Following the cultural evening we had just one and a half days left of our training. The effects of a couple of long days and long nights were being felt, and with some thoughts of leaving, and saying goodbye, there was a subdued mood.
The last day’s training centred on conflicts and their resolution, which was interesting, especially during an open theatre session where we worked on a real problem that Jana, Léa and Ane had encountered, and looked at how it could develop and how to try to resolve it, or come to a reasonable compromise.
The last evening was quiet. After some time in the pool and various games a relatively early night was had.
The final morning we worked on ideas for personal projects, and what we can do to really get the most out of our EVS experience, followed by training evaluation. For me it had been a good 5 days, and although some topics and issues I was already aware of, I did learn a lot and it was beneficial. The sessions were mostly interesting, the trainers did their best to teach, bad jokes and culture clashes included. For me the biggest benefit was meeting such a great group of other volunteers, many of whom will feature as travelling companions, hosts or visitors over this year, and I hope beyond EVS as well.
After the final lunch we said our goodbyes and went on our way. We were getting the bus back in the evening from Osijek, so we went there with Klaudia, Alex, David and Miguel, who are living there this year. They were kind enough to let us crash at their house for a while (though their apparent efforts to clean it before they left were not evident because the kitchen was being dismantled, or rebuilt, when we arrived).
After relaxing for the afternoon we went out, dodging through the miserable rain, but not quite avoiding the considerate Croatian drivers’ efforts to splash us, for a pizza (with accompanying conversations about starting on a diet of salad from the next day, as usual). When the time came to leave it was hard to say goodbye – I mean, I would have loved to have stayed in Orahovica with all the volunteers, but this was a group I really connected with, especially Klaudia, who had adopted me as her big brother. Whilst I was looking forward to being back in Buje, and really starting with some personal projects and work there, I left part of me in Osijek and Orahovica, just for safekeeping.
We boarded our bus, which was far less comfy than the one we had arrived in (which could probably be seen as symbolic, I’ll let you figure out how), and we had a restless night travelling back to Umag, where we were picked up in the early dawn light by the boss, and taken home to sleep.