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Youth exchange "YES! for being active and eco" in Poland

After our long trip, Zakopane welcomed us with snow, delicious soup and happy people. We were all very tired but still excited for the upcoming adventure and we weren’t even prepared for how much this exchange program will exceed our expectations. This is mostly because of the amazing people with whom we got the chance to meet and the memories we created together. From slightly confused, awkward teenagers, who were afraid to speak in a foreign language with strangers, on the first day, we became friends who laughed, played and worked together. Without even realizing it we not only gained confidence in our English skills, but we also learned a lot of interesting things about the cultures of other participants as well. Some of the phrases are not highly intellectual but still useful and funny.

 

On the first day, we had to train our memory very well because we needed to remember the 36 totally different and hard to pronounce names while playing games. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to walk along the beautiful main street in the center of the city, to buy presents, to taste the traditional for the region grilled cheese with jam and mulled wine and, of course, to take a lot of selfies. For a closure of this rich in emotions day we received a small concert and each room, thanks to the guitar and the beautiful voice of one of the Romanian participants.

 

The next days included a lot of fun games which helped us learn how to work as a team, to listen and understand each other, and to express our opinion. We started, obviously, by taking advantage of the weather conditions and of the snow in particular and by building a snowman. From this, the yard got decorated with very diverse in their shape and size works of art. We worked as film directors (thematically we had a Tarantino in our group), entrepreneurs, innovators, actors and masters in the arts and crafts, by creating products out of scratch. Our hiking trip to Morskie Oko helped us discover the beauty of the Tatra mountain, improve our skills in snowfighting and appreciate the luxury of having a toilet nearby.

 

Key part from the daily agenda were the cultural nights, one for each country, when we could see a traditional Polish folklore attire, teleported ourselves to South Italy with "sponzzare’’ bread with olive oil and tasty cherry tomatoes and for dessert, we ate tasty "cantuccini’’. Our geographic and gastronomic adventure continued with Romania and their home-made "zakuska’’ which suspiciously reminded of our "lutenica’’, presented by us a couple days later. From Slovakia we received a wide variety of meats and waffles, and Lithuania made us happy by bringing home-made bread and honey. We always finished the evening by dancing, singing and spreading the good mood, and afterward by taking the cultural exchange in the hotel building until the late hours of the night.

 

The organization of the event as a whole was perfect and included all the activities necessary for one amazing experience, and for the creation of the sense of teamwork and mutual support. With a bit of sorrow but with a notebook full of unforgettable moments and emotions, we are leaving Poland, but it is not leaving us yet, because of the lovely organizers and participants who in one week time, became our good friends and whom we hope we’ll meet again in some new city, in a different country, somewhere around this wide, but now closer to us, world.

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