Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 7
Today was a positive day overall. The day started with an energizer from Elina that was a lot of fun and interesting. It was about bananas, apple, peers everyone had a task and role that included physical activity.
Afterwards we started with the workshop, it was about Media Literacy. The workshop was followed by a group activity that included making a '' one shot'' video. We were splitted in three group and each group had different tasks that needed to be made into a video.Every group had a task to made a video that included propaganda, hoax or spin the truth.
The activity was really interesting and useful, we had a lot of ideas how to make the video, all of participant took a role in the videos that transfered a good message.
The first group had a task to present the accommodation and the surroundings in the best way possible.
The second group had a task to make an interview with the participants and hear their story about the project and why they are here.
The third group had a task to show gratitude to the major  the municipality and the local citizens where the project took place.

Later we had a delicious plate of spagetti with tomato sauce and as always we had Italian salad.
After lunch we had an activity about a visit of the tribe ''Albatros'' and their culture and customs. There was a husband and a wife and guests who are coming to their house. At first we had impression that men are superior over women but after the story finished we understood that they are equal and even women have more privilages than men. Because their way of greeting was unusual for the guests. Men were sitting higher than women and they sat on chair, they greeted other men by rubbing their knees together. Women were sitting next to the men on their knees and they were greeting other women by touching their legs.
This is unusual for many European cultures. So we understood that we need to be familiar with the culture, show respect and don't judge.
We had a wonderful chicken for dinner and later we had a farewell party for three guys who were leaving the next day ''Elina, Aris and Aidar''.
The night was interesting and we finished the day.

brought to you by ''Mesut & Deniel'' 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fifth day of training (intercultural shock and social inclusion)

This morning we had an exercise that was indeed connected to everyday youth work. We had to solve three situations in groups in which we were working with situations where there were special needs. Actually, in real life we are also facing situations when we have some participants who are a little bit different from the majority, but as our aim is to include all the participants to work effectively and become a close group, we have to think how to solve this.

In the afternoon session, we shared views on cultural shock. We heard different stories about interecutlural shocks from different people. We concluded that we need research before going to a new place. We are able to recognise the stages of this cultural shock so in this way we can try to overcome it more easily. This workshop will be very useful if you for example move to another country or if you take your group to another country especially if they have not been travelling much.
During the training each day our group of participants is walking to the restaurant Atheus in Petralia Sottana where we are provided with lunch and dinner. This experience is engaging us with vivid conversations. Here are some of our moments.

Our first meal was a wonderful self-made pasta that we have never tried before. It was soft and filled with some cheese inside and served with fresh tomato sauce. Oh, it tasted so good! It went with parmezan that the host brought us in a bowl. We always have some special requests that he is happy to fulfill and of course we keep on eating as long as food is coming! Giuseppe and chef Alessandro always try to find out something new and tasty for us! They put all their skills and caring in the food. The place is also a very great experience. Besides being friendly, Giuseppe, the owner, has migrant workers, so in a way he is providing work and a safe place that can connect them to the local community.

That's why this place is the best for sharing life experience and of course funny stories! With the help of these times together that we share around food we can also talk about our different cultures and food.
Elina, Leo, Annamaria

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It was a sunny day. As usual we had a breakfast and had energyzer which helped us to awake. Mesut and Anna Marie prepared a workshop about Intercultural conflict resolution. We saw a video clip against racism by american band Black Eyed Piece.

Then our leaders came up with a great idea to arrange a little theatre performance when 3 divided groups showed different cultural conflict circumstances. Our group should present a problem between youth leader and participant. Aidar played a very strict and rude principal so he was pushing Ivan. He could not stand it and they argued. Then other participants tryed to calm them down and build a bridge between Ivan and Aidar. It worked. They excuse each other and became friends.

Talking was so interesting and dynamic that we did not notice the car. Finishing discussion, having a sandwich did not take long. After half of hour we were going to amazing city Cefalù by minibus. Youth leaders arrived there and we saw a stunning coast of Tyrrhenian Sea, beautiful narrow streets and old appealing building. We very enjoyed to walk around the city. After all the group was a very tired but happy.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Into the wild

Today we had the opportunity to explore the forest near Petralia Sottana. The idea was to invite us to volunteering. It was actually kind of simulation and the task was  clean up an amphitheatre. We all had different impressions and emotions about this work. Here you have two of them:

"I really enjoyed doing this task. Cleaning the forest wasn't that hard and we had a big group of amazing volunteers doing the task some or less doing the cleaning ;) the influence of the other volunteers by singing, dancing, talking and joking made it even more enjoyable for me.  The task was completed quickly by the group and it gave me a good feeling".

"I am doing volunteering for a long time now but this job was giving me a different feeling. It is maybe because of the company. We know each other for a couple of days and we had to cooperate so it was a hard job. Most of us were doing a hard work for the whole time, some of them not, but we felt amazing after the job was made. We were happy for each other and that we could achieve a goal. It was hard because we did not do it for ourselves but for a town we do not even now. And the best acomplishement was that the municipality posted photos of us and thanked us for the job. This was all we needed, so we went home tired but fulfilled".

The other part of the day went fast. We started with discussing the volunteering.  We shared our opinions and experiences. After that we had a workshop on stereotypes.

Orange game! Soooo, do you think that oranges are the same? Well, they are not. So as people. Now we know that not all Latvians have six toes, hungarians are not (that much) alcoholics and so much more.. But the main point is we broke stereotypes and prejudices. And it is a good start for us and for the future. I recommend everyone to meet people and get to know them because it is just so much fun! :)

The last task was about sandwiches.. Actually, it is like a hamburger sandwich combo and it is about communication, especially the non-violent one. It is easy, if you want to say somebody that he or she did it wrong, the way of express yourself should be like a sandwich; positive, improve, positive.
So keep up the positivity guys!  Life is life.

Aide, Eszter

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Second day of training (06.04)

The morning started off chaotically, we were flipping chairs, throwing them into a pile and trying to form a circle of them. Sounds random, doesn't it? It was all a part of an activity to teach us more about communication and how to work more as a team, even when we seem to have different goals in mind. This was the perfect kick off for the day's program which included learning different leadership styles, how groups are formed and how groups come to making a decision. 

Aide and I (Nilgun) have organised an activity to introduce the three different types of leadership styles, Participative Leader, Laissez Faire Leader and Autocratic Leader. All participants were divided into three groups and asked to pick a leader for their team. We gave each leader a role play of one type of leadership style. They had to act according to the type they were allocated.

We asked all teams to build the tallest tower with only materials provided to them ( tape, paper, hanger, scissors etc). In thirty minutes they had to complete their tasks under the leadership styles used by their leaders. We discussed with everyone how they felt under a specific leadership and the pros and cons about each type. And we shared previous experiences from our own life. Overall, we received positive feedback and everyone not just enjoyed the activity but also learnt something new from the activities but mainly from each other. Mission accomplished!

The group decision making activity which I (Frah) have chosen was based on the how making a decision can at times challenge and test the individuals values and attitudes and can make a  difficult for one to make a decision, as individual sometimes making a decision  can be based on our  biased thoughts, however when group makes that same decision, it out ways those thoughts comes with the benefits of having diverse solution. This activity shows that a group decision making is not as much about how we vote on a decision but on the process of hearing and incorporating all sides. 

The day ended with the intercultural evening which included a lot of international food of which some dishes shocked (mämmi from Finland) and others everyone fell in love with (crema di pistacchio from Italy). Everyone joined in when a local group showcased their music skills and their traditional dances. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Food!
We had some.

The drinks!
Were flowing like wild rivers.

The people!
They did what they wanted ?

And now!
We catch up with the homework we didn't do before the project. :)

But to be more specifics of how was the first day, I have to make this in a bit wider perspective from the day we all had to meet at the train station in Palermo on 4th of April at 19.00. The meeting time was set and crow of participants started to arrive till Meryem came and took us under her care. Which meant leading us to the local Pizza Hut, or the first Italian guys that made for us proper pizza.

And to skip forward to the real action we had on the first day of training must start with a simple, jet awesome in its own way. Coffee and toast was there to fuel our bodies to keep up with all the energizers that was planned for us.

Beginning was with short explanations how everything will work around here from organizers and we introduced with ourselves by help of 2 name games that locks the name together with body posture. Great game, for remembering others name for groups of more than 20 people. Everything was lead with delegating the simple jobs for everyone and off we went into first activity by writing down what we Expected from this training, what kind of Fears we have and what is something we can Contribute to others and the program itself.

Then Ivan (participant from Spain) took over with his workshop by indulging us in taking photos of some participant we have spoke the less. This was great opportunity to get to know someone better and take a photo of the person. Later we took the second picture for comparison with the first one and Ivan made some observations, which lead to some great realizations that once you know person more, you put him more into the focus.

Lunch time started with ten minute walk downhill to local restaurant, where we had authentic Italian pasta with tomato sauce and salads afterwards. After meal it was complimented with the walk around local museum and slow climb back up the hill.

Recovering from great meal was combined with tea or coffee for everyone's liking and will to prepare the drink for themselves and soon after Sasha (organizer) started workshop of understanding how we learn the best by putting out the core senses we use for learning.

Beginning was 10 minute silence outside and then we had core information and reflections on our experience from being silent and observing the surroundings. Great to know what bunch of peoples from completely different background and nationalities can come together and have different realizations and still have great time by sharing them.

Knowledge has been shared a lot in the first day and do believe we all have great time despite the fast changing weather here in mountains and first days challenges of cold air. But evening had came and we are all chilling together, playing games and having fun before going to sleep.

Tomorrow is our first day with having our simple works and I'm responsible for breakfast and looking forward for next training, because nothing makes us learn more, than being in the place and locking new knowledge and experience in our body' s.

Day has been great and challenging for some, as reflection and feedback time showed. But by the end of the day we start to feel more like solid and strong group of leaders and the ice has been broken, now is only the fun part left.

Great day and wish you an amazing reading of next days.

Aris Birze

Saturday, January 14, 2017

14th of January

Today it was the last day and mixed feelings were in the air. Of course, after a week of activities, we were all tired but  willing to partecipate actively to the activities of the last day of the seminar. The first part of the morning was dedicated to to learn more about the Erasmus+ Programme, in order to understand the aims of it and how it works, with a deep study and a brief discussion about the Programme, learning more about the chance of development that it offers.

After that we spent some time to write down something about the next projects that the partecipants want to develop in their countries in the next future. Sharing these projects we had the chance to receive feedbacks from the group, in order to make them works and effective. The discussion was constructive and useful also to collect new ideas and to find possible partners for the projects.


After lunchtime we had a memory-saving moment: we took a group picture, to fix our friendship forever in our minds (and in our smartphones)


The Youthpass session, the first of the afternoon, was helpful to understand the importance of it, how it works and how to fill it with our new skills.


The Youthpass  giving ceremony was nice and after that it was the time for the final evaluation. Of course it was touching but also funny, and it was interesting to hear everybody's evaluation of the seminar and to know about the group's feelings about the all week. In general, everybody were satisfied and happy about the activities and tabout each other.

"Projects like this makes me feel proud to be european. We are having hard times but we have a common past, a common present and I'm sure we'll have a common future"
Alberto Panader Palacios