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!

I could enjoy and develop my taste in arquitecture due to the amazing buildings around Poland from Krakow to Wrocław and the skyscrapers in Warsaw. Linked to this I could develop too my passion for photography shooting in downtown not even abandoned buildings in Katowice. Plenty of aesthetics, in buildings, uptown, forests, lakes and structures.

I enjoyed and experienced Christmas and Easter in this country and get soaked in the local culture and traditions in each context, visiting museum, traditional coffee shops and tea places! and of course enjoy the big amount of different beers and the good quality of them.

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

My tasks related to Sound in Sokołowsko

During this month, January, I’ve been working and also travelling around with the other volunteers, to natural areas and villages near Sokolowsko, where we live, and other cities. I’m a sound designer and technician so I’m helping with projects and tasks related to sound. This month I’ve been helping re-organizing the stock of audiovisual material of the foundation and creating the videos of sound art perfomances of the Sound Sanatorium Festival of the last years.

I’ve been also helping with a new project in a team with the other volunteers where we are going to help in the creation of a digital map mixing our different skills. As for the sound, I’m thinking in recording different and specific points of listening of Sokolowsko and surrounding areas (specific soundscapes and soundmarks). So yeah, as part of this new project, I will be walking around and focusing on listening to the soundscapes. I know soundscapes are not that popular as landscapes/photography, I guess we are more visuals than listeners, but it’s something that of course we feel all the time and is influencing our lifes everyday. Soundscapes are constantly changing all the time just like our technology is changing too, animals and insects around are moving to other places or moving to our place, new noises are appearing and others are dissapearing, etc. I think it’s very interesting to think about that, just close your eyes and start listening for a moment, and think also about how the noises you make are interacting with what surrounds you 😉

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko. This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

Recording soundscapes with my handrecorder.

My December

Well, December it’s been a great month in different senses. I will spend the whole month in Poland, in Sokolowsko, Wroclaw and Warsaw, and maybe in Lodz, not sure yet. During this month I started working on the archive of the Sound Sanatorium Festival of Sokolowsko, making the music videos of the different sound artists’s performances of the past years, so I’m learning a lot watching and working on these audiovisual materials. This month was also my birthday, when I really missed my friends of Spain, so I am now 28 years old. I went for a walk many times around this beautiful mountains and forests. And this is the second time that I spend Christmas abroad and I’m learning mostly about Polish traditions and Christmas dishes. It’s been a nice experience here, even though the rest of volunteers run away from Sokolowsko for this period, I’m surrounded by nice Polish people 🙂

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.

This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

My perception on climate change

Photo by Nasa

This week we started training about climate change and thanks to Greta, Al gore and even south park apologizing for making fun of climate change, it became a heated topic in today’s decade.

Personaly I’ve met a lot of people with different opinion about this topic. Some scientists around me think that global warning is natural and humans have little to no part in this. Some are very serious about this, and they go vegan not just not for the love of animals but for the sake of protecting our planet.

Personally I didn’t know what to think about climate change. I’ve heard about the issue in the middle school, and then in high school. Some documents even shocked me, but then one of my relatives dismissed global warning as just hoax and I bought for it.

Surprisingly what really made me think about global warning is south park. You know the show that makes fun of everyone and everything? Yeah controversy is their second. In 2003 they made fun of Al Gore and climate change, portraying him as lunatic who went in the streets like Homer Simpson way, ringing bell with the sign that says the end is near. And Climate change was compared to man-bear-pig, and said that global warning is just as bizzaree as men-bear-pig monster. Well just two years ago they appologized for making fun of Al Gore and they even apolgoized for making fun of this very sensitive topic.

You know when South Park apologizes than it’s no longer fun and giggles.

Personally a few years ago I visited countryside and air was so fresh but when I returnted to the capital I was choking from smog.

At the end though, climate change isn’t up to debate. It is a fact with official data and something that should be taken into consideration. And as it affects each and every one of us, it is our personal duty to take action.

Nanuka from Georgia

Andrzejki

I have spent a great month due to all the activities we did on school, also I had the chance of travel and made some trips to Krakow and Katowice to meet new volunteers and enjoy of places around, churches, parks and big lakes.

The school gave me the opportunity of join them in a few field trips to see coal mounts, huge woods and plenty of great plants, mushrooms and beautifuls natural environment, we did also sensory activities on the school, we visiated a botanic park with wooden animals on it, and enjoy the event of Andrzejki spilling melted wax on water to see later the shadow of the dry wax. with a light on the wall and predict the future in function of the shape of it 😁🤗

My wax piece seems to say me Silesia because it has plenty of columns on it like the Silesian chimneys of factories 🤣🤣

Project co-funded by European Solidarity Corps

Arturo, volunteer in Wolno Mi Democratic School in Gliwice 🇵🇱

#europeansolidaritycorps

#activewomanassociation

Moving to Gliwice

Finally after a few weeks plus in Sosnowiec I moved to my destination city, Gliwice, and only in one week (despite I had a cold🤧😫) I could meet a lot of great people, teachers, kids of the Democratic School (Wolno Mi) and parents, also I have the chance to try really good traditional polish meals on the hand of the school’s cook 🇵🇱🥣🍝

Certainly I have already seen the most part of the city and the neighborhoods around it, and I enjoyed all of it as well, so I highly recommend to visit this town due to the diversity of people ( Three or four universitys y think and a lot of Erasmus) and the charm of the main street and square with plenty of historical buildings 😍😍

Arturo, volunteer in Wolno Mi Democratic School in Gliwice 🇪🇦🇵🇱

This proyect is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EUSolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomanAssociation

The answers of the Universe

“I believe there is something higher than all of us, and all of us calls this force many different names, but still we experience it all but the same. Sometimes we have to be very still and awake to see the shapes that it takes.”

Cześć! My name is Cherly-ann Franken, but I love to think that my name is 2 in 1, so I’ll give you the permission to choose, you can call me Ann or Cherly. I’m 21 years old, and I come from a very small beautiful island in the Caribbean called Aruba. I dropped out of college when I was 18 years old, see the thing is I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I consider myself an artist, I love to paint on canvas, carve wood, and just recently started sculpting. I believe that my hands can create anything and until now I still end up surprising myself. I am still debating if I should continue in art or psychology, both or something completely different. I’m a very indecisive person, and I hope being here can make me less afraid to make a choice based on what I feel is right for me.

how I got this opportunity

I was working in a family business thinking to myself is this it? and I remember asking in the open to the universe, to God; should I hold on for a bit longer? or should I leave? the first time I noticed a few minutes after it starts to drizzle outside, and then stops. I didn’t think much of it the first time, but after a few months I asked again, and to my surprise a few minutes after it starts to drizzle again, and then stops. Honestly there wasn’t any rain cloud, it was just a very small cloud that had a bit of water, and to think it would let it drizzle right where I am after i just popped a universal question is no coincidence. I took it as my answer and somehow I took it as ‘better days are coming’, and even thou for me this was the hardest one year and a half of my life, I took it to hold on. and I did.

December 2019 when I was 20 years old, this project came knocking at my door while I was working, and guess where.. at that same family business. A friend of mine called Sherwin Wester that I met in a competition came to me and asked me if I was by any chance interested into working as a volunteer abroad for some months, that I wouldn’t have to pay for anything and that it would be an experience of a life time. For me this sounded like a dream there is no way that’s possible. (My friend Sherwin has no idea how grateful I am for him in my life. Thank you again.)

Next thing you know I was set to go to Northern Ireland, it was between me and another girl, and again I said out loud to the universe; “if this is for me, let them choose me, but if it’s not and the other girl needs it more, that’s okay too, I am grateful”. To my surprise I got chosen to go to Northern Ireland for 9 months. Now there is no coincidence, so the next part is funny how it all went; I actually had to go in March, but I didn’t because of the pandemic. After the pandemic calmed down, I still had to wait for an answer if I will be going in August or September but nothing. So I was asked if I want to choose other open options because there might be a chance that Northern Ireland won’t be possible. At first there were options to go to Spain for 10 months to work with people with mental disabilities or Greece for 10 months to work with wolves and sheep dogs, I wasn’t sure because the universe gave me Northern Ireland, and the options they gave me didn’t get my attention at all even thou they sounded amazing, but then they gave me Poland for 10 months, and somehow I said yes to Poland, the thing is I have never heard of democratic school so I had to try. Again I said; “if it’s for me, let them choose me, but if not, and I have to wait for Northern Ireland, it’s okay, I am grateful, and I will”.

AND GUESS WHAT?!! I was chosen for Poland and in a very short time after that, here I am volunteering in Szczecin at an amazing democratic school called Szkoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna ( Democratic Free Way School).

My personal 1st month experience

The first two weeks here I was so fascinated and overwhelmed, I’ve never been to Europe even thou my nationality is Netherlands. For example; I come from an island where it’s always summer and low trees and dry, I mean the only very tall tree we have in Aruba is the palm trees. Well here, there are so many tall trees and super green, and that only has me walking around, open mouth, looking at everything with bliss, and even thou I am already one month here when I walk I love to look up at the trees and see how slowly they are changing with the season from green to yellow and bright orange. I had no idea I could fall in love with how slowly and noticeable the season can change. I am just getting used to the cold, and noticing how my body reacts to it, is crazy. I also saw a foggy day like I’ve never seen before, I could’ve barely see a thing, and I was constantly smiling of how amazing all of this is for me and people will look at me like; what is wrong with this girl?

The progress that I can really notice is; the first week I was so afraid of going out and looking around, but now I am more confident and I am going everywhere and anywhere, and I can say that I am super proud of me for walking 40 minutes away from my home at night to go to an art gallery and it was worth it!

The school 1st month

The school still amazes me everyday, even though the first two weeks I was overwhelmed, I didn’t know what to do, where to be, and I was just concerned if I am doing the right things, or should I teach something? I was mostly observing and exploring the school, and after I just let it go and tried finding my place in the school, which was mostly in arts, things just started to happen around me. I am teaching Spanish, I did origami, I do paintings, I tried sculpting, and if the small and tall people (the “students”) are interested they just join you and so it goes. It’s funny, because you learn more from them than you can teach, and sometimes I just feel the same as them, learning a lot of new things together. I am amazed of how open minded and free all of them are and still super unique in their own special way. They inspire me so much, and I hope in the future there could be more democratic schools to give our children a more diverse education not only by the books but by existing with each other as a whole.

I am afraid the days are already moving too fast, and that it will be over soon, but I love the feeling of waking up every morning, realizing this is really happening, I am not in Aruba anymore, I am right where I am suppose to be by just trusting the answers of the Universe.

Wood art, “I am the universe in human form”

Communication without words

A walk in the park is like medicine

Making tiny people with nuts and acorns

The kids were hunting the criminals in school so they can win paper money, it was exciting!

A walk to the kids gallery

Galeria Przepraszam, Tworzę się

Let’s decorate the school for Halloween, our kids are super creative!

Cherly-ann from Aruba, volunteer in Szkoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna in Szczecin.

Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation #nonformaleducation #CaribbeanGirl