February 26, 2018

Movies, movies, movies

Movies, movies, movies
Here are a few videos about what we did during the youth exchange. Enjoy!

Advanced Planning Visit of "Let Me Tell You a Story - Whisper of Exile"

Pattern interview with Siberian exile. 
Subtitles available.

Meetings With Local Community in Krasnystaw & Zamość. 
Subtitles available.

February 13, 2018

Participant about Youth Exchange

Participant about Youth Exchange
Let me tell you a story-feelings
Chrystalla Tsoutsouki

I don’t really know how to express my feelings about this youth exchange. The first feelings appeared when I saw the topic of this exchange program. I was waiting every day for my acceptance email. You don’t find easily youth exchanges like this one, programs that are able to change your way of thinking, to teach you more than 6 years in high school managed to do.

 In addition to the project topic, partner countries interested me as well. As a person from Cyprus I find more similarities with Mediterranean countries. Therefore this difference was important for me as I would learn every single time in the project! And that was the reality. In every discussion we had, while we were eating, drinking our coffee, walking, playing I learned and I shared.

I have to say that from the first days I felt really comfortable with the place and the people there. Our trainer Andrej was also an amazing guy! Everyone had to share and was open to receive knowledge, experiences from the others.

During the interviews I felt the luckiest person in the world. Everything I read about all those years were alive in front of my eyes. They were telling their stories to some strangers not because they like to share them. Contrariwise, they didn’t want to remember those times but they wanted to let young people know in order to avoid the same mistakes again.
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It was really tuff program, we worked a lot. But personally I enjoyed every single moment working as a team and creating something that was ours and it will connect us forever. Of course sometimes we argued but this is normal and desirable and you work as a team.

I loved and liked people really early, ten days for me were not enough with them. Therefore I hope we will meet soon.

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February 12, 2018

Feeling about this YE

Feeling about this YE
Some says that my generation (I’m 23) is lost. We lost our way. We don’t have a goal to follow. Unfortunatelly it is very true. Even us who attends to E+ projects sometimes express the feeling that we don’t really have a next step in our mind. Or the lucky ones say they are just unsure how to reach it. This kind of discussion happened also in this project. But this is where the tables turned. In many cases when a project ends there won’t be any left of it after a given time. Of course some friendships and such but can you show it to the world? Not not really. This is why not only this project but every Let me tell you a story felt so different.  It gave you a goal a really clear goal to achieve. We had to work as a real team and we knew that every time we press a button on our keyboard we are creating something which will has a great meaning to many people, and of course for us. For those days every doubt disappeared from us. It was very relieving. The feeling that you creating something is always nice. Most of the times I do two things which helps me. Gardening and writing. This time was more writing which was very enjoyable for me. Also taking those long walks into the blank whiteness was marvelous especially when I found a forest after I crossed some fields. 

Yet there is also another aspect which is worth to mention. Is that we have met all those people from an era which is still affecting us very heavily even to this day. It covers the whole region like a shadow. But we are still forgetting it slowly but surely. Our little books or memorandums will help maybe not too much but will still help to remember. That’s also something to think of. After all this project was incredibly wonderful. When you got to any project time stops you and your group are covered in a big bubble and there is a strange and unique atmosphere which is similar and kinda feels like home even from the first time. In this project our bubble went back in time. That’s something  that very rarely happens. Me and I think all of the project group felt honored that we were able to met those people and to talk to them. For example the person who gave interview for my part of the team asked us to give him autographs so he can show it to his relatives and friends that we were here. Now many days passed but it’s still hard to put it into words. Its not something you can’t express it’s something you would express much much longer and with very deep details.
So before i lose my train of thought i will leave you guys there.

February 10, 2018

Farewell to Motycz

Farewell to Motycz
After figuring out what to put inside of our sandwiches (sorry Christina for we didn’t left any for you) and slowly gathering all our bags into one big pile. It was time to leave. Some of us already left. Our little roller coaster which was still somehow was shaped as a bus. Started to speed up and the vast white fields slowly disappeared behind us. Our 3 hour long journey was the same as usual. Loud laughs, some sleeping or just silently enjoying the company of others. Even that we did not want to belive in it at first. We realised we reached the capital. We jumped out of the bus. Grabbed our luggage. To wander around a bit in the city. First we lost what is left of the Romanian team and then the Czech. Only the brave Cypriots and Hungarians dared to stand against the cold winds. Until we found shelter in the mall at the Central Station. Where a really nice lady was giving away free lollipops. We got separated into two mixed teams, and we went to the Uprising Museum. We spent like 3 hours there maybe a bit less or even more. The museum was amazing every detail and part. It felt like a theater where instead of actors the walls and columns were the ones telling the tale. After a point the others actually had to ring us up to meet and leave. We went back to the station, and we found our lost Romanians who managed to walk for a good 1,5 hour to reach their accomondation which was 10 minutes from where the bus left us.

Nevertheless we were happy to see them. So we had a great feast together. Also i went to buy some Soplica as it is the best gift anyone can think of. 

Unfortunatelly me and Szabolcs had to leave at 19:30 and slowly more and more people left. But of course with our final hugs and goodbyes we promised to visit and meet each other if we can. 
Afterall these invisible dotted lines are what matter the most.

February 09, 2018

LARP day

LARP day
The day started off as usual with breakfast but we were already feeling the pressure of it being the last day. We knew we had to say goodbye quite soon and we had gotten so attached to our friends, we really didn’t want to. After breakfast we had an energizer and a brief session on the LARP game, even though we were sad the days spend in Motycz were slowly slipping away, we were anticipating the game.

The scenario was simple: one classroom in which the best two students were drug dealers because they couldn’t afford going to University otherwise. Layla and Charles were brilliant in physics and chemistry but had limited means of supporting themselves through uni, so the solution was dealing drugs. Their polar opposites were Peter and Bobby, scoundrels and rebels, they didn’t care about school, they cared only about having fun and they were very disruptive. The teachers played by our colleagues Crystalla and Emese were brilliant, supportive of the students and trying to make them achieve something in life. The whole plot was that one girl from the class, Laura, had killed herself because some nude pictures of her were leaked on Facebook and suspicions were running at an all time high, who was it?

The first suspect was of course her boyfriend, Dean, but he didn’t seem to know much or played the innocent part very, very well. He was busy in trying to get everyone in the classroom on his side, even the princess of the group tended to believe his story and even the nerds. The psychologist of the school started snooping around and asking questions…even Headmaster Johnson was a suspect. To add even more pressure, the police was there all the time and tried to pry as much information out of the students as possible: nerd Marc was terrified and even the problem students were. The cleaning lady seemed to know way more than she was letting on and was constantly spying on everyone. A journalist, the mother of Layla was trying to kick start her career with the news but was she using all the material she knew or was she cherry picking?

In the end, after two hours of pure fun we had to call it a day. Charles was arrested on suspicion of being guilty and so were headmaster Johnson and the character played by Razvan (a troubled boy, always a prankster, never paying attention to the class). The rest of us could breathe easily. This game bonded us even more, we had to act a little bit and try to stay in character during the whole two hours and that was a little difficult but definitely not impossible.

The last evening was bitter sweet, we all played Mafia, cards, pool and discussed about the lives we were going back to, nobody really wanted to return home and everybody secretly wished we could stop time and this night would last longer. We sang together, we promised we would meet again, we ate together and we exchanged goodbye notes, hoping that in the era of technology we would manage to stay connected because our time in Motycz managed to bond us maybe for life. Without sounding too corny, I guess we can safely say that this was probably the most memorable Erasmus+ program in which we took part and, definitely, not the last.

Let us hope we meet again, for we are young and the world is our playground and if we dream something we can do it…
With love,

Adelina from Romania

February 08, 2018

Meetings with student in Krasnystaw

Meetings with student in Krasnystaw

 Yesterday we visited high school in Krasnystaw where we had a chance to meet local students. We split into different teams based on whom we interviewed in the previous days of our project. Our team had the opportunity to share the basic ideas of Erasmus+ and of our project. Not only were the students communicative and willing to express their opinions, but also were opened for further participation in Erasmus+ mobilities. On top of that, some tasty donuts in occasion of Polish national holiday were prepared for us. Afterwards, the whole group performed icebreaking activity let by our group leader Marty. Not surprisingly, this activity included singing, jumping, and screaming. As a result, we could feel much stronger connection between all of us.

February 07, 2018

Working on interviews

Working on interviews

The days started as usual with a delicious breakfast. After that, in order to get more awake, we did funny energizers and suddently we were ready to start our tasks. We went back to our teams and we started to work on our interviews.

Firstly, we started replaying our recordings and wrote them all down so as not to lose any important details of our interviews with the people that were exiled to Siberia. Everyone had a certain amount of time of recording, so that being 6 in a team really helped us out. Each of us typed his or her part of the interview which ranged from 10 minutes to 35 minutes depending on how long the witness to history wanted to share. But that was just the easy part. After that, it was us who had to write the questions and answers and make it more presentable.

Because so many decades passed since the events happened, let’s just say that putting the interviews in a chronological order proved a bit problematic. Nevertheless, because the information that we found out during our trip was so precious, everything worked out in the end.
Since the brochures had to be distributed in schools and libraries in Poland, we needed to have them translated by our Polish colleagues whom we thank for their patience and hard work. After all was comitted to paper, the finishing touches were made: proofreading, finding quotes, finding pictures, the appropriate introductions, page fitting and so on.

As we wanted to raise awareness in the town of Zamość about our project and our interwees, we tried to devise an interesting few paragraphs and had them printed aut on leaflets. We also established together that we would make a banner on which one talented colleague would draw and several others would add powerful quotes or phrases. Mass media also paid us a visit and our wonderful colleague from Cyprus, Cistina and another colleague from the Czech Republic, Dali, appeared on national television.
Because all work and no play makes things dull, we had a very funny debate about whether our Romanian leader should cut his hair or not. The proposition team was voting for the haircut and the opposition team against it. The public was actively participating and was even taking sides, the atmosphere was more lively than in our national Parliaments, the enthusiasm was almost tangible in the air. The arguments of the proposition team were hilarious: a change of look is needed as we always change our clothes, girls might appreciate a new look and success may be an outcome, things may be on a more positive side in case of a job interview and having the same look is boring. The living example of the impact a haircut can have in getting more popular,were two peers that cut their hair during our time here in Motycz and their popularity with girls on facebook went up.

The opposition supported the idea that consent is mandatory and these type of things should not be established arbitrary, also, on a funny side, winter is coming and a short haircut is not an ideal one in these circumstances.
We then voted for the best team and best speaker, voting which was contested and accusations of rigged elections flew up in the air. In the end, hands were shaken and peace was made.

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