Potpourri & The Eight Week in Sicily

On the eight week’s schedule there are two important activities to mention: the first one is the preparatory meeting with students and teachers from the Nautical High school for Active Citizenship and Volunteering ; and, the second one is the meeting of the organizations to discuss the previous years’ budget and to forecast the current year.

As I mentioned, the meeting with the students from the Nautical High School is the meeting prior to the final stage of the regional project called Active Citizenship and Volunteering, which will take place in Terassini, Palermo province, on 10th and 11th  of May. We worked with 50 students for about 3 hours, but only 10 students will go to Terassini. CESV president, as well as teachers and province representatives (equivalent to what we call the County Council) gave an introductory speech on the importance of volunteering and civic engagement, of streets safety and alcohol abuse (two topics that will be discussed in Terassini). Then Mari Angela and I tried to involve the students in various socializing and educational games such as ice-breaking, trusting games, or teamwork. We also watched a few short films encouraging the care for environment. The aim of the meeting was mainly to get them familiarized with terms such as volunteering, active citizenship, involvement, consciousness, as well as the CESV mission, and we hope we broke the ice a little because they all seemed to have fun and got engaged in our activities. The final and important part of the project will be detailed as soon as I come back from Terassini.

As for the important meeting that I attended, the one about projects and budget analysis, I can say that all the CESV member organizations (about 200) involve directly, discussing together on how to keep everything balanced. There is not only one commission meeting, but everyone is free to tell their opinion, which I totally agree with! Our administrative work was consistent before and during the meeting, but not chaotic or stressful. They have a well-developed informational program containing database about the organization, electronic and classic correspondence, the organization of the activity itself, so everything goes pretty logical. On Saturday morning, there have been discussions followed up by the well-known Swedish buffet offered by one of the organizations called RAPA NUI, and then until Monday nobody will hear about “work” term. Here people respect their leisure time and that’s what I appreciate the most. There is nothing to think about once you are home. I think this one of the reasons why they are so calm…

Next week, will have a holiday break because it’s Easter for us and because I worked many hours and I need to take a rest. That does not mean I will not have anything to write about.  I will have time now to travel around Sicily and I think it would be interesting for you to read some of my impressions and see photos, wonderful landscapes, enough to make you plan the holidays that you always dreamed of…

Translated by Oana Zlatovici – Potpourri member studying in Sweden