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

Taming my ELEPHANT mind

“I trust myself, my emotions, and the universe, I ask for answers, a sign, and I receive. What and however I receive, I am grateful, because I simply trust, with all of my being.”

Some years ago, I noticed how I ignored my mind, how I turned my back on it, so I couldn’t see the beautiful yet horrible mess that it was making, I was so far that I couldn’t even hear the loud screams and lullabies, I was oblivious of how extraordinary and yet how reckless this elephant mind can be, and how powerful it is. How by ignoring it, it ran so far and wildly to my opposite side that I felt the push and pull that made me fall on my back multiple times, and I could stay there laying for days, and get back up, but even then, when I stood up, I wouldn’t turn to look.

By noticing this, I decided to turn and face my mind, thinking that maybe because I finally turned and looked at it directly it would’ve noticed me, but it didn’t. I thought that showing my vulnerability would make it stop from running, but it didn’t. I ran and ran after it, that I got tired, and I sat on the ground crossed legs, looking at how it danced and stumbled, how it ignored me, and just being in total control. I cried of how much it hurt me, because in this moment I was falling flat on my face, and the bruises and wounds took long to heal.

I decided to sit quietly, because I wanted to identify what was making my mind so berserk and irrational, yet I fell in love with how it moved so freely, like nothing can stop it, it was beautiful but destructive, and I was fascinated, I was noticing, but I was giving in to this control, this time seeing what it was doing to only figure out after a year, that all this is was a distraction, and I blamed my distractions for their monkey like behaviors, but whenever I do, my finger would turn and point back at me, which only made it worse.

It took me a while, but I learned to appreciate my mind, and to love every single part of it, I started appreciating myself physically and soulfully, that I gained more patience, and slowly I was gaining the tools that I needed to finally capture and tame my elephant mind. I sat still, and read books that gave me wisdom, some people even came to me and sat with me, giving me advice, which was very helpful. I gained the force of recollection (mindfulness, a lasso) and the force of consciousness (awareness, a goad).

I have now the tools, so I started to chase after my mind, and eventually lassoed it, and it turned to look at me, so did my distractions, and I also noticed a third intruder which was a rabbit like dullness. So, my distracted mind and strong dullness, looked at me. Now, right now, present today, I have my elephant restrained, and she is looking right at me accompanied with the monkey and the rabbit, and I can see clearly how the monkey uses my senses for distraction. It gets hard some days to hold on to their gaze, and my grip, but I am on the road to a calmly abiding mind.

It takes a lot of energy, and effort to try and restrain your mind, but it’s not impossible, being here in Poland helped me a lot, and Noticing how I am just at the beginning (3rd stage), even thou I am on this road going for 4 years now, makes me just happy, and grateful, because I am aware. Anyone can do it, but really, it takes a lot.

I dance in gratitude, and in love with the journey of my growth, seeing all my stages from my past to now makes me extremely happy and grateful. because I love, I really love every single piece of it, the good times and the bad times. I appreciated and still appreciate every lesson I receive and comprehend. I am grateful to be alive, to be able to have this journey in human form and learn so much. The feeling of when my elephant mind noticed me, and I faced her, was something, very calming and amazing, and still we have a long way to go.

Cherly-ann Franken, volunteer in Szkoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna, Szczecin

I used the example of the Tibetan ‘taming the elephant mind’ (Shamatha, calm abiding meditation practice) painting, because it represents it perfectly, it gives you the nine stages of mental development. https://friederishi.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/the-nine-stages-of-mental-development/

if you are interested you can click on the link under the picture and also the link up here about the nine stages of mental development and it will give you the meaning of every symbol in the Tibetan painting.

Xmas abroad

Hello everyone, this year has been quite different and strange at times, especially due to the fact of having been away at Christmas, a date that is usually characteristic for being with the closest and closest family and friends and especially for the great feast. This year has been different not only because of the global pandemic but also because I decided to stay in Poland due to restrictions in my country and problems related to mobility.

Sometimes I have been sad for my family and the tradition related to meals and parties, but on the other hand it has been an enriching experience due to it has given me the opportunity to spend a different Christmas, meet other volunteers, very grateful because they gave us the opportunity to stay in their homes and eat with them, exchanging ideas and values about Christmas in different countries and cooking typical dishes from many countries, so despite missing for the classic celebration, having another perspective and changing the tradition for a year feels very good. 😃😄⛄🎄🌟

Much Love to my family and friends, and also to all the new people who have made possible a wonderful time this Xmas! ❤️🇵🇱

Arturo Volunteer in Wolno Mi Democratic School in Gliwice.

Project co-funded by European Solidarity Corps

#EUSolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomanAssociation

How air pollution affects to Georgia

Photo by Georgian Journal

Global warning and the polution affects to all the countries. Some countries suffer from the poluted water, droughs and femine, while in Georgia number 1 concern in the capital city is the air quality.

While population from that reside countriside cities like Batumi and Kobuleti often complain about poluted water in the sea, Air Quality Index isn’t bad. So I am confident to say that currently Georgia’s number one problem can be the poluted air in the major cities.

Judjing from my personal experience, I used to live in the small village for a few weeks and once I returned to my hometown Tbilisi, I couldn’t breath. I had feelings that air wasn’t fresh or good enough. Similarly one summer I walked in the square which was fullloaded with cars and people. I had to stop for a few second because I fel that I was about to faint from the lack of air.

Currenlty Tbilisi has AQI 153 which is unhealthy for many reasons. According to the data of the World Health Organization, Georgia ranks 70th for mortality caused by air pollution.

Number 1 reason for the poluted air is the abudant usage of mini-busses, cars and regulra bassess. Unlike the majority of Europe, Georgia doesn’t have bycicle roads and often it is dangerous to travel on road by bike. So even though more and more younger people refuse to purchase the car for the econmic reasons, the problem stands until the vast majority of the population will change their lifestyle.

In 2020 Tbilisi major Kakhi Kaladze intoruduced bus lines and completely re-enovated the main avenue of the capital city -Chavchavadze. The new transportation plan discourages people to travel by car and now, traveling by bus is faster and more comfortable.

Although was met with a huge backlash among the georgian drivers, many citizens refuse to take personal responsibility and thus it is small steps like that Tbilisi is taking to cleance air.

Nanuka from Georgia

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

Lower Silesia – the land of extinct volcanoes

This is my first post and I thought I would write a curiosity about Lower Silesia! so let's start with the fact that, fortunately, they are volcanoes long extinct and now only with their form and many remnants resemble their younger cousins, such as Mount Etna. More precisely, they are located between Jawor and Jelenia Góra in Lower Silesia, in the region of the  Mountains and Kaczawski Foothills (near Sokolowsko). The oldest rocks that make up the Kaczawskie Mountains come from the Cambrian and are over 500 million years old. The volcanic landscape of the Kaczawskie Foothills can be admired thanks to the presence of basalt hills of former volcanoes. Geological processes, including earth movements and volcanic eruptions, have led to the creation of a huge wealth of valuable rocks and minerals. You can find here: pyrite, azurite, malachite, galena, native silver, agate, amethyst, rock crystal, ruby, zircon, garnet, corundum, topaz, tourmaline, titanite, emerald, gypsum and many others. There is even gold in river sediments.A popular attraction in this land is the Grodziec castle, which stands on a basalt mountain, a former volcano rising 389 meters above sea level. It is also worth visiting two nearby observation towers - the tower on the Basalt Mountain in Paszowice and the tower on Mount Radogost, from where there is a beautiful panorama of the Sudetes and the foothills. An observation tower is also available in Gozdno. Finally, I would like to add that the highest and the best-preserved volcano is Ostrzyca, also known as Proboszczownicka or Silesian Fujiama. There is a unique basalt barrage, which is covered with vegetation that is difficult to find anywhere else. It is protected by the Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka reserve. 

Izabela, from Poland, volunteer of European Solidary Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokołowsko. 

This projects is co-funded by European Solidary Corps 




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

LIFE’S ABOUT TRYING

I have been only for two week in Poland but I have already met a lot of great people and tryed plenty of meals, desserts and differents things I wasn’t used to, but even it is sometimes rough it is always a good way to test your skills and limits, for example, a few days ago we tried an exotic (maybe just for me🤣) and extrange fruit called melano, perhaps not from here but I found it the first time in Sosnowiec, it looks like a little orange mellon but with smalls nails in the skin and tastes like cucumber, you can ad sugar and make it sweeter but I didn’t like it, though it is a good and necesaary experience in life anyway. I will give it another chance in a few weeks, this time maybe with salad 🥗🥗

Arturo from Spain, volunteer in Wolno Mi Democratic School in Gliwice.

Project Co-Founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation