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We are in the beginning of May and I have come back to work after 15 days in which I had my Mid-term and a hiking trip in Velebit and Paklenica. When I came to Lucija, I noticed the explosion of the spring. I had the feeling of being in a new place, trying to remember how everything looked before I left. The garden in EPI looks completely another thing if I compare it to the last time I was here. Trees are green with different tonalities, the grass and the plants have grown up and nature looks completely alive. I love the colours, the smells and the fresh air caused by the mix of rain and sun.

This month I spent most of the time on the coast, but I met my friends. We had time to play volleyball, try a new sport called spikeball (I think we should have it in EPI), throw a frisbee hundreds of times, do slackline, chill and go to Slavnik. Sport is always fun when you play with friends in a half-serious way. I still remember the day in which we played volleyball. We named our team “krompir” and we had a 10 years old kid as a supporter who danced each time we lost/won a point.

Besides, in the evening we were having time to go to TKZ (our favourite bar) that is very close to home and where they make the best hamburgers -and krompir- . In my case, when I’m living in a new place, I like to feel as if I was a local. In Slovenia it’s complicated because I struggle with the language, but the fact of arriving at TKZ and being recognized is a step closer to the secret plan that Clara and I are trying to achieve.

Regarding my time spent in nature, I’m proud to say that I went to pick asparagus first with Simon and then with some friends. The second time was amazing, they were everywhere and even my dad could have seen them. The fact of picking asparagus is important in my life, as I’m used to doing so with my family and I’m proud that my mum taught me. I’m happy to have inherited this from her and look more like her. I also know that she’s proud of me because I sent a photo to her and it became viral between my relatives and my parent’s friends.

I was also working in the garden: I took some spinachs and made croquetas that I still haven’t tried. This month I will start trying to grow paprika and paradižnik. On the other hand, I have been taking care of the other babies (the ones that I can’t eat but are very beautiful and called narcissus) since February, watering them at least twice a week. Now that spring has arrived and finally they had the yellow flowers, I discovered that some young scouts (yes, SCOUTS) cut them😡.

Appart of taking care of the garden, Ibon and I went to Gimnazija to visit the Spanish class with Maša and next month we will cook tortilla de patatas with them. In EPI, we had a book quiz, I played a lot of badminton with some kids, we made origami rabbits for Easter, organised a clothes exchange and a Japanese day (I’m still crying because  I didn’t try the nutella takoyaki – ehem ehem Varja: shall we cook them again? 🙄🙄 -).

In April I also participated in my first badminton tournament in Kozje. I played mixed and women’s doubles with two friends: Léa (my slovenian sister) and Uroš (my lovely friend from Ptuj). With Uroš we didn’t win any game, but with Léa we won the bronze trophy! It was a nice award, but the best one was to stop in Trojane to buy chocolate krofi 🤤.

In previous posts I told you that I signed in for the 10km of the Istrski Marathon that we held on the 16th of April. The experience was great and I’m glad that I ran “alone”, following my rhythm and trying to adapt to the speed of others. I enjoyed the vibes as I was applauding to people who were supporting us, and it was incredible to run close to the sea, with views to the mountains and watching someone playing the drums. It took me 57’47” to complete the distance and I was impressed by the result and grateful to have a good trainer to prepare the race (btw, in the ranking I was 91 out of 635 women). My friends did also complete their 21km and 42km, so after the race we ate the best homemade goulash I have ever tried. However, not everything was good news: after crossing the finish line, I had a pain in my knee that I have never felt in my life. Luckily, the pain disappeared after 4 days and I forgot I had problems. Perhaps it was because I was already in the Mid-term…

About Mid-term… It was in Bohinj, one of my favourite places in this country. However, I had the same luck with the weather when I had my On-Arrival in Strunjan. I was a bit sad and with less energy because most of my friends that I met in the O-A weren’t there. Anyways, I could strengthen my relationship with two friends that I love and I admire in a way. Also Clara and Ibon were there, and that’s a plus. In the end, I met a lot of new volunteers but I think I have reached my limit as I don’t think I will have time to meet them as many times. At least, I’m glad that I like to be close to people and my social battery lasts very long.

During the training I also had a crisis about my future: I don’t know what I will do in September after my volunteering because I want to do a lot of things and it’s hard to decide. But guess what? I should start thinking about it. Plus, I don’t want this experience to be a parenthesis in my life.

So after having used the swimming pool of the hotel in Bohinj or having had free drinks during the meals and two stars in the funniest game ever, I went straight back to Lucija to put the laundry, prepare my backpack and headed to Croatia. The plan: 6 days of hiking in Velebit and Paklenica National Parks. Total: around 130km with all the food in our back and water supplies for two days.

The result: mission accomplished despite the snow, fog and rain that we had on the first days (I’m glad we took crampons instead of flip-flops). Plus, my knee started to cry after the second day .

What made me sad?: The fact that we didn’t see any real bear and the pain in my knee.

The recompense: 4 days of chill between Zadar, Starigrad and Senj: beach, beds, camping, normal food, sunsets and friends.

The experience: worth it. We suffered but I don’t remember a trip in which I had laughed that much. We were a good hiking team, we shared everything and cooperated all the time, we slept in good places in the middle of nature and without any luxury, the food we cooked was ok, we tried Rijeka -but not in Rakija-, and we all want to repeat again. I just hope that my knee gets better because I still want to do longer hikes and I’m young to be already with physical problems…

It’s time to finish the post of the month of April. I hope this time Anka and Varja won’t text me to have a meeting. Time is passing very fast, weekends are full of plans until summer and I’m stressed because September is very close… I really don’t want this to end.

Oh! I forgot to tell you… Let images talk instead of words.