Daily newspaper – nr 1 – Sunday
Daily newspaper – nr 3 – Wednesday
The youth exchange, Faith, Hope & Love started with some long days of travels, each group travelling from 5 hours to 18, the record being held by the Romanian group travelling by bus.
It is interesting to remember how lost some of the people were feeling in the first day, as they didn’t knew the other groups, and they only felt confortable in their own groups. They were keeping on asking: “ What are we doing next”, as little did they know what a great time they were going to have.
For Friday, after everyone was settled in, we all met in the conference room for some ice-breaker games, that were really fun and helped everyone to loosen up. This was the time wher we got to learn some names, as for the entire week, we were playing the “Joker Game”, where, if the leader would give it to you in secret, you would have to keep it to get a prize at the end of the day. But there was always a danger that someone would find you so interesting that they would come to you and say: “ Hi, my name is Diogo. Do you have the joker card?”. And that was the moment when you didn’t know what to do, to get angry that there was no way you could get the prize anymore, or be happy that now you will definitely know one name for sure J
After dinner, we had some short presentation about the groups, so that everyone would get to know eachother more. So, Romanian and Hungarian group had a presentation about their groups. The Romanians were creative trying to tell us by singns what kind of hobbies they have, one of them being eating. Now, that’s a hobby isn’t it?. The Hungarian group showed us how united they were as a group, participating in many activities together during the summer.
This was the day we started learning the steps for the song. It was difficult at first to learn the steps, for we were no dancers, but slowly, everyone started to like the “Friends” song and the so difficult steps 🙂
The night finished with everyone having some free time to play or talk or sing, and than go strainght to bed, after such a long journey.
On Saturday, we got a chance to discover Zakopane, the city near to us. It was a good time to experiment culture mixture, as the groups were traveling together, this way having a chance to get to know some people from the other countries.
The task for this trip was, “Discovering Zakopane”, where everyone was supposed to take funny and interesting photos of things they saw in the town. The winning photo was this one, illustrating the well-known game that Alex, our program “DJ” (as he was called), has taught us: 3 man in a boat, bird on a stone and 3 angry Italians J The history of the photo is funny, as it was taken in the middle on the road, where hundreds of people were stopping and staring at the group that was taking a picture. Such a fun way of discovering Zakopane ! J We got to see the presentation of the portughese group and also to learn more about the polish culture and their most important traditional food: Russian pierogi J
Sunday, we were really excited as, there was a Photography workshop that Silvia and Agnieszka were leading. We have learned many interesting things about how to take good photos, than also need feeling, time and concentration. This stuff is not as easy as it usually looks like.
Another workshop that was chosen especially by the girls, was the t-shirt remodeling, lead by our creative Zosia. The girls made some great designs out of plain normal t-shirts. They looked great!
In the afternoon, a trip to Dolina Koscieliska was prepared. It was mainly walking for 6 hours, admiring a great view and searching for a cave. It was a good time, as the group mixed, so we had a chance to talk more with other people and get to know more about them and their culture. For two groups, there was needed teamwork to find one of the cave, as we had to use a map, even if at the end Paulo thought he won’t be needing the map anymore and deserted it in the forest until other found it. J Miguel and Alex’s group was so great that, they got to see two caves and they finished first also. It was a tiring day, but so nice to walk and get a chance to talk with so many different people that day.
After such a tiring day and crazy polish weather with over 35 degrees, there was a very welcomed idea of going to the swimming-pool. Oh how nice it was to get cool in such heat and play water volleyball. That was the time when the portughese girls discovered how good was Dumitru, the Romanian leader at playing volleyball and swimming even better than the portughese catfish J
In the evening, we got a chance to discover Portugal through some presentations and games, as it was the Portughese International Evening. But the most important was that, before all that, we could taste the great food that the group has prepared for us. Yes, they actually cooked for almost 60 people! That’s crazy, but it’s called portughese scout zeal! J The presentations about the country were really interesting and we could see it is really a great country worthed to visit. The games led by the group were crazy, as we played the mummy game, where you had to ask her a question and she would move her feets for yes or no. The best question though, was Tibi’s, that asked the mummy : “Will you marry me?”. Imagine the answer of the mummy. J Great time people!
Tuesday, we were all waiting to experience the Adventure park in Gubalowka. We had a walk for 1 and a half hour, like scouts style J, and after the basic training we were all prepared to try the zip line. For some, it was easy to do, but for others it was hard as you had to climb and keep your balance, which was terrifying, but definitely worthed to try. The best was the point where you could just use the zip line from one point to another, without any climbing, and that truly made you feel you can fly J
In the evening time, we were pleasant surprised by the Hungarian sandwiches, made with gulash sauce, (a spicy one of course), and had the little flag on top, and was followed by a traditional hungaryan chocolate with cottage cheese. We had a god time trying to decipher what the Hungarian poems and songs were saying. We used our imagination, but Hungarian language seems a bit more difficult than we were thinking. The group taught us a traditional dance and song. Was a great time experiencing Hungarian culture.
Wednesday, we experienced a little bit more polish culture. We learned the polonaise dance and in the evening the polish were trying to teach us some tongue breaking phrases, that some of the people were successfully learning. I think this night we all realized that polish is the hardest language of all. Long-live Poland. We got to see a little bit of the history and some more dances.
During the day we had olimpic games in teams, organized by Rafal and the polish group. It was a teamwork time, when we had to work together in order to finish the game. We had 13 points where we had to do something specific as a team and than get points. It was a good game, as it strengthened the relationships between us and helped us to learn to work in a multicultural team.
On Thursday, we had a very interesting and intense day to learn how to be good reporters, or how to talk during an interview and also how to direct an interview. We were divided in national groups in order to make it easier to translate. After the basic training we were asked to to a rough interview in order to see what were the problems and how we can improve them. After the discussion about these issues, all the groups went and did another video, but much more improved, as now they knew what they should do for a great video interview. We have learned a lot this day and these are skills that we all will have for the future. It was great after all the work to get to see all the videos that we all put together, some really funny ones. The photography workshop continued with those interested, and in the same time, there were sports workshops for the other groups. The sports was really fun, as, being a warm day, everyone got a chance to cool down usind as weapons water bottles, finghting girls vs. boys. Should we say who was the winner boys? J
In the evening, the Romanian group preaparead a great International Evening. We learned about the fish that grow in the trees and people riding zebras on the street (that was a great video guys!).
We learned “The Penguin Dance” and had some very fun games, and a funny skit about a guy that confuses his wife’s shopping list with a cake recipe. You can imagine what the cake tasted like. J
The highlight of the night was the musical skit “ Set me free” that some people from the group prepared. It was deep and made us think how God can set us free from all out sins and bad thoughts if we ask for His help.
At the end of the night, Dumitru, the Romanian leader, had a very strong bible message about our “Faith, Hope & Love” that we are lacking in our life, and how should we get back on track and how we should rely on Jesus and His Word to get them back in our life so that we can have a life full of Faith, just like Peter, the person from the Bible that we talked about all week during our night program and discussion groups. It was a great message that made everyone aware of the importance of Faith in their life.
Friday, we all went to Kasprowy Wierch, using the cable car. For some, it was the first time they went with a cable car, so it was really interesting to do. When we got up the mountain, we could go for small trips and see the great view that was there. It made you wonder about God’s wonderful creation that surrounds us. It was a great feeling. It was the first day it started to rain, and we were all cold, and there were so many people waiting in line, but we managed to get back safely, having some little moments of talk with our already good friends from the Youth Exchange.
For the evening, we all got prepared for the “80’s Style Night”. Oh, and how everyone looked so great. But, we might add, that the winner of the night, was Wojtek, with his great costume, and how great could he looked when he was teaching us the Duck Dance. J Every country prepared some song or game, and we got to sing with the romaniang the very famous song “ Dragostea din tei”, to dance with the portughese a 80’s dance, a game and song with the Hungarian group.
This was the last night we would see eachother, and we had a moment to write on eachother’s memento paper some thoughts and nice words for all the nice people we got to met this week.
After we said our goodbyes, and with litteraly tears in our eyes, we led the Romanian group, the first group leaving, to their bus.
The other groups were leaving on Saturday, so before we all left, we had a final gathering, we took some group photos and some more tears followed and we were heading each on their own way home.
It was a great adventure! And maybe more adventures to follow. Who knows what’s next?