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Dober dan!
My name is Irene Marijuan and I am a volunteer in Slovenia, in Mladinski EPI center Piran.

So, how does one end up doing a voluntering project in Slovenia?

Actually, it was kind of random for me. I knew I wanted to live this volunteering experience, and I knew I wanted a country that I didn’t know that much about, that was unknown for me. After applying to some projects, I had an interview with the crew in Piran and they selected me, so I said to myself: ok, this is it, let’s go there! And so, at the beginning of September, I was flying to Venice with two huge suitcases. Yes, to Venice, because the flight connections here are a headache.

So far I have been here in Lucija almost five months. But I remember perfectly what my first impressions were when I arrived here:

I fell in love with Piran at first sight. This tiny town by the coast, with its narrow streets, the terraces and the smell of the sea… it was nothing like my hometown back in Spain, and I loved it. Soon I discovered other things that I will miss when I go back home: the amazing sunsets, the fact that everybody here speaks English and everyone tries to help you, even when you are a foreigner. The relaxing and chilling vibes. The “living slow” mood. And most important: the glass of water that you always get when you order coffee!

But not everything is perfect, of course. As soon as I started my first lesson in Slovenian I knew that it was going to be impossible to learn. It is just so complicated! Luckily for me, in Piran most of people speak also Italian, which, being Spanish myself, is kind of a relief. Still, sometimes it’s frustrating when you realize that, after five months, you are not able to say even a simple sentence in Slovenian. Is the constant feeling of being a tourist, of not being able to mix completely with the people here. Sometimes it is hard.

Another thing that changed was the atmosphere: during September, there were a lot of tourists, open-air clubs, full terraces and, in general, the ambience was animated. Nevertheless, winter came and everything went dead. No tourists, not much people, no clubs because of COVID… so yes, we switched from a “slow but cool mood” to a “totally boring in the afternoon mood”. But I hope that once spring comes, everything will slowly come back to life (Please!).

So this is the first chapter of my life here in Slovenia.

I will keep you updated in the next post!