A Finn in Slovakia - Spring time in April

25.04.2022 14:20 EZS Slovensko
First full month has passed and now I'm going to tell you about my thoughts and experiences during April. I've been doing work at the office, participated to my first training and visited Italy!

April started with the first leadership training. During the two-day training, we learned a lot of new things. It was a bit surprising how much there was to learn, even though some of the things had already been introduced to me or they were already familiar in some way. If I remember correctly, there were a total of eight participants in the leadership training and five Inex trainers. We had a group of just the right size. Although the content of the first training was more theory-oriented, I think the program had a suitable combination of learning by listening and watching, and on the other hand, we also got to do things in practice. The team spirit was excellent and everyone had fun, even though on Sunday we were quite tired after a long weekend. For example, we learn about the manager's communication, responsibilities, competencies, and how to plan a schedule for the volunteer camp. We practiced speaking in English and how to evaluate activities in a formal or informal way.

During April, I have had time to properly settle in Bratislava. The city and the apartment have started to feel like a permanent place of residence. Waking up in Petrzalka is no longer so special, but little by little, more and more ordinary. I have begun to understand that life is ultimately very similar regardless of the country or the city of the moment. I myself have at least had a slightly wrong idea about living abroad in the sense that everyday life would somehow be very special or different elsewhere than where I am. I find that I tend to easily think that being somewhere else is something wonderful, when in reality it is not. And that's a good thing. This makes it easier to be satisfied with where you are at that moment. You don't always have to be somewhere else, doing something better. Life can be made better where it already is.

I have slowly begun to understand what kind of language Slovak is. A little progress has been made, although I can't say anything yet. Fortunately, the teacher seems to have a lot of patience, because it is needed. Perhaps she has already learned with previous ESC volunteers that Slovak is a very difficult language to learn. However, it's fun to notice that you recognize some individual words from conversations, even if they are the simplest of all. One day when I ordered food in Slovak, I even got an answer in Slovak, so the seller thought I was a local. So something from the language lessons has stuck in my head, luckily. In the beginning, most of the energy went into learning the English language in order to make it flow as smoothly as possible. It was surprising how much difficulty there was in getting such easy rules into speech as personal pronouns or the use of singular and plural. Now sometimes I notice that even the thoughts flow in English, so you don't have to translate everything in your head before speaking, which is quite heavy and slow.

At the office, I have done many different small tasks. The use of Canva has become familiar. It's fun to use because I get to fulfill my inner graphic designer tendencies. Visuality is interesting to me, and it's nice to be able to combine it even in small things, such as a Facebook post or preparing an infosheet. Nowadays, when the video services TikTok and Instagram reels have taken over social media users, I was able to plan and publish my and also INEX´s first Reel video, which turned out to be quite successful for a perfectionist. I already knew before that social media is a very important part of almost every field of working life today, but now I'm only experiencing it in practice. During the month I have planned my own workshop, or in other words INEX messenger, the topic of which I chose people's short attention span and its development in the age of social media.

1: Hills just 30 minute walk from Bologna. 2: My dear friend Henna and I. 3: Office dog Edi enjoying warming sun in the afternoon.
4: Studying workcamp contracts with Dusica. 5: Bologna centrum during night time. 

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