Hello everyone! My name is Anton Ågholm, I am 21 year old male. I am currently a volunteer in Ljubljana, Slovenia and i will stay here for 10 months. I come from the infamous city Nykarleby, FInland. And this is my blog where i will talk about my EVS life, challanges, thoughts and my everyday life. For this first post i will talk about my first month in Slovenia and that is September.
I arrived on the 4th of September and i couldn’t have any better flight schedual, the departured at 14:45 which is not to late or early and i landed in Helsinki and then direct flight to Ljubljana and i arrived there at 18:30 which is not to late so it was perfect. At the airport i was greeted by cordinator Marko
(I met him before on a Youth Exchange in Ljubljana) and I was very nervous about meeting him, the youngsters, it was really warm that day but Marko thougth that it was very cold and I thought he was crazy for thinking it was cold and it was like 25 degrees!! He drove me to the youth house where the youngster live and where i will be living until the 1st of December. The youngsters had made dinner for everyone, they made lasangna and they were worried if i was a vegetarian or not so they had Marko to text Emil and ask him if i ate meat and i found they quite nice of them. After the dinner i got invited to play ping pong with one of the youngsters which i found suprising after i just met everyone, so we played for a while and talked and then i went to my room and got everything set for the night and that was my first day.
This is the first picture i took that i sent to my mom.
The second day i went with Marko to the city centre to fix my Slovenian number and my bus card for the local busses so I can get around the town and to work of course. During the car ride all I could see was big buildings everywhere and thinking how big this city is and how you would ever locate anything here, also Marko said it was a small town which and i thought he was crazy for thinking that because I think is huge Metropolis after coming from a small town with 7000 inhabitatants so it’s quite a shock for me. After we got my bus card and sim card fixed we went for a coffe next to the river and talked and again Marko said it was really cold which I thought was crazy because I was a bit upset that i didn’t put my shorts on insted of pants that day. When we had our coffe we went for a lil walk in the centre and he showed me some stuff and then he asked if i was able to go home by myself and i felt quite confident and said yes, so he left me in the centre and I went out to explore a little and then i went back home to the youth home with bus which I found felt really strange because im not used to take the bus or walk anywhere back home in Finland because I drive everywhere there. So i went to the youth house and I hung out with the youngsters and got to know them a bit better and then i went to sleep.
Photo from when I was out and exploring the city.
The following day Wednesday I went with Marko to check the other youth home Kokos where I will also work, when we got there I was really suprised that every employee from that youth home got time to come and meet and greet me. We sat down and talked about me and my future and what my role will be in Kokos. After the meeting we went to reservate my accomodation where i will live from December to the end of my EVS, I got to see the room where i will sleep and there will also live 4 other people (the place is like a dorm) including two other EVS volunteers from Spain which is very nice! After we reserved my accomodation Marko left me in the centre and I went to do some exploring and i walked around for about 2h or something and then i went back home and hung out with the youngsters.
Thursday I was just home relaxing and editing some photos before the youngsters came back from school, so Thursday is the big day, the day when they clean everything really carefully and two of them are making dinner for everyone and I am helping make dinner and clean the kitchen. It was quite fun making dinner but also quite struggling because I am really bad at cooking or anything that surronds the kitchen of food but I had alot of fun and I will at the same time evolve my cooking and baking skills! After the dinner we cleaned the kitchen and I went to my room to relax.
Friday I had my first meeting with my mentor Sonja( I met her before on a youth exchange in Ljubljana) and I met her and Marko at Kino Šiška which is a old cinema turned into a concert hall. It was very exciting going there because it was the first time when I had to take the bus from Črnuče(where i live/work at the moment) to the centre and then switch bus and go to Kino Šiška where I’ve never been before, but I made it there on time. So we talked a bunch and also Marko had invited the 2 Spanish guys to meet with me so after the meeting we went out for a walk and we walked around and i showed them bunch of places and I felt like a tour guide but I got lost about two times. After a while we met with Marko my cordinator and we had a coffe next to the river and chatted a bunch and after the coffe we split up and the Spanish guys went back to their place and i went back to my place but we planned on meeting later that night. Later during the evening i met up again with the Spanish guys and we went to see a Metal concert and it was very entertaining but also strange because they were singning in Slovene and I couldn’t understand but still the music was really good and I felt their vibe so I kinda understod somehow. After the concert we went home everyone.
Of the river that goes through Ljubljana.
On Saturday i just relaxed and later I went out with a friend i met during a exchange in Ljubljana and we’ve had a little contact ever since. So we went to see a movie called Baby Driver, I’ve seen it before in the movies in Finland but she wanted to see it and it was very good even the second time. After the movie we went to the centre and we walked around and she showed me alot of places and then we split and went home.
Sunday I relaxed the whole day and watched a movie and packed my bags for the following week when I went to Laško for on-arrival training, it is for all new EVS volunteers that have come to Slovenia recently. MOVIT hosts this for every new volunteer that is staying longer than 2 months and it’s for us to prepare ourselves for this EVS task.
This first week was like a introduction to what I will do and work with, also to get more comfortable in Slovenia and also riding the buses and finding my way around town. The first week was very exciting and nervous.
The following week on Monday I met up early in the morning with the Spanish guys and we went together with train to Laško for the on-arrival training. It rained alot so the train ride there was quite boring because you couldn’t see out of the window because of the rain. When we got to Laško we met some other volunteers that was also on their way to the on-arrival training so we walked together with them to the hotel where we were staying for the week, but we got really soaked in water so we had to dry up a little before in our rooms. I got to stay in the room with one of the Spanish guys so I got quite luck that I got someone I knew from before. After we dried up a little we got called for a meeting in one of the hotels meeting rooms and there we got introduced to everyone and there were 20 other volunteers there and then wa started to have some ice breakers to get to know eachothers and we kept on doing that until dinner. After dinner we had a lil break and then we continued with the program and now they explained the whole schedual for the entire week and also we got slippers!!! After the program we all went to the bar and chill for a while and then we went to sleep.
The following day was quite similar to Monday, alot of ice breakers but alot of activites around EVS where you had to think alot and get out of your comfort zone so it was quite a stressful and it was the same on Wednesday, also we got divided into groups of 5 and our objective was to make a video, It had to be related to Slovenia, locals had to be involved, it had to be new to everyone, be benefitial for the local community, be presentable, need to be made in one day with financial limitation of 6€ per person. So we brain stormed alot and came up with an idea to ask interview locals about their city Laško and its history and to spread the word about Laško, also Laško is a very famous beer that is being made in the same town.
On Thursday we went to the city and started with our video project and it was the most fun during the entire on-arrival training. We talked to alot of locals and we got to learn how to cooperate with strangers that you just learned to know and to express your ideas and how to work in a team. The video was a success but unfortunatly I don’t have the video to show it to you. Later during Thursday evening we had a good bye party and we were up long and had a good time enjoy eachothers company and on Friday we went back home but everyone was passing through Ljubljana so we decided to have a coffe there. And then later during friday some of us went to Škofja Loka because there is six volunteers that lives there so we all decided to go there and spend the weekend but i went home on saturday because I started to feel very ill probably because the weather in Laško was very bad and it rained most of the time there and it was very cold. On Sunday i felt very ill so i was just at home sleeping, drinking tea and relax.
I didn’t take alot of photos in Laško i mostly just hung out with the other volunteers, but i did take this from my hotel room of some misty mountains.
Following week after the on-arrival training i was sick almost the whole week so i stayed in bed for most of the week which was very bad because it was also my first real week with wtih my volunteer work so I missed 3 days. Mondays and Wednesdays im in Kokos and Tuesdays and Thursdays im in Črnuče so I missed my work at Kokos and also one day in Črnuče. On Thursday I was feeling better so I helped with the cooking and but I took it very easy. And on Friday i had a meeting with my mentor at her office at that’s next to Kino Šiška.
Later on Friday i met up with some EVS volunteers from Škofja Loka, they came to visit Ljubljana so we hung out and had fun and also the Spanish guys invited me to go with them to Postojna and Piran and I accepted.
So on Saturday morning I went with the Spanish guys to go and get the car because they had rented a car for 2 days and they don’t spreak English that well. We finally got our car and we drove to Postojna which is like 50min away with car from Ljubljana. Postojna is very famous for its castle and cave. The castle in built into a Mountain and has bunch of underground caves un it, acctually George R.R. Martin the author of Game of Thrones visited this incredible castle and got inspierd by it. The cave is a 20km long karst cave and it has this really cool creature that looks like a human fish, when they first found the cave they thought the creature was a baby dragon! I recomend checking Postojan out, it’s a very uniqe experince. I only checked out the castle because we had planned to go see another cave insted of Postojna cave( I’ve been to the cave before on my exchange to Ljubljana) so we visited Škocjanske jame insted, it’s another cave. I found this cave more exciting and interesting than the one in Postojna and it’s way cheaper also! I could have spent days in the cave taking photos, it took so long for me that the Spanish guys got annoyed and had to come tell me we have to hurry because we still had planned to visit Piran. But I will definatly go back there because it’s such an amazing and extrodinary cave. After the cave we drove to Piran which is about an hour from Piran, Piran is very beautiful city at the coast and when you go there it dosen’t feel like you’re in Slovenia anymore but it was quite crowded there with alot of tuorists but I enjoyed every moment of it. It has that Italian feeling from the movies, when they portrait Italy thats how Piran feels. We had a coffee there and walked around and got lost in the narrow streets. The clock was almost 21 and we started to drive back home to Ljubljana, they also invited me to go to Lake Bohinj with them but i declined because it was going to rain alot and i was still feeling a bit sick so I was home relaxing the entire Sunday editing photos.
The first month for me has been very exciting, I got a lot of new friends, I’ve explored new places, I got more confident in myself and more open with comunication. I will post later about the October month and Novemeber so stay tuned.
Also I couldn’t get any photos on the blog it came some errors when i tried to but when i get it to work i will update this one with photos.
See ya, Anton