On-arrival training in Orahovica.
Everything started in that cold rainy day. Volunteer was in Murter from one month and it never rained, just that Saturday. Put the last thing in the bag and drink a cup of coffee. It’s time to start the travel.
The trip started catching the bus from Murter to Zadar. From Zadar we continued traveling to Zagreb. The travel was long, but we were happy to visit Zagreb for the first time. The bus passed through flat majestic valleys and the sea side. Entering in Lika region we start seeing snow along the roads. The highway looks like a gigantic snake with its gradual curve. From the highway you can see all the small villages with few houses, the churchs and fields all around.
And than, after 5 hours, we arrived to the capital of Croatia, and than to the colorful hostel in the centre.
During the weekend we visit Zagreb and on Monday morning we took the train to Orahovica.
The travel went really good, the train decided to stop in the middle of nothing for 2 hours, but fortunately we met other volunteers going to Orahovica with us.
Coming out of the train we discover that we had 6 more volunteers travelling with us!
We arrived late to the red cross centre, ate something quickly, and started with activities.
The first activity was getting to know each other. We had to presented ourselves using cards with different images. First we needed to choose images and then explain our choice. The images should represent our EVS project so far. It was difficult to open up because we never met each other before.
The second day was the most important one. The trainers explain to us, what is EVS and what is volunteering. In the same morning the trainer taught us what are our rights and responsibilities. To explain that they used interactive lesson using post its and then we had a discussion about our chooses.
In the afternoon the trainers presented to us the basics of project planning. They explained how to start a new project and how to check if the project is effective. After that, to check if we understood, the trainers ask us to study the needs of the local community. Me and other two volunteers went to the city centre to make interviews to with the local people. It was interesting because people were reacting in different ways, some positive, some negative while sharing their opinion about Orahovica. It was like a social experiment, all people had different body language. It was useful to understand the needs of the local people, from the youngest to the oldest; but even to study how to make strangers comfortable while you have an interview with him.
After an hour we get to our “operative base” and wrote data about our research on the blackboard.
Meanwhile the other groups made research online about jobs and lifestyle in Orahovica.
The next day every group had to report to the others what they discover the day before.
Once we shared all the data, the trainers give us new task; to propose an idea based on the information written on the blackboard and to improve one of the negative aspects. We put our post its on the blackboard. The trainers decided to divide all the ideas in 3 big topics and we had to decide on which topic we want to work. Me and one other volunteer choose topic about sport.
We walked for some hours shooting videos, edit that quickly and shared it online on the Orahovica Facebook pages and on our YouTube channel. We hoped to set a goal which we can achieve in given time.
The next morning we had to show if we achieved our goal or not. The one day project was difficult, and we didn’t achieved completely the goal. For that reason the next task was discuss on which were the positive and negative things of our project; what we can make better next time. It was interesting learning from our mistakes.
After finishing, we ate delicious lunch prepared by the chef. Than we started the topic about culture and conflict resolving. The first thing they taught us was what is communication and how the human being communicate. Then they introduce to us the topic of how to resolve a conflict.
The lessons didn′t finish that day, in fact on that Tuesday night we had the “Croatian dinner”. An activity where we are all kind of topical Croatian food and the volunteers of red cross explain us which is the history of the Croatians specialities.
The last day arrived quickly. In the morning we had a lesson about Croatian culture and one about how to write the Youthpass. We set our goals for the next period. The trainers gave us a book that should help us keep track of our learning process during Croatian EVS period.
That was the last activity, than all volunteers took a bus to the train station to come home.
The on-arrival training was a great experience because we learned a lot and we met lots of new people from all the Europe.