RETROSPECTIVE

As time passes so fast is difficult to sketch and recover every feeling, good moment and good days with the new friends i made but afterwards u just can have an atmosphere of bright and warm light about all these days and all the trips and experiences.

I just can be thankful to this project, the association, the school and of course everybody i have spent time with and travel with to know and discover this wonderful country of mountains and beach, trees and dessert ( near Olkusz 🤣) and light and clouds!

Thanks to all of them who helped me and all of them who i could learn of, and to the Solidarity Corps for bringing me chance of learn, discover and enjoy so much! ♥️🇵🇱

Arturo volunteer in Democratic School in Gliwice Wolno Mi

Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps 🇪🇺

#ESolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomanAssociation

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Read, travel and discover new places

Hello!

Today I want to talk to you about the city in which I live and how beautiful it is to live in it. March has been my first month living here and every day I like this city more.

Bielsko Biala is a city in southern Poland and is named for the two towns it is composed of located on the bank of the Biala River. You can also do natural and cultural activities. Since it is close to the Beskidy Mountains, it has different museums and history.

This week I am taking advantage of it to learn more, discovering very beautiful and ideal places to read, take a coffee in the sun or meet people.

Speaking of reading, this week I have started reading a very interesting book by the German author Henning Köhler that was recommended to me by a classmate and teacher at the Waldorf School.

The title in Spanish is “Cómo educar a los niños temerosos, tristes o inquietos” in Polish it is known by the name of “O dzieciach lękliwych, smutnych i niespokojnych”.

To solve these problems he discovers that they are directly related to deficiencies in the development of the volitional senses (touch, vital, movement and balance) in early childhood and gives us different indications of how to cultivate them.

In my case, this book is making new knowledge about pedagogy that will be useful for me and for my work at school.

I don’t know if you prefer real or digital books, I always choose real books because I like their smell and texture. But be it real or digital, I recommend that you read this or another book since by reading you exercise your mind, you move it, you revolutionize it and you develop it. Producing restlessness when knowing new things and accessing different worlds through your imagination. Something similar is experienced traveling, discovering new cultures and meeting new people.

So go ahead, read, travel and discover new places! Maybe you can start with Bielsko Biala.

Bielsko Biala, Poland

María José from Spain, volunteer in Waldorf School in Bielsko Biala

#EUSolodarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation (The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)

It is worth seeing vol. 4

In the Pomeranian Voivodeship, by the sea, there is the Tri-City – that is, three interconnected cities -Gdańsk, Gdynia i Sopot. They have a common transport system for their inhabitants and manage their ports together. The main centre is Gdańsk and it is a city with an amazing history behind it. It is an important city for Poland and one of the most frequently selected places on the list of cities to see.

I would like to show you what you can see in this city in this wonderful spring weather.

  1. Neptune’s Fountain – stands in the city centre, on Długi Targ Street. It is the most representative part of the city with beautiful town houses, festivals and fairs take place there every year.
  2. The Main Town Hall – is one of the most characteristic buildings in Gdańsk. The oldest parts of the Town Hall date back to the 14th century. In subsequent periods, however, it was extended many times, and the result is a beautiful Gothic-Renaissance building. The interior is also amazing and very well preserved and from the town hall tower you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
  3. The Royal Route in Gdańsk (Długa Street and Długi Targ Street) – The name was given to Długa Street and its extension, Długi Targ, in connection with ceremonial entries of Polish monarchs to the city. The first solemnly welcomed king was Kazimierz Jagiellończyk in 1457. The streets were inhabited by the city’s most influential and wealthy citizens, which can be seen from the beautiful townhouses, each of which has its own interesting history. On Długa Street stands the Uphagen House, at the junction of Długa and Długi Targ streets you can visit the Main Town Hall, and the Neptune Fountain is located on Długi Targ, right next to the entrance to Artus Court – the most beautiful tenement house in Gdańsk. This is the heart of Gdańsk, which you should visit many times to see the details of the buildings and feel its charm day and night. The Royal Road is crowned with the Green Gate leading to the Long Embankment. The gate takes its name from the former colour of the columns of the bridge behind it.
  4. Crane Gate – It is not only one of the symbols of the city, but also of Poland. This largest and oldest surviving port crane of medieval Europe was built between 1442 and 1444 and served two functions – it was used to put up masts and reload goods, and at the same time it was the city gate.
  5. Długie Pobrzeże – is a waterfront promenade full of cafes, pubs and restaurants, stretching along the western bank of the Motława river. Here you will find the characteristic water gates of Gdansk’s architecture, ships on which you can embark on a cruise e.g. to Westerplatte, and the most famous Crane in Poland.

And last! If it is open, this is a two places you MUST see:

Museum of the Second World War and Westerplatte – The museum presents the history of Poland and other countries during the war in a modern style and by means of very interesting exhibitions. The exhibition is not limited to the years 1939-1945, but offers an opportunity to learn about the genesis of the outbreak of the war and the division that followed.

After visiting the Museum, it is worth visiting Westerplatte, where you will find: Watchtower 1 – the main point of Polish defence in September 1939 and the Monument to the Defenders of the Coast commemorating those who died in combat.

Dominika, polish volunteer, In Situ Foundation

Zalew Krzeszówek

The deposit of chalk molding sands (for the preparation of molding and core sands in the foundry industry) in Krzeszówek near Krzeszów was exploited industrially from the end of the 19th century. The sands from Krzeszówek are characterized by high purity and were once very desirable - in the 1980s the mine itself was part of Przedsiebiorstwo Dostaw Materiałów Odlewniczych in Tychy. A standard-gauge railway siding (1.5 km long) from the station in Krzeszów was connected to the mine. It was the longest used section of the Zadrny Valley Railway line. This stream was crossed by trains on the plate girder bridge that still exists today. The siding functioned until the beginning of the 90s - it was serviced by steam locomotives from Kamienna Góra. Currently (from about 2011) the mine is closed, its property is plundered, and the excavations (approx. 20 m deep) have been filled with water and are being used as a bathing site - which is not entirely safe. In 2013, another geological survey of the deposit was prepared, and perhaps in the coming years, sand extraction will be resumed.The Krzeszówkek reservoir was built after a flooded quartz sand mine, at the bottom there are many things from the heyday of this excavation. The whole body of water is situated in a picturesque area. The lake is often visited by amateurs of summer recreation by the water. In the summer season, be careful with scooters! The shape of the bottom and transparency mean that the flashlight is often unnecessary there. The transparency of the water is at the level of 8-9 meters. The bumpy shape of the bottom and the underwater forest creating an amazing climate and the rays of the sun breaking through it. The place is very diverse when it comes to views from the shore, but in places even beautiful. Large shoals of fish often appear in the vicinity of the flooded forest. Among the fish, we can find here perch, roach and pikes. Unfortunately, there is no diving infrastructure there.

Izabela, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.#EuropeanSolidarityCorps

Specialists of chaos or “improvisers”

During this month, between quarantines and restrictions, I came back to my books and to research. I really love researching, I became kinda addicted to it during university. I like diving into something that interests me, exploring every detail and dark spot, to eventually learn as much as I can. The experience at Droga Wolna is challenging me everyday. When it comes to education, I discovered myself to be intransigent. I need things to be in order, not left it to chance. I don’t believe in “living the day”, “follow the flow” as a general rule for the entire life. Chaos per se makes people lost and even more lost. I truly believe that chaos can have a shape not rigid or orthodox, but as flexible as people need to design it according to situations. Because, remind, it’s chaos which is giving birth to dancing stars, as Nietzsche says. Is it possibile to be a specialist of chaos?

Being involved in the the life of Droga Wolna made me wonder mostly about adults role. How to be a mentor in such a complex environment and time? Mentor doesn’t mean teaching kids something, because they are already specialists in being kids. I was told that the only thing adults can do is showing kids how to be adult. Kind of “living example”. Totally agreed with that, in scouting it’s the same.

But…example of what? Maybe there isn’t a definitive answer, but for now, in these hard times, I think I found mine. In the school, adults are called to be creative, dynamic, open to cooperate with kids which are the main protagonists of their learning process and actually, they are the only one aware of their own needs.

Okay, but…how to do that? I asked thousand times if mentors have specific methods to support kids. The answers were chaotic for me because I was expecting something defined (for example, Montessori method, Steiner’s one…), you know, I wanted a name and a description!

Only now, I understand how pointless was my question… The answer to all my doubts was in front of me: I realized that the key is improvisation. It is a practice that let people create something new from nothing or out of a boring context. It helps reading the present, remaining open to the future. Risks and things unexpected can be seen as growth opportunities and improvements. Improvisation is a technique and I really believe it’s not for everyone: it requires knowledge background which you can use anywhere, however you like, and, of course, authenticity. If you are not believing in what you are doing, well, people will notice it. Improvising is like giving something that you know, from your heart, using your passions and talents and also employing whatever the environment gives you: do a lot, with little! Supporting kids, improvising, means recalling knowledges, passing them through personal abilities, making the context as fun as it needs to make people happy learning together. Saying or doing something randomly is for amateurs, inspiring happily through playful mode is for specialists of chaos or “improvisers”.

This pandemic taught that world changes faster and it’s better to be prepared: being open to changes, being flexible. I like the concept of fluidity: staying fluid means that our shapes can change, depending on situations. Again, this attitude is already improvising, exploring the context, being open to multiple possibilities.

But one more thing… Being fluid doesn’t mean to lost ourselves continuously: the relationship between adaptation and authenticity is really problematic indeed. When I first arrived in Poland, I let myself adapt to this new context. I followed people observing their lifestyle. I jumped in it and I was playing with it to see if there was something that can fit me. But, eventually, the moment of conflict has come: do I have to change to be comfortable here? Do I have to agree with everything? Do I have to believe in natural medicine, instead of modern one which I truly trust, only because most of the people around me, do? Does practicing free education in the school mean that my way of learning is wrong? I spend so much time arguing with myself and people, that I didn’t see the answer which has been always under my nose. This is Droga Wolna’s biggest lesson: you have the power to disagree and still be part of a community. In my opinion, agreeing with everything is crazy and the risk is to hide yourself or even more dangerous, to model yourself on other’s lifestyle. Improvising as a way of leaving shouldn’t make you loose your true self: just be honest, have fun and disagree, if you need or want to. You can learn from people as much as they can learn from you.

Giulia from Italy, volunteer in Skoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna in Szczecin.
Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

#EUSolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomenAssociation

Chess is life _ Bobby Fischer_

In this article I want to expose and develop in what senses in my opinion that the life is related to the chess and how chess reflect some aspects of life. I have choose this title because was formulated for a man that perhaps is the best genius and controvertible person that history of chess have created: Bobby Fisher. I like very much to play chess and to observe all the processes involve: the motivation, the aspects of the personality and temperament, the process of maturation, the study, the different parts of a game.

First of all I want to say that I have learned a lot about myself and others only playing chess. I have seen a lot of parts of myself involve during my process to learn and developing my own chess. Learning to win, learning to loose, learning to begin, learning to finish, learning to attack and learning to defend. Learning to distribute well the time (knowing that a bad distribution of time can be a defeat).The chess have some rules and the life too. We can not omit the rules of life, the rules relative to the historical moment that we are living here and now. For example, it’s obvius that this pandemic covid-19 have changed some rules of our life. This implicit rules are the 64 squares of life. Some aspects of the history the wars, the strategies to try to win the other, and sometimes it’s a draw. The importance of the process making decision it’s also involved: It’s not the same a move seen by the intuition in two seconds than the accurate process of calculation. It’s not the same the deep reflexion of long game than a quick ches (1,3,5 minutes). It needs different approaches.

Chess is multidimensional: It is a game, It is a profession, it is a sport and can be art! and can be only pieces of wood. Can be a lot of things. And every day surprises to me with something new as a bottomless pit.

Marc &Bartek playing chess in “Bullerbyn” (Free democratic school)

Marc Trias

Easter time in my polish family

On Easter we always spend time with my grandparents. It’s really joyful.

Preparation:

Before Easter my mother always plant RZEŻUCHA (cress). It’s a small green plan that we are eating on Easter. Me and my brother every year are coloring and painting eggs. We do it as we want and we are eating the eggs which we prepared before. In shops you can find a “T-shirt for eggs”. It’s made from plastic and it was some easter drawings, you have to just “dress up” the egg in this, put it to hot water and it will stick to the egg.

TIP: when you want to color an egg naturally you can boil them with a dry covering of an onion. If you want them to be purple or dark pink – you should boil eggs with beetroot. Gold color you can get if you add turmeric to boiling water. Spinach will give green color to the egg’s shell.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

KOSZYCZEK WIELKANOCNY/ŚWIĘCONKA (Easter bucket): usually we are putting there salt, slice of bread, meat, lamb (it’s a cake made in a lamb shape), horseradish, butter  and of course eggs, which we prepared before. A day before Easter (so on Holy Saturday) we are going to the church and the priest is blessing easter buckets.

Also day before Easter my mother sometimes is making PASCHA. It’s sweet dish like a dessert.

Recipe for Pascha:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of white cheese
  • 250 g of butter
  • 1 cup of powder sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • ½ spoon of lemon skin
  • 5 yolks
  • 50 g almonds (pilled)
  • 50 g of dry figs or apricot
  • 100 g of raisins
  • Carmelised orange
  • Optionally one spoon of alcohol

Mix butter with powder sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon skin until you get smooth cream. Then one by one gently mixing you have to add egg yolks. Now you can add white cheese. Then you have to but dried fruits and nuts (if you are adding alcohol you have to put raisins in alcohol and then soak them). All this cream you have to put on kitchen leno above the bowl and cover it by plate. You have to leave it in the fridge for whole night. After night you have to just take cream off on a plate. Ready to eat!

On Easter Sunday I eat a breakfast with my family. We are eating those food from Easter bucket + cress, sausages, more bread and some vegetables.

When we are visiting our family on Easter we are bringing them an egg and we share it (like Christmas wafer on Christmas time :)) and we are eating common lunch. My granny is making horseradish soup but I don’t like it, UGH!

When I was young an Easter bunny was hiding me gifts in the garden and every year I had to looking for them. It was so much fun for me but it was really difficult to find sometimes. We are keeping this tradition till now. Of course now I know that my grandparents were hiding those gifts 😀

Something about ŚMIGUS-DYNGUS (So Easter Monday)

We have tradition that people are throwing a water on each other as a symbol of joy and happiness (usually boys are throwing water on girls which they like). Nowadays everybody are doing that for fun 😀 It was always a lot of mess when we were doing that in a house and we had to wipe the floor and my mother was screaming that we are destroying the house hahaha! You can use a bucket to this or buy special water pistols in a store. Try it! It’s only legal occasion to do that and nobody will be that mad to be wet ;p but better do it outside 🙂

Did you like polish easter tradition? Try everything, it’s so special 🙂

Martyna from Poland, volunteer in Special Need School no 4 in Sosonowiec

#eusolidaritycorps

#activewomenassociation

The pyramid scheme

Hey, it is Ondra!

In this article, I would like to discuss the topic that I recently found very interesting- it is the Pyramid scheme. I have chosen this theme because I don´t see as much warning against these dangers in the news or in schools. I hope to convince you not to enter into this working sphere, especially since these companies with pyramid schemes are focused on young people who wants to get rich quickly.

In February, I received an invitation from one friend from the Czech Republic to a YouTube video. She said, she started to work on a travel project and as she saw I love travelling, I could be interested in this. Therefore, I watched this video where they boasted that you could have passive income soon. You invite other people to use a link for a travel website, which according to them has better prices than booking.com. For each person that books a hotel, you get money. The problem is that those better prices are on those most expensive hotels and for example, I won´t order anything from that website.

Another thing was that with the same project, they started to sell some products for nose aroma, which seemed rather stupid to me. Your work would be also to sell these products to your friends. It is not all because at the beginning you have to pay around 600€ to buy yourself the position to sell these products. You have to send more links for the travelling website; you also have to find somebody for your team.

It turned out that my friend wanted me to be a part of her team, that´s why she sent me the video. She told me if I want to meet with her friend who will tell me more about it. I said I have no need for money now and I do not want to do this. She tried to send me more messages and talk me into it but I said “No” for a second time. Then I ignored everything she wrote to me.

Let me recapitulate for you how to decide that something is weird about the work. First, they offer you passive income but you have to work. It is up to you how much you work but if you don´t, you can end up with no money at all. They organise seminars for their members for “education“, which wash your brain instead. You have to search for the clients yourself and you have to sell them the products.

Why is it called a pyramid scheme? Because at the beginning there are a few rich people who don´t have to work to earn money, under them, there are people who earn less. Under those people, there can be people who just put the money at the beginning and have no income at all. Nobody will tell you at the beginning if you are the person who will become rich. However, even if so, you will become rich thanks to the people who work under you.

The last word from me would be that you should always search for a job that will help people and make you feel fulfilled. If you will join these pyramid selling companies, you might start to find out that people hate you because you can´t stop offering them all the good products that will certainly help them.

Ondra from Our Good School in Katowice.

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

(the project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)

First week in Poland: Zapiekanki, Architecture and some more

Getting to Gliwice in the time of COVID appeared to be harder than I imagined: a COVID test, 9 hours stuck in the airport, 2 sleepless nights, and here I am!

Gliwice, Poland

During the very first day of my stay, I did what every volunteer is obliged to: the sacred ceremony of the first Zapiekanka, and I can confirm all the legends about it: it really is amazing! 🤤

The city I’m living in, Gliwice, is a small one, but it has amazing architecture and some memorable buildings.

Gliwice, Poland

Apart from getting to know Gliwice, I managed to visit Katowice and Sosnowiec, and made some memorable shots of the cities.

Katowice, Poland
Sosnowiec, Poland

For the following months, I’ll keep you updated with pictures from the cities I visit, and the buildings that impress me, so follow me for an architectural overview of Poland 🙂

Knarik, a volunteer from Armenia in Gliwice

The project is co-funded by the European Solidarity Corps.

My nightmare came true

Hello from my trip to Cracow. This is Ondra, who just before the quarantine fulfilled one of his nightmares. If you ever wondered what happens when you come to a paid highway without any money, listen carefully.

I choose on my navigation to go on the road from Sosnowiec to Cracow without going on the highway. However, I have forgotten to change in the setting that I want to avoid tools. So, at one moment, when I couldn´t turn to the right, the navigation changed its direction towards the high way. I did not realise it until I saw the sign- paid highway to Cracow.

Ok, I thought to myself, one time I can afford to pay the toll. Unfortunately, while I was waiting in the queue, I found out that I had no wallet in my pocket. I started to search, but as I couldn´t find anything, I gave up and prepared myself to face the woman behind the cash register. It is my turn I see how the window slowly goes down, I hear myself in a Czech-Polish tell the women I don´t have anything. I see her face clearly; she is very calm and says I should search more without any stress.

I try my best yet fail, so I look at her and tell her I have nothing to give her. She says she cannot let me pass without paying. Therefore, I tell her what other option do I have. She shrugs her shoulders and says nothing. So, I try to find some app with which I could pay. I do not know how much time has already passed while my mind has reached the highest level of panic. Here comes one guy from the car that I successfully blocked.

He goes to the woman and angrily asks her what has been happening. She responds that I have no money. The driver looks at me: “You idiot, how can you come to a highway without having any money.” I am not in a mood to say anything in Polish, so he says: “wypjerdalaj!” He talks more stupid angry things but turns to the woman and says he will pay it. Then he looks at me, asks and puts his hand to my window, but give me something in return. I say przepraszam (sorry) and tell him I can send the money to his account. He repeats wypjerdalaj again, and shows me to go to hell away from him before he kicks me in the ass. All this mental fight was caused only by 12 zlotys. (2€)

So, I went on, but I was so scared that there will be another terminal on my way that I turned after 30 km and went to breathe a bit of fresh air at the gas station. For the next time, I will have some money hidden in my phone, just in case of an emergency. I advise you the same thing. Sometimes growing up give as some pain before we learn.

Ondra from Our Good School in Katowice

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

(The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)