The second day of training was pretty awful, not in terms of the sessions, but because of the previous night’s rakija. Luckily the training room was just metres from the bedrooms, so it was like being back in first year of university (though with even closer proximity than halls) and waking up at 9:20 still allowed you to make it to the first session on time.
The sessions generally started with an activity to introduce the ideas, which were then presented and talked about, focusing on the theoretically, with discussion and input from the volunteers, and ideas on how it could affect us practically. This day’s sessions were on role of the volunteer; looking at the relationships between the volunteer, local community and host organisation, how each of these interacts, and what they can give and gain from each other, with a particular focus on the volunteers. The afternoon sessions introduced culture, examples of it and some theory on it; i.e. most culture is unseen and affects behaviour more than the obvious, visible culture that we think of (such as art, literature, film and lifestyles).
In the evening, not wanting another night at the Blues bar, and because the pool would finally be open, we decided to buy some provisions and have a little party at the centre. This started in the pool, after the mature evening swimmers had left, this was great fun; chatting, swimming, drinking and feeling like Silvio Berlusconi in the jacuzzi. Once we were asked to leave (because the pool was closing and needed to be cleaned, not for any other reason) we took the party up to the training room. Some people didn’t make it to this from their bedrooms after showering, depending on how much rakija they had had. We carried on as we had done in the pool, with dancing replacing the swimming, and a few games introduced.
The next day we only had morning sessions, with some more work on culture and how it could influence our EVS projects, and the introduction of conflicts, which brought some memorable acting performances in one role-play, that also included the idea of ‘gypsies spreading babies’.
With the afternoon free; Alex, Piotr, Edin and I went for a walk into Orahovica, this could have been quite short, as there is not a lot to do in Orahovica, but Edin had spent some time there before and knew of a lake nearby.
This lake was not expected. It had been developed for tourism and for swimming competition purposes, so had been constructed on for permanence. It was quite eerie as it was deserted, with concrete structures standing alone around and above what was previously a natural body of water. The grey, foggy day added to this feeling. Edin then directed us on a walk up the hill to some castle ruins, which were even more atmospheric.
On the way back we got lost finding a pizza place (the location of which the locals seemed to be confused about), but after finding it and sharing one we went back to the centre for a traditional Croatian meal and cultural evening.