POLAKO, POLAKO vs POMALO, POMALO
After having spent a week in Dalmatia, the second week, I had the opportunity to visit the Slavonia region, specifically the city of Orahovica. There I met all the volunteers who are volunteering in Croatia, I was able to know other projects, organizations, create new friendships and also I could enjoy a typical and delicious croatian dinner.
Basically Orahovica was the meeting point for the volunteers to do an on-arrival training. I met other EVS volunteers from around Europe and I was surprised at how many different nations gathered together: Germany, Italy, France, Istanbul (Torquay), Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain.
I would said, that the main purpose of this training, was to get to know each other but also to get acquainted with other actors related to the EVS program, to bring the volunteers contact with the Croatian culture, to create a volunteers network that will constitute a means mutual support and exchange of experience during our project.
This training gave me the chance to know another region of Croatia. Actually, I must confess, although the area of the Dalmatian coast is spectacular, I felt in love with Orahovica, due to the lush forests and vineyards of the region. A perfect place to walk and take pictures! It reminded me of the north west of Spain, which I have a lot of affection since that is where I have spent all my childhood summers. During this trip, I could also do a short stop in Zagreb, city that surprise me, because it seemed more relaxed than any other big city I’ve visited before, but maintaining the great cultural offer of a capital.
On this occasion, I discovered another difference and similarity between our countries. The difference, while in Croatia you have to pay your luggage separately from the bus ticket in Spain, everything is included. And the similarity, here also people play petanque (bocce).
To finish this chapter, without a doubt, I would say that my favorite part of this experience was learning about the words polako and pomalo. These ones arose one day, during an activity we were doing in group among the volunteers. Two different words but with the same meaning. While England has its “keep calm and carry on”, Italy its “piano, piano” and Spain its “poco a poco” here I found “pomalo, pomalo”. Definitely, my goal of this year is to learn a little bit more about getting into the “pomalo” mood!