Last time I mentioned a “few things” happening the week after our trip to Venezia, and only went on to describe working in the kindergarten.
There was also an unheard of mid-week social event, as Maja called asking if we wanted to go for a drink with her and her friend. I roped Monika into coming with me, and we met Maja and her friend, Jody, another English guy, currently living in Berlin, after three years in Prague. He was travelling from Rome, where he had been on business, to Prague – using a transit van converted into a camper, with two Jack Russell Terriers for companions.
It was good to see someone else with English traits, such as asking for milk with his tea, and saying that I shouldn’t have an empty glass in front of me. We spoke a bit about the British ex-pat communities you can find in some cities, how he tried to avoid them, and he had some words of advice for Monika, about playing games in relationships, when she revealed that she had received a message from Loris (the trumpeter).
The following afternoon, after our first time in the kindergarten, I went for one last cup of tea (with milk) with Jody at Maja’s house, before he left and I had an English-Croatian language exchange with Maja. During our informal ‘lesson’ Maja told me that her and Ana were still unsure whether I liked them. My efforts to try and be more open as a person were obviously not going well.
In an effort to show that I did like them I suggested we invite Ana round and order a pizza. Unfortunately, shortly after Ana arrived I had to leave because Alessio wanted me to pick him up from Slovenia, which he had finally reached, after an extended weekend in Italy.
On Thursday it was International Volunteer Day. Which, as a group of international volunteers, we thought we should do something for. I had spoken to Elena about doing something well in advanced, she told us to think about what we could do. We wanted to go into one or two of the schools and talk about volunteering, but no matter how many times we discussed it with Elena nothing happened, which drained my enthusiasm. Finally, a few days before it happened, Elena organised for us to go into the Italian Elementary School in Buje.
We put something together last minute, and, even though we had spoken about doing the whole thing in English and we were showing two videos in English, Monika went straight in with Croatian for 40 minutes, so I contributed little. I had a disagreement with Elena, during our preparation, about advertising the company in Croatia that is responsible for sending people to over 1500 short-term international volunteer projects every year (as Concordia does in the UK) because they are ‘competition’. This seems like a stupid attitude to have, especially when you acknowledge that EVS might not be the right option for many of the students, at that age at least.
Speaking of volunteer projects, Concordia have just gone live with this year’s programme. If you are from the UK and want to go abroad for a few weeks this summer and do some volunteering (I recommend it) then get in touch with them (click here). If you are not from the UK then click here to check whether there is a member of the Global Alliance in your country.