We had still not received the rest of our money as we went into the middle of February, resulting in a quiet weekend, even turning down an offer to go out for dinner.
During the next week we tried to force a resolution to the problem; Monika, Alessio and I spoke to Elena, in a reversal of the situation following Osijek, with her apologising and asking us to be patient as one of the LDA’s partners had just paid them and they were waiting for it to clear. We had been patient for a few weeks already and it was starting to bite, especially for Monika who was too stubborn to accept any food we offered.
All EVS volunteers are meant to have a mentor, who is there for them personally, in our case it is Elena. Unfortunately, this part of her role was completely absent, which had left us feeling abandoned.
After the first meeting of my book club on Wednesday, we were finally given our money on Thursday.
Wallets now stuffed with kunas we went out to spend them immediately (the next day, once they had been converted to euros) in Slovenia and Italy. I also had to go to Italy to collect my sister Rebecca from the airport as she was visiting for the weekend.
After work on Friday we piled into the car, Monika and Irena were left in Koper and I went with Alessio to the airport. On the way back we stopped at the discount store at the Italian-Slovenian border, where we spent an uncountable amount of time looking at pasta, which meant that the wine we bought was well earned.
On arriving back in Koper we found the girls overburdened with cleaning supplies and more food. Not expecting them to have so much, I worried for our little car, and the effort it would go through climbing the hill between us and home.
We made it though, and as no-one had eaten anything since the morning, and it was now past 6pm, we immediately tucked into our newly bought supplies. We decided to eat together, and quickly prepared a first dish of tortellini with tomato sauce, after which Monika and Irena left Alessio, Rebecca and I to enjoy a second dish of pork chops. Unfairly, they also left us with all of the wine.
Despite this substantial meal the three of us needed something to snack on as we sat around drinking wine and chatting and ended up eating our way through some delicious, Italian real cheese and cured meats.
We went to bed well stuffed, and ready for a much busier weekend than the last.