After my parents visit it was a usual quiet work week, more so because Monika was at her on-arrival training.
One friend from my on-arrival training, Ane, had come up with a project idea that I decided to steal. The idea was to show a short film as a way to introduce a topic and then discuss the film and topic. I spoke about it with Nina, who thought it was a good idea, and she told me to write a short proposal for it, which I did.
This sort of project is relevant to our overall EVS project, and what I think we could be doing more of, because the main theme of our EVS is ‘EU awareness’. This encompasses promoting the EVS programme and other opportunities provided by the EU for mobility, especially for young people, but it is also to engage the local population and improve active citizenship. So introducing and informing people about issues affecting them, their local community and the EU, getting them to talk about the issues and giving them some information on how they can get their voice heard will work towards this.
Despite this, I felt that things were just not really happening here.
I described before how long it took to organise English lessons. Another proposal, to help at after-school sessions in the Italian elementary school in Buje, had gone quiet – for this we had met with the principal (in September/ early October) where we discussed what we could do; helping with English, but also separate projects to engage the students in non-curricular topics, such as the environment. After this we were told a timetable was being drawn up, but then things went quiet, and it was only when I asked about it a few weeks later that I learnt the principal had been replaced, so it was on hold (i.e. shelved).
Ideas were initially met with enthusiasm: things would be done, and questions asked to see what could be set up.
And it would be forgotten.
For instance, when I suggested a book club Elena said she would talk to her friend in the library in Umag to see if it could be set up there. After a couple of weeks of reminding her I decided to take some initiative. So the next week (after we had Sunday lunch at Maja’s – the topic of my next post) I went to the library spoke to them myself. It turned out they would be happy to promote and host it.
I had also asked Maja to talk to her principal about whether there was anything else we could do in her school, which she did do, quickly and efficiently (she is not an Istrian native). After visiting the library, we had a chat about these possibilities, and then practiced some English for her CAE exam, and she agreed to help me with Croatian in exchange.
This took my English students back up to two, as in Buje I had gained an extra one, but only for one lesson, and it appeared that one of my original two had dropped out.