The start. What and Where?

Ciao a tutti

or whatever. I tried.

So many questions which I got is what I am doing in my project, how much time I work and so on. Here I gonna describe some activities which I participate

The biggest part of my project is working in Ludoteca (that’s kind of place where children come after school to do homework and play). I don’t have to care about their homework, my general task is playing with them whatever they want. The game # 1 is kicker (from german language). The children are really obsessed with this game. In my childhood I never played it. In Russia this game is not popular. But here it is like religion. It’s everywhere: schools, pubs, out in the streets. On the first work day children absolutely made us (not invited, not suggested and so on) they made us playing with them. That moment I realized how bad I am in this game – I have no idea how to use it properly. But since that day I’ve started playing it more and more and those children were the best teachers for me. Thanks to them now I know something about kicker and have a low skill in that game

Office work or “Guys have you already visited a market”?

During mornings I have some office hours where I do help to coworkers with national and international projects.  For example, searching new partners, looking for ideas about new projects, preparing some local events and so on.

Usually we work about 5-6 hours per day. 2-3 hours in the office and 3 hours in ludoteca. So we have more than enough free time here.

Free time activities

That depends only on you and your personality. As for me, the most interesting of my leisure is cycling and explore the region where I stay. I was happy to borrow a bicycle because in Russia I’d never used it. So here for me it’s kind of entertainment – take a bicycle and go to a random city reveling the nature. After Russian climate here it is so good for me. +20 C every day and even it’s rain I like it so much. But Summer is coming and I already feel that I will hate it…Winter – one love

So my cycling is my hobby here. To high my interest to that I even drew a map to check places which I managed to visit. And I’d like to notice that it really motivates me to use the bicycle more and more. Here you can check the difference between the 1st March and the 1st April.

1st March
1st April

Italiano. Io parlo italiano (No)

Languages. I really like languages, it’s one part of my life. For me every language has its own psychology (#psychology_nerd). And I really find exciting the idea about that the person has as many personalities as many languages this person is able to speak. After one month of staying here I have a feeling that inside of me there is no italian part…

  • I wake up around 6-7 every day;
  • No coffee me, grazie
  • +22 C – that’s enough
  • Football? No
  • Kicker? No
  • Beer-wine? – not so much
  • Gesturing? I prefer staying straight and sometimes as far as I can
  • Siesta? – don’t understand

And yes a volunteer my foundation organised me some italian lessons at local school for immigrants. I never forget my first lesson when I arrived in the class and most students were from east countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka. I don’t know why but I decided to speak English and the moment was more than confusing:

– Hey everyone, I am Alex from Russia

*Chirp-chirp. Chirp-chirp”

Also the teacher who doesn’t speak English…That was quite complicated to start visiting these lessons because the communication was absolutely broken. But now I really enjoy it. My student group is so nice and that’s so amazing to meet people from absolutely other cultures which are so different from ours. My groupmates’ openness inspires me and it definitely broke my stereotypes…

But italian language is still the challenge #1 for me. Doing my best I am still not able to speak this language. OK, I can present myself and maybe answer some easy questions but that’s not enough. And that’s why I survived my first month…

Non parlo inglese

I think that I made one game for me – find as many English-speakers in Chiari and local towns as I can. That all started on my first day, on my first minute. My coordinator showed me the nearest shop to buy something and left me. With zero italian knowledge and I went into the store and asked shy one girl:”Do you speak English” and I got the best answer ever  – “Yes, I do!” and after that the girl gives me a hand when I need it and that was the first person who supported me in my new activities.

Before I arrived here, I had heard many times something like that “In north Italy people are too arrogant, selfish and so on”. That’s absolutely not true. During one month I met some random people who impressed me and inspired me

  1. One guy from the supermarket. I had some troubles with finding some special things among italian products. And once I took luck and asked one guy if he could speak English. Then I got his help whenever I wanted. Even once he invited to join him going in the mountain one evening.
  2. Another guy from Dello. Dello – a small town, about 17 km from Chiari, where I stay. Met in Dello, invited to the home and later invited to Milan for a lovely walk where I also got a delicious free dinner. Arrogant people? Don’t think so

    Can I bring something for the dinner? No, don't worry. But when I visit you I bring it. IN YOUR fACE
    Can I bring something for the dinner? No, don’t worry. But when I visit you I bring it. IN YOUR FACE
  3. Bicycles connecting people. Another person came to my city just to take a bike trip with me. That was a beautiful ride to local river…

I’m more than thankful to these people, because they make me socializing and they help me a lot in getting into italian culture and I appreciate it. That’s the most important thing for me in this moment. The first month was really rough for me. No friends = no communication, no social life in the place where nobody speaks English. So those persons brighted this period for me.

Volunteer team

Also I’m happy to say that I am not only one volunteer in one place. My co-volunteer is Jorge, a great spanish guy. I really like the moment when I have lunch and he eats his breakfast.

Also there are 2 more volunteers: Tania from Spain and Eszter from Hungary. All volunteers are so friendly and I’m really glad to meet these girls here because their help and advises are really useful. That’s why I love volunteering atmosphere: infinite friendliness and fun with no limits.

Volunteer team Eszter (Hungary) me (Russia) Tania (Spain) Jorge (Spain)

Organizational issues

  • accommodation. We’ve got absolutely a new flat, where both of us has a private room and I think we are lucky, ’cause generally I’ve heard that volunteers live share the room. Our flat is in the centre and our workplace is in 2 minutes from our place.
  • food. Every month we got 200 euro for our food (or for what we want). That’s more than enough to live here
  • Pocket money: 115 euro per month. Usually we spend it on travelings and eat out.
  • Work-schedule. Every Tuesday with our coordinator we make our schedule. And special thanks to our coordinator for her attention to our wishes and her flexibility. Since I arrived, I’ve never had any troubles with the schedule or some like that. The level of organization is amazing and I’m taught a lot by my coworkers

So that’s how it is going here and we will see what I get next months


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