary video and I am considering it as one more small win over myself.

Anyways, the month was rich in important occurrences I want to share with you. So, let’s not delay and start)

First occurrence is the photography workshop. It was really informative, and gave me helpful tips not only about basic camera settings but also about lights: where to put spotlights, how to play with range of light, how a picture is changing depend on hue and amount of light in the room, and creative tricks that can make a picture perfect.

Second occurrence is the start of special multimedia course that includes learning of different approaches in creating an animation. Now we are working only in one animation program – “Toon Boom Harmony” – and I must to admit it very scrupulous and long process to create qualitive animation, even nowadays, with all this bunch of computer software. But I will try my best to make something at least slightly looking as animation, I promise.

Next important occurrence is arriving of our third volunteer. Her name is Angela she is from Italy and very enthusiastic about the work, so, I guess, it will be pleasure to cooperate with her. We made a short tour around Ljubljana, showing to her famous places and telling about interesting facts. That was very refreshing for us to go out from the office and I hope helpful for Angela to get to know a bit a new place of living.

And now, according to the established tradition, a bit of travel information)

We have opened up a season of active rest with the hike to Gradišče, 530 meters high hill nearby our place. The whole way up of course was memorable but the most interesting was waiting for us on the top: there was a box and inside of it were checkmark book, stamp and ink for it. I think it is such a good idea to leave them on the top because making these things so official, allow people to consider their small hike as one of important destinations – metaphoric reaching the goal – that what I felt after writing my name and putting the stamp.

Not much time have passed and we went for another hike to Šmarna Gora, we have been there before but didn’t mind to do it again. It was arranged for all Erasmus+ participants and we decided to take part in it too. The result was slight tiredness mixed with satisfaction of nicely spent time. Isn’t it perfect? – For me it is!)

And now we slowly come closer to the most spectacular trip of the month – dream voyage to Barcelona and then to Venice!)

I have been dreaming to visit Barcelona since I was 20, and to be honest never actually thought that it could come true. This city turned out even better than I expected, it has such a unique charm that I hardly can choose words to explain. And it’s not only about amazing architecture with all these artsy Gaudi’s buildings, nor perfectly turquoise Mediterranean Sea and palm threes everywhere, nor Catalan’s colorit and unbelievably tasty food – it’s something much bigger – feeling of the dream coming true!

My way back from Barcelona lay through Venice and I had a few hours for sightseeing. But after this short walk I understood that what a unforgivable disrespect it is, to walk around the “The Floating City” only four hours and that I definitely need more time for exploring its tiny romantic streets and endless canals so I made a promise to myself to go there one more time in nearest future.

Maryna Polovko