EVS | Creativity with the little ones

If one year ago, you told me that working with kids would be something natural in my daily basis, I would laugh at you. If you told me it would be with Polish children I would tell that you were crazy.
Never say never, Lídia, never say never!

Some of my responsibilities at the center are to help coordinate, with Ewa and João, about one hour a week of creativity workshops with children between the ages of 4 and 7.

We've made already 3 workshops.
As the weeks go by, I feel less and less a little fish out of the water and a little more comfortable in what it isn't at all my comfort zone.
 Note, a little ... that dealing with children has a lot to tell!

I will not lie, the first impact can be a little bit scary. 
It's impossible not to hyperventilate when you see a group of ten children that don't know you entering the door.It's difficult to predict how will be their reaction to our presence and a lot can go well but a lot can go wrong.

This is where Ewa's fundamental support comes in. Ewa helps us and gives us advises in the planning and during the activities, and she's also the person that makes our communication possible.
Although language is a barrier between us, it also ends up being what unites us, because we are both taking the first steps in a new language: we in Polish, they in English ... 
Be proud, I already know some colors and animals in Polish! And all thanks to these workshops and the games and activities. 
I do not know who gets more excited to see us give a few touches in Polish if us or them!

Memorizing names can be tricky, decorating names in polished is a challenge (mostly in the beginning) but challenge accepted!  And I dare to say that challenge accomplished!

Some of the activities that we did with children at workshops. In the first photo, for Valentine's Day, we made lovely owls. Beautiful some super funny storks. This week, it was the turn of the little fat penguins. Why? Because they are adorable! Do we need a better reason?

It was only three workshops of many to come, and I believe that when the number will get bigger I will have a bag full of stories to tell, and another one full of laughs!

Remember the games we used to play during afternoons at birthdays parties and school lunch breaks?
They're still funny!

Personal | Birthday 3,000 km away from home

Small big gestures

I believe that no special dates are required to celebrate anything, however, on your birthday you have the irrevocable right to be pampered a little more than usual and gather all the people that we like, at least for a day, every year. 
This year was different.
I am about 3,000 km from home and everything I know and the pre-birthday anxiety was not felt because it is on special dates that cost to be far away.

Being away, however, is not synonymous with not being spoiled and physical distance is nothing when we have people who really like us and want to see us happy regardless of everything. There are not enough thank yous for all the little surprises, words and gestures that this year had a special taste and made me feel less small in this big country.

In love with the new accessory! Made by Patty. The is super talented and full of good taste friend.

Special thank you to João, the partner of this new adventure that knows me only two weeks and knew the party animal Lídia. Needless to say, this is the first of many. 

To the friends of always and forever, to friends who are not of always but will be and to new friends: thanks for making 23 years of history (of my history) so special.

9 things | About the day life in negative temperatures

Yes, it's 9 ... it's not a round number, it's not boring and it's my favorite number!
I've always been a person that suffers from cold, but ever since I came to Poland I realized that the cold of Portugal is for pussies.
For those who are already used to it is easy, but for those who have never felt this cold in life, there are little things on the daily basis that change. 
For those who have never dealt with this reality, there are some tips, for those who already deal with it, you will feel familiar.

Let's start!

1- A breath of fresh air will never have the same meaning 

Yes, it'ss cold. Yeah, I'm sick of knowing it's cold. 
Even so, I always end up surprised and making mainstream comments about the weather...
I'm never prepared psychologically enough for the cold air that I take in the firsts few seconds that I dare to set foot outside the door. Yes, not yet ...

2- Socks, stockings, socks

I've always tended to have cold feet, so socks are never too much! 
Girl with the 3 pairs of socks? Right here!

3- Ice, you little bastard...

Whoever laughed seeing videos of people falling on the ice? Oh, right! 
Karma and ice don't forgive. You have to be very careful where you step in and it's really easy to fall. No, (still) didn't fall. Yes, it almost happened. And no, there are no videos of that! 
João: I'm not trying to give you ideas. Do not buy this war with me.

4- Jacket on, Jacket off (repeat)

The buildings are, fortunately, warm, even a chilly person as me walk comfortably in t-shirts at home. That's great right? Obvious. 
However, before you're going outside you need to: wear gloves, wear the cap, wear the sweater, wear the jacket. Then when you need to get inside: undress gloves, undress cap, undress sweater, undress jacket... Over and over again.
It's like a ritual that must be meticulously followed, in exactly that order.
After a few days we get used to it, but at first, it seems like we are the main character in the karate kid scene ... jacket on, jacket off, jacket on, jacket off...


5- Wear glasses

If you wear glasses you'll to have to do the ritual of the jacket on jacket off, with foggy glasses.
And just like that, you're a lost, blind and silly onion.

6- Cold hands, hot heart - Hot hands...

The temperature of hands reaches a point that is so cold that it begins to warm up, it's a painful and slow process and I bet there is a very simple and scientific explanation to why this happens. For me, the cold breaks my heart, and the hands start to get warmer, in the opposite direction of the popular saying. Makes sense? Silly, silly Lídia...

7-Snow, snow, snow

For those who had only seen and been once or twice in the snow, it's really magical to see snowing in the day-to-day. I've always enjoyed watching the rain fall, but seeing the snow is a thousand time more beautiful and relaxing. It's not so uncomfortable walking outside while it snows when it rains. 22 years avoiding umbrellas and still counting!

8- Drip in the nose

 Still from the series - transitions from the outside to inside: damn, it's inevitable...
when I go from a very cold place to a very hot one, always get my nose with mucus. Now, I'm always with a packet of tissues in the pockets and in the backpack.
(Yes, I'm really talking about snot, I know it's not pretty but everybody has it)

9- Coat and boots: the faithful best friends 

A good coat and boots are essential for this weather... I have several coats and several pairs of boots, but I always choose the same jacket and the same boots when I know the cold will tighten, even though I seem to be always dressed the same. 
It's when the cold tightens that one realizes which are the pieces that really worth, and sometimes quality is better quantity.

Now that I'm a pro dealing with the cold, temperatures will increase and will reach 12 degrees (positive) later this month ... Spring is already knocking and it's time to scratch from the winter bucket list the things that still I want to do while there's still snow.

EVS | EVS in Plichtów

During the next months, Natolin will be my home and Plichtów my workplace.
Plichtów and Natolin are neighbor villages and belong to the Nowosolna district.
Although they are different villages, they are very close to each other and it is possible to make the way home to work in just a few minutes.
Plichtów is about 13 km from Lódź, the third largest city in Poland.

Plichtów Cultural and Ecological Community Center

"Discover your neighborhood, discover yourself" is the name of the project that I joined, along with João at the Plichtów Cultural and Ecological Community Center.
The center is very close to the accommodation house so we usually do that distance by walk, although we have the option to do it by bus.

At the Community Center, there's a lot of activities organized for the entire community, from English classes for children and seniors, Latin dances, tai-chi, yoga, ceramics classes, painting ...
Now, with my contribution and João, the Center can add Portuguese classes to that list.
The center is really cozy and we have the privilege of working with people very competent and dedicated and always attentive to our possible difficulties and their resolutions.
Although not all spoke English, they all welcomed us with much sympathy and with open arms.

João and Ilona

We are living on the second floor of one of the employees of the Center house, where we were very well received by everyone, Tofik (the family dog) didn't welcome us so warmly but I think we are on a good way to create a relationship based on affection, confidence and dog treats.
It is not always easy to communicate because we do not speak (yet) Polish and they do not speak English, but nothing that is not solved with patience, willpower, and mimics.

Who said being away from home had to be super difficult?

EVS | What's EVS?

Credits: João Miller

Increasingly known, but not much yet, the European Voluntary Service is a program funded by the European Commission that seeks young people between the ages of 17 and 30 to do a volunteer project, in another country that's not their country of residence.

There are lots of projects, in many fields like culture and arts, activities with children, youth or seniors, sports, recreational activities, environment, among many others.
So, it's easy to find a project of interest where we can put our skills to practice and acquire new ones.
High-risk interventions, such as immediate disaster relief, or post-crisis situations, are excluded.
The project can have duration until 12 months and there are short, medium long-term projects.

The accommodation, food and travel tickets are funded.
The volunteer will also have a monthly (money) or pocket money amount that he or she can use as preferred (the amount is set by the European Commission and it varies from country to country).
However, the money provided is not for the purpose of pay for the services and activities performed, but provide the best possible conditions of survival and ensure their physical and psychological

Unplash being the savior of  incredibly huge posts

The place of accommodation and forms of payment are variable according to the country and the project that the volunteer takes a part in - it is, therefore, important that the candidate gets to know all these factors previously with the association or organization involved in the project.
An EVS project involves a partnership between the volunteer, the sending organization (in the country of the volunteer) and the host organization (in the country where the project will take place) and both have responsibilities, from preparation, training, and follow-up of all project.

There are several associations in Portugal working with this program.
ProAtlântico is one of them, and it is also the sending association associated with my project in EVS.

At the end of the project, the volunteer will receive a Youthpass, which is a kind of certificate describing the project and the activities that the volunteer was inserted, the skills acquired and developed during his/hers EVS.
This is a great alternative for those who want to know the world, learn new languages and experience new cultures.

Okay, I'm one of those people! What do I have to do?

Go to Proatlântico's website (or another association that works with the program), there you will have a list of projects, with the country, duration, and the date of the beginning of the project.
In most projects, you will only need to send your resume and motivation letter in English, but be aware if you need to respond to any specific project requirements (do not worry, if it is the case it will be specified in the information from the project).
On the Proatântico site, you also have some models of motivation letters and resumes to help you.
After the application, you only have to wait for them to contact you.

If you need any more information or a little push for what may be the adventure of your life, do not hesitate to talk to me and you can always read some testimonies of those who have already done EVS.

Go go go!

The EVS category of the Kalidioscope is officially open!

Hello World!

It's not a coincidence the synchrony with the creation of this blog and the beginning of a new stage of my life.
In order to take advantage of this fearless and adventurous vibe, that I confess, it's not always innate of me, the Kalidioscope arises, the fruit of a timid desire for distant times. You can count with genuineness and good mood. (simple as that).
Welcome to the adventures, thoughts, and bits of knowledge of an agog girl, just starting adulthood, brand new blogger and a full-time volunteer. Are you curious? Good!

Etymology of Kalidioscope

To define the origin and to understand the meaning of Kalidioscope we have to go back to the beginnings of the Kaleidoscope word, masculine noun, of Greek origin,

(greek kállos, beauty + eidos, form+ -scope)
A toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and pieces of coloured glass or paper, whose reflections produce changing patterns when the tube is rotated.
A constantly changing pattern or sequence of elements;
"kaleidoscope" in https://en.oxforddictionaries.com

(kaleidoscope + lídia)
1. Metaphorical toy, Kaleidoscope of memories.
2. Series of events that happen, changing the life of the subject, in this case, the author of this text, Lídia.
"kalidioscope", in Etymology of Kalidioscope, 2017-infinite, http://translatedcalidioscopio.blogspot.pt/
[ 25-01-2017].

Kalidioscope is semantically derived from the word Kaleidoscope.

The Metaphorical Kaleidoscope
If we replace light, shape, and color from a Kaleidoscope to memories that interact with each other in a similar way as light do, with reflection and refraction.
The observable result would be the representation of the individual as a whole: his mother, father, friends, knowledges, all the little things in life, all good ideas, even his imaginary friends.
Every piece of art created, every emotion ever felt, every heartbeat tinkling over electromagnetic waves. A multidimensional individual, who exists in infinite numbers of places at the same time, that learns and evolves, creating a unique, irreplaceable and unrepeatable frequency that propagates in the cosmos.
A Kaleidoscope of memories can be any of us. 

A Kalidioscope ... well, a Kalidioscope is Lídia.