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How can I describe my last months as a happy ESC volunteer in Slovenia? Yes, yes, it’s true. I should have written one post per month, but I didn’t have the energy to stop for a second and turn the computer on to write this instead of looking for a job in Slovenia (Please, if you are reading this and have a job to offer related to Education/IT/Mathematics, contact me!!!). Anyways, I will rewind until the beginning of June (I wish I could do it in reality).

So, as I said in the previous post, during June I sat for a few hours on the pillows in EPI Lucija (the ones that Barbara customised) to read the book that Anka lent me. It hooked me. I didn’t make any comment about it because I’m waiting for Anka to finish – actually start, right? – it.

At the beginning of the month I had to challenge myself and pretend, in front of the basque TV, that I like fish. I don’t know if it worked, but the program of “Vascos por el mundo” has already appeared on TV and I still haven’t watched it. Anyways, the filming day was nice, especially with the boat trip and bath in front of Strunjan (sorry Ibon for pretending to drown you). I also spent 4 hours alone in the hospital of Izola (lucky for me because nobody would have bitten their tongue regarding the wait) to try to have an MRI to check my knee. Yes, I said “try” because I only had an X-ray and the doctor said I was fine and I could do sport regularly (ha-ha).

With my ESC friends, in June I could participate in Matea’s personal project (cookueendom) about cooking and time sharing while talking informally about topics which we considered relevant. I went to see the result of Oskaras’ personal project: “Oskaras Verbickas: playlist of colours “, a photography exhibition in which he identified emotions with colours. And, at the end of the month, I went to Kolpa river to evaluate the ESC experience of the volunteers in Škofja Loka: we spent a few days all together, surrounded by nature and evaluating their year.

Regarding my free time during that month, I went to Kino Otok (cinema festival) in Izola, to Velika Planina, to Ljubljana Pride (and of course Metelkova) and to swim in the river in Loka and in the sea in Piran. I was also intimidated by a jellyfish, a crab and a swan while I was having a beautiful and romantic picnic in Strunjan with a friend. And, last but not least in June: the women’s Eurobasket!! I convinced three friends from my basketball team in Spain to come to Ljubljana to support Spain in Arena Stožice and do some tourism around the country. The visit was full of adventures on the bike, in Bled, Bohinj and Piran, and we had the luck to watch Spain in the final. Even though we won the silver medal, we enjoyed the match, we met nice people and we felt very comfortable with the rest of Spanish supporters). I must say that I have never been that patriotic… Anyways, thanks to my friends for coming!

Now we will head towards the rest of my time in Slovenia (July to September). If I had to sum up the whole summer in two words, they would be “swim” and “pivo”. So you can imagine: a lot of time on the beach, in the river and drinking “pivo” in the beach, in the river…

During July, we had three weeks of holidays. Clara left me alone and she missed a bunch of things like rafting in Soča, an activity which was planned since Lea and Alix’s birthday party we had in Idrija in March. She also missed when Varja and me went to Andalo to visit Alberto: the trip was nice and full of geocaching, singing Italian songs like “Italodisco” or “non sono una signora” (I realised later that the lyrics say just the opposite). I liked to travel with Varja because I feel very comfortable with her, and also I brought her to a hike 😮Anyways, Varja has to keep training because, if we come back next time, we have to do more hikes because I’m sure that the views to Dolomites are worth from the top of mountains!

Lastly, Clara missed the opportunity to volunteer in Floating Castle. For me, one of the best weeks of the year: I met nice people like Anna, the concerts, music and performances were very good, we saw a marriage proposal and I had the company of my ESC friends in Slovenia. During the first days, my job was to help with the pre-festival set up, and during the event I was a bodyguard and sometimes it was very boring. But, to summarise, I was happy to share those moments with people that I really like and with the feeling of community. The plan is to repeat next year as visitors and enjoy!

Appart of Floating Castle, I was also volunteering in Overjam: a reggae festival in Tolmin. I liked Floating Castle more, but in Overjam the food was amazing and the festival was better organised with less working hours. This time, Clara was already here so she came with me, even though I was swimming alone in Soča because Clara was too cowardly to jump into the water and play with me. However, after Overjam we went to Bovec to make Clara’s dream come true and she fell from the kayak to the water, so she could finally swim in Soča (with wetsuit)😀

On the other hand, I also spent time on the coast. Firstly, Martina and I celebrated out birthdays with a lot of food and water with stuffs (Anka, I am still sad because you didn’t come 🙁), and then we went to the firefighters’ party in Sečovlje to dance, drink, talk and meet a few friends of Varja. Martina and I got, as a birthday present, a 10 mins ride in a plane to see the coast from the heights. I was afraid to die in such a little plane, but here I am, telling you how cool it was to see Piran from above, as well as Italy and Croatia.

Secondly, I spent a lot of time this summer with Matea. Apart from Floating Castle, she came for a few days near the sea and we went to my favourite beach in Piran, to Croatia by bike, to the plane trip with Martina and even to watch the Barbie movie. Also, we went with more friends to an exhibition -and then party – in Libertas in Koper, to a Jam Session in CMK (at the end, we were the “jammers/singers” because nobody came, but at least I could try to play the drums for the first time in my life. I remember that the next day my friends got stuck on the coast because of the big floods caused by heavy rain around the country. Again, with
Matea I went to Bovec to visit Léa to spend time together, hike to Boka, party in the airport, see the Perseids, swim and chill again in Soča and cry a bit.

Lastly, during my last weeks in the coast, I did things that I had in mind since I stepped on Slovenia. One of them was to cycle from Lucija to Trieste with Jan. I thought it was going to be harder, but the Parenzana in Slovenia is easy going and beautiful. Once in Italy, we had to cycle on the road with cars, but in the end we managed to drink a coffee, eat a brioche and a “gelato” in the centre of Trieste. On the way back we stopped to pick blackberries, one activity that I used to do in August in Spain with my parents. The second thing I had in mind was to hike to Nanos to test my knee, which was fine despite the slope which wore me out. And the third thing, just after Nanos, was to go to Škocjanske jame. Amazing caves, natural and beautiful, especially when the river appears. As a recommendation: if you go there, once you exit the caves you need to take the long way to come back to the entrance. That path is worth it too.

At this time of the post, you might wonder how it is possible to do so many things. Well, I was also in the Czech Republic for the wedding of a friend from Erasmus. And also in Rakija (but we didn’t drink Rijeka) with my friends from the coast. And I still had time to visit emergency again because I got a fly inside of my ear – yes – while I was cycling in Strunjan.

This is the end of the summary of my last 3,5 months as an ESC. I didn’t finish because I plan to do another post because Anka and Varja will ban me if I write all together (this time, if they want a meeting it will need to be online…).

But before saying bye bye, there is something missing in this post, right? It looks like I didn’t work in EPI, but of course I did!!!

In June everything was like all the previous months in EPI, with the fact that Ibon and I prepared a workshop about board games (Dixit and Dobble) with the students of Gimnazija Piran. In July and August, we had the daycare with little kids. I was afraid because Alberto scared me with his experience last summer, but I actually liked it. For me, the kids were nice and I loved to camouflage myself among them. One day, I was playing with some girls inside of a “tent” that they built in the living room ini Lucija; another day Clara and I started to dance and we ended in a circle holding hands with all of the kids; and another day I was making soap bubbles with them. Besides, we visited some beautiful and nice places like the cactus garden in Seča or the aquarium in Piran. I actually enjoyed working with the kids. Also, I spent time with Clara and Ibon doing puzzles. I will miss this soo much…

During summer we had the festival of “Sedem sonc sedem lun”, and this year a Catalan group performed, so I was dancing with Ualid in Tartini square. Even if I didn’t work that day, the EPI youth was collaborating on it with the help of Clara and Anka. In August, more concerts happened in EPI Lucija and we were helping with the chairs and enjoying the music and the talks with Keni and Matic from TKZ.

Last but not least, I celebrated my birthday working in EPI Tabor: a 3 day summer camp in Dekani with some of the kids in EPI Lucija. It was hot, very hot. I don’t know why we rented a place to sleep if Barbara, Simon and I were sleeping outside on three benches. But we had a river where to swim (although at the end of a hill), ice cream and palačinke to eat, forest to hike, kids to play and a big storm (and still hot).