Post 5

I guess everyone knows how it could be hard to tune yourself to the working mood after long holidays. So, this year wasn’t an exception. After my amazing vacation in Germany with friends, lots of spare time and joy of the New Year celebration, to be honest, I wasn’t happy to dive into working routine. But the world of grown-ups does not take kindly to being disobeyed. So, just like every other year usually begins, the 2019 started from getting back to work, so do not expect any traveling stories in this post.

With returning back to workplace I’ve received a new tasks and duties. Now I am responsible for helping in preparation the space for events, workshops or any kinds of activities that our organization hosts. During this month we had two big events, where I was in charge of making coffee, hot water for tea, preparing the table with snacks, checking if participants have everything they need and, of course, taking photos of event for Socialna akademia’s Facebook page.

I was also present at the conference called “EPAS”. Since I worked with an additional camera for close-ups, I constantly had to move it and every time look for right angle and adjust the focus following the speakers. I must to admit, every other shooting set helps me to hone my skills and I’m starting slightly feel sparkles of professionalism in this field and I have to say that it’s really pleasant to see the progress.

In the field of editing this month also brought to me another interesting and rather challenging task. I received a big amount of video material. And what I need to do is to create a mockumentary, so to speak fake documentary video. Now I’m working on selection of material, I’m cutting out good takes, thinking over how it will look like etc. In the end, and this is the most difficult part in my opinion, I will have to put all this pieces into a single complete whole – into the video, which will contain the meaning inside and will be able implement the message.

Among other tasks I had been dealing with, were working in Adobe inDesign and Illustrator and installing Antivirus programme but as more important we have made good progress in writing our Youth Exchange project. On the meetings we have discussed aims, needs and goals of our project; have wrote down all ideas that came to our minds, and have created an estimated activity schedule. And the more we think about all of it – the more enthusiastic we become.

Okay…Enough about work, let me tell you a bit about my spare time! Of course, as I mentioned before this post won’t be full of traveling experience but still… this month I couldn’t left myself without any memories and dedicate whole time only to winter laziness.

We went to nice Slovenian town, Kamnik, with original intention to attend a party where many EVSes were going to convene up, but after we have arrived and we couldn’t help but walk around, admiring the tiny streets and magnificent view on mountains and small red ruffs. After sightseeing we went to the party place. We met there many of our EVS’ friends and also new volunteers, we played (as crazy) table football, hanged out and spent really good time.

And the last thing that’s worth to be mentioned is visit to the gallery of modern art. This visit took place on one of the national holidays of Slovenia. This day is called Prešeren Day (Culture Day) and celebrated on February 8th, on the anniversary of the death of the greatest Slovenian poet dr. France Prešeren.  The interesting thing is that all museums and galleries are free to visit, so we couldn’t lose such a great opportunity too.

I can’t call myself a big admirer of modern art but some pieces of art (and they deserve to be called like this) had a big impression on me and have left a mark on my soul. Although, unfortunately, the camera cannot convey the beauty of these paintings but I still dare to put them.

Maryna Polovko

Post 4

The last two weeks of the year, I would say, were chaotic because this time was full of things I never did before. The most stressful task for me was to prepare the VIP party for partners and people who were somehow involved in activities our organization have been provided. We were making all the decorations, setting up the list of the dishes, and finally cooking all of it. During the preparation process some argues and misunderstandings appeared but we’ve learned how to get through it and cooperate productively. I guess in some way it even helped us, pushing to do our best. And I have to admit I am proud of what we have managed to create as a team. Guests were satisfied, and we were happy to hear that.

Then comes a bit less but still in a way stressful event – the postcard workshop. The idea of it belongs to my co-worker, Elisa. Being a big fan of Christmas and fond of calligraphy, she came up with idea to combine these two things together and organize a workshop on this theme. I was inspired by her enthusiasm about it and expressed my intention to be involved. So, we have decided to divide it in two parts: calligraphy and decoration. Elisa was in charge of the first one and I – of the second one. We prepared some examples in ahead. To be honest the workshop was not exactly how we planned it, but we had a great time after all and that is what really matters. So, having been filled with the festive mood after workshop and made a reflection on the passed times with one of our mentors, Tina, we went on the vacation.

Do you remember in the previous post I have promised to start to explore nearby countries? Well, I’m happy to inform you that I kept my promise. And my “victim” is … drum roll … wonderful Germany!

The trip to Germany was like a breath of fresh air for me. It was almost like return home because I met my university friends, even those I did not expect to meet. We were talking, laughing and remembering the years that we spent in the walls of our beloved(no)hated alma mater, sharing the personal stories and of course some gossips about mutual friends and I realized at once how I miss all of it: be in a company of old friends and speak native language.

But my journey was not only about sitting and talking, it also contained sightseeing. Here is a short list with descriptions of places I have visited.

The first stop – Hamburg:

  • tour on the river bus along the Elbe, which includes seeing of a broad view on the city;
  • The Elbphilharmonie – is concert hall, hotel and observation deck whole in one;
  • main square and the Rathaus – building with impressive architecture which is the seat of the government of Hamburg;

  • St. Nicholas’s church – once the tallest building in the world, this half-destroyed church is now a monument to the destruction of WWII;
  • Dancing Towers, which are located in the end of so-called red-light district  –Reeperbahn – represents innovative architectural decision of our century;
  • Church of St. John of Kronstadt – orthodox church with unusual for this religion architecture;
  • Miniatur Wunderland – this place deserves a separate post however I will try to describe it as shortly as possible – well, I was completely amazed by this place! All the details are so perfectly made that you hardly believe they are copies. All these tiny cities live their own lives. It is like a small world inside the room. I was feeling myself as a giant in Lilliput, for real!

The second stop – Berlin:

  • The Rotes Rathaus – the town hall of Berlin, named so for its red brick facade;
  • St. Nicholas’s church – the oldest (in Germany) and along with it very beautiful church;
  • Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) – has elaborate decorative and ornamental designs and stands on the very bank of Spree river, this church definitely worth seeing;
  • Branderburg Gate – Berlin’s most famous landmark and a national German symbol of peace and unity;
  • Berlin wall – the other famous landmark – it is actually very long and I visited only the part which is called East Side Gallery, because of lots of artistic murals on it, but the most iconic one is “The Socialist Fraternal Kiss”, where Brezhnev and Honecker’s kissing, and there are also the words: “My God, help me to survive this deadly love”;
  • Madame Tussaud Museum – is jewel in the crown of my journey, I literally have no words to describe my feelings about it! All the sculptures look so alive that sometimes it’s even creepy. I definitely need to visit it one more time.

Well, a new year is a high time to wipe the slate clean and to start a new beginning. What is my plan? – I don’t know yet but I have a big expectation for it. First of all, I want to set up the goals to clarify my way and then I will just try to follow it.

Maryna Polovko

Post 3

Hi, guys! So, this is the high time for the third post. Let’s get it started!

Day by day I’m getting used to all that surround me. Our apartment, the way to work that I pass every day, our office and people in there – all that – is daily basis for me now. But I do not consider this as something bad, it’s just the next step in adaptation. The excitement of the “first time” is slowly going away, to clear the way for simply enjoyable observation of familiar places. With the time we have more and more responsibilities and tasks. I feel like I already made a hundred of flyers in Adobe Illustrator – of course less but I feel like that amount. We’ve met our new multimedia mentor – Martin. Now, our learning includes theoretic and practical parts and covers both: filming and photography. Aside from that, we were helping with workshop for deaf people (“How to deal with money”), by doing the research about mobile apps for personal finance keeping, testing them and processing the information and putting all collected data into a summary table; and also, research about freelance websites. But I can’t say that my work is complete routine and there isn’t new experience in my life anymore. For example, we’ve attended the conference, called “Šola ambasadorka” where were helping to film and shoot every part of its program. It was “practice in live” for us – real work and I really enjoy it because I get my experience by doing such tasks.

Furthermore, weekends are still the time of discoveries for me. Step by step I get to now Slovenia: its amazing nature, which mixed altogether mountains with deep caves and high tops, green Alpine meadows (the Milka’s commercial was inspired by it, for sure), fresh clean air and beautiful view at the Adriatic Sea. Sounds like paradise? It actually IS.

Well… My list of monthly trips is not that big but I still proud of it!)

My “hit parade of out-of-city voyages” opens the Saturday evening in the mountain hut near Škofja Loka in a company of a bit crazy but really funny Latvians. Then, the next day visit to the old town with tiny little streets with a touch of antiquity. And, as the conclusion, visit to Lake Bled, hiking to the observation spot on the top of the hill – and the view that takes a breath away…

Then in the list goes visit to the Lake Bohinj, that located in the Triglav National Park (warning! if you ever decide to visit this place beware of a flock of ducks, they spy on you and follow you wherever you go!). A bit further there is an incredible Savica waterfall (78 m high). And what l want to say is that it’s  impossible not to admire the power of nature while looking at the waterfall.

Ends our list – the hike to Šmarna gora (or English equivalent – Mount Sent Mary). Hiking it, I recognized, that no matter how tough the way up might be, the view from the peak is worth it!

This is all for now. Hope, soon I will go to the next level and may be will start to explore nearby countries.
Bye for now. See you next year!

Maryna Polovko

Second month

I have to say that this month has been relatively longer. When you start to accept the fact that you are not only visiting for a longer period of time, but you actually moved away from home, it get’s a bit harder to stay focused.

November 1

Starting November by going on a small trip to Croatia. Few days away. Although it’s already November I’m still able to go out to terrace bare foot and enjoy my morning coffee like it would be a summer morning. Still filled motivation and even when I’m away I keep thinking about what would I like to create inside organization.

November 3

It’s Saturday. On our way home we went to Piran. If you have been there then you probably know the St. George’s Parish Church which is located on the hill by the coastal area. The view from there is breathtaking, especially if the sky is clear. Across the bay of Adriatic sea the Dolomites are visible, so as the conversation with a friend is going I can’t keep my attention away from them.

You need to appreciate those moments. You need to cherish the place and stop for a moment even if you’re on a hurry. Just take the view and the moment. It’s the present and you need to enjoy it. It’s happening only because of you. You put yourself there through many other decisions. Little appreciation is needed to fully take the moment. 

November 6

Two days of filming already. Angles and sound, speed of movement and eye contact through camera screen. Confusing is the word I am looking for to describe this.

It’s getting more and more intense in the organization. Still it’s good to keep yourself busy with productive things. Actually not only productive but this is learning as well. I mean it keeps me motivated. It’s a psychological way of how brain is functioning.

We need closure in order to feel satisfied. So if you open particular subject for yourself you need to understand it, otherwise you’ll start to feel anxious by the time.  

November 9

Participation in filming for the EU event was a bit of a disappointment. Not in the context about the filming but more about the conference itself.  The first time of working the full equipment was intriguing.

November 11

The place with an elevation of 1000m! We spent our Saturday evening in mountain hut near Škofja Loka. Small cozy place. I was cooking dinner and also learning how to make proper mulled wine.  Enjoying the peace.

Morning view! It was something so pure! Fresh air and black coffee on the edge of a balcony. Swinging my legs over the handrail, which was wide enough to sit on properly.

Afterwards visiting lake Bled and then slowly heading home. But darkness at 5 p. m. is a pity, I have to say.

November 19

They warned me about the low point after excitement is gone. I reached it. So now I just want to spent quality time in not so crowded places. I went for a hike the other day after work. Suddenly it started to snow! First snow! Couldn’t even express my excitement. It kind of kept everything in balance that day.

So when it hits the bottom just keep yourself together and treat yourself the way you would treat someone in your position. It’s sometimes harder to see the solution for your own problems. The way out is to look from aside and keep your mind cool. 

November 24

I have started to take photography a bit more seriously. First time shooting long exposures. After our last session with photography mentor I have carried this interest inside me. So finally giving it a life.

I still need to practice.

November 26

Again escaping the city. This time I’m more of an calm observer. I’m slowly getting my inner tourist out of my system.

Lake Bohinj was breathtaking! Triglav National Park in all it’s majesty. It was foggy that day, but honestly it just made these views better. Trees covered in a blanket of fog kept me warm all the way. With just a little bit of help from hot coffee hidden in my thermos.


Post 2

Hi, again! I’m back with the question to you, guys: How did you spend your month? And while you’re thinking about the answer, I gonna share with you how it was for ESC (European Solidarity Corps) volunteer – for me.

The second week started with “meeting face to face” the professional filming camera and all additional equipment to it. Along with it, we met our mentor, very positive guy who makes cartoons, and he made for us a small introduction. What is my impression, you will ask? Well…It’s hard to imagine that you’re holding in your hands something that is an essential part for creating films, people are watching all over the world. So, l was very excited about all this and cannot wait learning more.

The other memorable activity along this time, was the festival of backpack journalism, called “BIVAK”, in organization of which we took part. We were talking  and making decorations… And, you know, I realized that l really enjoy that feeling, when you need to use your imagination in order to create something interesting and memorable for people.

The “BIVAK” has its own spirit of freedom, that can belong only to backpack traveling and it’s a very good idea to share this special experience with people and “invite” them to try it at least once in their lives.

Moreover, we had a walk outside the city with our coordinator. We were in the area where Ljubljanica river begins. Than we had a lunch in cozy cafe on the top of the hill with view on mountains on one side and foggy forest on another. We were also visiting Dimnice jama – amazing, 100m deep cave, with the river, streaming along its bottom. Our guide told us a lot of historical facts, touching this place. He was telling the stories with such passion in his voice that you can’t help but admire this place. In the end of the excursion he gave each of us a little farewell present – a cave pearl.

But the jewel in the crown of my adventures was on-arrival training for volunteers from all over the country. I can’t express in words how happy I was to be there. This atmosphere of the summer camp, took me back in time to my childhood. But it was double cool because all of us are from different countries. So it was awesome time of experience exchanging, blended with having fun.  The accommodation was also in high level, ooh….and the view… the hotel located in the town, called Ankaran, on the Adriatic coast, near the border with Italy. So the nature of this place is a mix of olive trees plantation, vineyards, green hills and seacoast.  Can you imagine this beauty? …. Actually, you don’t have to, I took some pictures for you.

This is all for now, but I hope my #sloveniamoments will be continued.

Thanks to those, who read it till the end.

Maryna Polovko

First month

Oktober 1

Finally arrived to Slovenia. After traveling for 6h from Riga I’m here. Just an hour later moving into my new home, appartment with quite few flatmates. Students from Serbia and co-volunteer Maryna.

Oktober 9

This is not a job, nor studies. This is non-formal education. Setting up your own working space and adjusting the temp and competences to your personal goals and initiatives. It’s the perfect environment for self development and skills to grow. We are learning not so much about about the place and organization as about ourselves.

Could it be any better? You’re thrown into another country with an opportunity to learn how to learn.

Oktober 14

Second week is almost done. I’m used to this place. I can start to call it home.

Also participating in a small festival by the beginning of the project is giving experience. It opens up your creative side and keep you up to date.

Today I took my lunch which I’ve prepared in the previous evening, took my cameras and made some fruit water. I’m set to go. 7am and we are hitting the road from Ljubljana to Tolmin.

The place is amazng! Mountains on every direction, fresh air and it feels like you’re on the top of the world.

Oktober 21

Yesterday was the first time of going out. Of course we went to Metelkova, is there other places? Impression was 6 out of 10. Not a lot of people. Though I did met some familiar faces and did engage in conversations with strangers, wihch put me out of my comfort zone a bit. So mission completed, I guess.

Next morning I finally pushed myself into doing exercise and it felt so good. It’s the middle of autumn, but I can still go running in outfit as it would be summer. (I hate running, but again – putting yourself out of your comfort zone can help you).

Oktober 27

Just spend the most amazing week by the Adriatic sea during on-arrival training for my volunteering year. Met some interesting people with whom I have already started to cooperate in one personal project. It will be a promo video for all our sceptical relatives and friends who does not believe that volunteering is someting useful.

For now it’s in the process, but with the time it should turn into something remarkable.

Oktober 29

The fifth week has begun. Seems like it’s been only a week here. Starting to realize my goals.

This is the environment for growth. Dare to open up,  to talk and to share your ideas. It’s important that you engage with other in similar situations because by talking and sharing you can find the right path or answer for you.

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage but it can give a lot more in return.

Also hitchhiking to Trieste, Italy in one afternoon just to eat a gelato is something you CAN DO.

If you want then you can achieve

Post 1


Hi to everyone, who is reading this now!

My name is Maryna and l am going to tell you my story. Let’s title it like that: “First time”.

So, ones upon a time… no,no,no…that is too much, probably. Ok, l will start it like this:

Sooner or later it comes that time when you realize that you have to leave your comfort zone in order to find out what you are and who you are, to find out what you’re capable of, and – how trivially it wouldn’t sound – to find your destination. For me these times came when l have decided to apply for Erasmus+ project called “Multimedia Ninjas”.

And it brought to me a lot of “first times”: first flight;  first time abroad; first time as EVS volunteer; first time living without closest people for so long period of time (12 month); first time in foreign society, surrounded by people who don’t understand your mother tongue language at all.

And l can definitely call it a challenge to myself.

And you know what?! I have no regrets!

We all afraid of new beginnings but what really should terrify us – is unused possibilities and unrealized goals and dreams. l cannot define myself as person of big courage, l just realized that l need to do that first step to be happy.


If you don’t believe me, there are photo proofs why I have no regrets!



Maryna Polovko