Potpourri & The Nineteenth Week in Sicily

The last week of internship at CESV signaled the closure of many activities: the heads of CESV were chosen, the non-formal English course ended well and we also approached the final stages of our common editorial projects. Even so, we didn`t neglect our daily responsibilities and we offered consultancy in the EVS domain (European Voluntary Service), organizing or supporting events and … there was, of course, the customary bureaucratic paperwork that must be done… Otherwise, in the meantime I enjoyed the company of my friends, tango dancing, going out for ice cream, chatting, taking leave of some of them… maybe for the last time.

Yes, breakups are tough, and when things come to an end you feel torn up inside, especially if you have formed a special attachment to those persons. Yeah, I still have two weeks here, you would say, but I finished work at CESV because I have a little more than two weeks of vacation at the end, as we set the agenda first. So this week was marked by farewell to many activities and people and I am glad that the outcome of what we have developed here has been positive. After three important and difficult general assemblies, CESV finally chose a new president, vice presidents and a managing committee. It was a tough time for everyone with a lot of work, but the result is good and I am happy that I was here to participate in this final stage.

This was also the last meeting for the Internet course and the English in the European context course I held. I met great people among students and we all hugged at the end, a lump in our throats, and we made ​​eye contact … with them, for the last time. I’m proud of each and everyone of them! They made progress and the motivation to go on was the most important for me. I hope to succeed, together with Maria Angela, in supporting all of those who, convinced of the benefits, expressed their intentions to participate in European mobility. Let us hope for even more! As it seems, there will be more, because we had several meetings with young people who came for advice regarding volunteering opportunities abroad, especially EVS but also CESV member associations wishing to be accredited as organizations which send and receive EVS volunteers. So it`s ok, the news is spreading and more and more people are beginning to understand what the benefits of European mobility and volunteering are and, more specifically, to apply for them. And I feel proud for this as well!

As to the editorial projects that I work on with Maria Angela and about which I have already told you, without revealing too much at the time, I can tell you that they aren’t finished yet. They will be when I get back to Romania, both as results and methods of dissemination of this internship period as a Grundtvig assistant. And anyway, we still have to work on them because they must be correct. You know what they say, things have to be done well from the very beginning. That means I`m still not going to tell you more, I want to make sure that these will see the light of day before making gratuitous statements.

I`m not going to bore you with other details about paperwork even if for potential candidates for assistantship it is important to know that at the end you need a certificate of participation, Europass mobility documents that demonstrate your presence and your work time spent in the host organization. However, they will find out about all this in detail if they decide to apply for such a European grant.

And now a little bit of culture … I admit and publicly declare: I love Argentine tango! As you already know, last week I was with friends at an Argentine tango party… and I got sick. This week the illness worsened because I went out again with Domenica, Antonio and Valerio at a restaurant in the city Villa in Calabria this time, for another tango evening. Actually, they were the organizers of this “milonga”, and so I had the surprise to get to a great spot on the hilltop where you can see the whole of Messina from the other side of the strait and all the lights, and the port … An exceptional evening where I “stole” tango steps from my friends … and the disease became even worse. So I got down to business. When you’re friends with dance instructors, you feel compelled to study Argentine tango. At the last minute I started classes with Valerio, and Antonio and Domenica joined in to teach me in a week what others learn in two years. I had a good excuse for this, I was going to leave them soon and I wanted to learn as much as possible. They are perfect instructors and know how to explain the technique and they can also make you understand and love this exquisite style of dancing and feeling at the same time. I had been fond of Argentine tango for a long time, but I had had neither the context nor the right people to teach me until last. And now another dream of mine has come true … a dream that must go on somehow, it is too good to end so quickly … Thank you Domenica, Valerio and Antonio, you are truly professionals!

I haven`t said goodbye to my coworkers yet, because we`ll see each other in the coming weeks for a pizza and a “granita”, or to some of the friends with whom I will still have the chance to meet later on. I am going to spend two weeks or so traveling and discovering other beautiful places in Sicily which I haven`t got the chance to see and which I`ll tell you about in a final article that will cover the last two and a half weeks until I set foot again on Romanian soil. In the meantime and also in the days when I won`t be traveling, I’ll see friends I have enormously grown fond of and that have became my family. We`ll met for sure here, in Sicily, or in Romania, we`ll look for each other and we`ll get together since the bonds that have been created are so strong. With some of them I will continue to collaborate on the joint projects started here or other ideas that we may come up with. I will certainly engage in new activities with Maria Angela and CESV also! This end is a new beginning for me, with new perspectives, attitudes, priorities, with an in-depth spiritual and professional knowledge and a huge desire to share them with everybody in Romania and beyond.

So, my dear, see you in about three weeks. And now…. follow me … through Sicily !

 Translated by prof. Irina Bicescu – Potpourri member