Struggles and Starts

At the beginning of January, when Monika, Alessio and I returned, we were given just two-fifths of our food allowance and pocket money, with the promise of getting the rest by February. This money comes from the EU and is paid to us by our host organisation, though they don’t receive all of it at the start of an EVS project, so have to use other sources of income, which were not incoming at the time.

By the beginning of February we still had not received the remainder, and we didn’t get February’s allowance either. This was starting to cause problems, which was why we jumped at the chance to go to Grožnjan one Monday evening for the celebration of their Saint’s day. Alessio had learnt about this through the librarian of the elementary school, with whom he works.

Irena, Monika and Daniela in Grožnjan

Irena, Monika and Daniela in Grožnjan

It was a pleasant evening, with food (typical for these events consisted of grilled meats, potatoes, bread and cabbage), mulled wine, and a band that Alessio assured us was “more Italian than Italy”. We also got so see this beautiful little town at night.

More Italian...

More Italian…

...the most Italian

…the most Italian

Having spent Sunday night traveling, Alessio would have been glad of some rest on Monday. He was not pleased then when he came home from the school to find an email with work from Elena, deadline: Tuesday. Combining this with Croatian homework meant he was up late into the night. In the office on Tuesday, with no internet connection and no pressing work to do, he decided to take a short nap before our Croatian lesson. Nina came to tell us that we would not be having the lesson, and Alessio slept through the entire 10 minute conversation between me, Nina and Monika.

He did wake up before Elena, who had been told by Nina he was sleeping, came in. A heated conversation was followed by Elena providing Alessio with some work.

For my English lesson in the evening I was more prepared than usual, with a few exercises on different topics. A lucky coincidence meant that I also had a new student in this lesson (taking the number up to two).

On Tuesday evening I went to my English lesson having prepared more exercises and information than usual. By a lucky coincidence I had a new student for this lesson (taking the number up to two). Amazed that I had a full lesson planned I did my best to impress. Unfortunately it was just a one time thing.

Grožnjan at night

Grožnjan at night

Thursday was a day for starting new things.

In the morning Irena and I went for the first time to the kindergarten in Umag, where we were to teach English to one group in the Italian section. This went well; we started with introductions (immediately forgot all of the children’s names), and then taught some vocabulary using flash cards and pictures. Some of the girls are already having private lessons in English and know quite a bit, and are more confident and keen, but it is great to see how quickly all of them pick up new words.

Thursday evening we held the first session of the Film Club in Buje, which I have written about here.


One response to “Struggles and Starts

  1. Dan

    Still sorry it is all a bit of a mess over there but really good to hear you and your colleagues are still making positive steps out of it.

    I wish had heard that band!

    Take care.


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