Malte Range (náš dobrovolník EVS) absolvoval týdenní soustředění dobrovolníků EVS na Děčínsku – hlavním cílem bylo hodnocení první poloviny projektů účastníků. Samozřejmě, že práce byla proložena výlety (do Hřenska, do Děčína), společným vařením (večer s těstovinami 🙂 ), nebo řešením zapeklitých úkolů (The Marshmallow challenge).
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Finally, our mid-term evaluation meeting (27th- 31st of May) which we all have been longing for so long took place in Nebočady in the Northwest of the Czech Republic next to Děčín.
The mid-term meeting is similar to the On-arrival; a week-long activity for the volunteers by the National Agency taking place somewhere in the current country. The aim is to bring the country closer to the volunteer, giving learning opportunities, to meet other volunteers and friends again and to help with the evaluation of his/her EVS-project.
First, we just could not wait to meet each other again with the whole group. Although, the time passed unbelievably fast after the on-arrival and we met quite often anyway, it was something different to be completely united.
Different to the journey to Rožmberk in February most of us travelled together this time. From Praha it took us one hour and a half to Děčín and from there by bus continuing to Nebočady.
Our accommodation was within the Jurta Civic Association who works with mentally handicapped in independent working and living to help them achieving an independent life.
The place was fulfilling our needs and expectations more than enough. It was very cozy with an own kitchen so we could cook together and it matched fully with our activities.
Furthermore it was interesting and maybe a bit uneasy when we went to the supermarket a few kilometers from our place. In that area are living many gypsies and it felt strange to walk amongst the district where neglect was more visible. But I am more interested than biased in the Sinti culture so it is always a good experience to see more of their life.
Activities have been all about non-formal education again but this time more with our own contribution which means of the volunteers. In general, the mid-term is much more relaxed then the on-arrival because it is as already said a meeting. Still there have been many activities by the trainers for the evaluation of our own projects like goal-achieving, the heroe’s journey and a nice idea called “Czech advertisement” showing us aspects of music, film and other Czech culture in the past and now. And of course many funny activities, dancing, playing games, the “Marshmallow challenge” and so on.
But the second part was made for us. We had the opportunity to offer our own workshops and we had plenty of time to do so. There were theatre workshops, sportive and active ones or discussions like “how to use free time for meaningful activities”. It has been very successful.
Our last activity on Thursday evening had been the final circle of evaluation to say some last words about the others, although we are sure that it was not the last time we met. One reason: According to our trainers they have not seen such a close, collaborative and cohesive group for years but I think we would know that anyway since we are already like a volunteer family. It has been such a nice and touching and emotional evening with what we received from the others and we spent the whole night together with wine, music and joy and our time in Nebočady will never be forgotten.
It should not even be the end of our mid-term. For the weekend we could stay at the place of one woman from Jurta which just shows how open and frank people from that organization are.
And these have been the wettest days I ever experienced. On Saturday we decided to hike to Pravčická brána in Hřensko. We knew that it would rain the whole day but we didn’t expect a monsoon. After 5 km we arrived to the top and the only comment about our “view” shall be the picture! We warmed ourselves and our clothes in front of the oven in the hut which didn’t help pretty much in the end. Still wet after 2 hours we continued our journey. The rain had even become stronger. Running with the rain in the forest was so much fun we forgot about how wet we were and honestly, it was the best thing what we could have done together. Nevertheless, we were glad to have a warm and cozy place after that wet trip.
And I must add that I realized how lucky we were with the following high tide that threatened Děčín the days after mid-term. I hope to come back one day with and I hope the sun will be there as well.