2022. december 5., hétfő

Kalandozásaim Filantrópia szigetén


 


Sziasztok, Mónika vagyok, Erdélyből. Több évvel ezelőtt elhatároztam már, hogy egy évemet önkéntességre szeretném szentelni, mivel hozzátennék valamit a közjóhoz, meg egyben tapasztalatokat is gyűjtenék. Érettségi után meg is kaptam a lehetőséget erre és így kerültem a Filantrópia kis szigetére, az adományboltba.

Vegyes érzelmekkel (őszintén nagyon féltem) vágtam bele az új kalandomba. Az első napon rájöttem, hogy semmi okom nem volt félni, mert egy csodálatos pozitív- és energiabomba önkéntes társ mellett kötöttem ki. Ő lenne Núria. A családomtól távol több száz km-re ő töltötte be számomra a testvér és egyben az anyuka szerepet is. Nagyon sokat tanultam tőle a néhány hét alatt, amit együtt töltöttünk. Rájöttem, hogy az életet élni és élvezni kell, nem végig küzdeni. Minden nap felfedezek valami újat amiért aznap épp hálás és boldog lehetek. Nem sokkal később csatlakozott a kiscsaládunkhoz Irene is, aki egy igazi mókamester. Így éltük tovább napjainkat hárman egy idegen városban, új élményeket és emlékeket gyűjtve. Ó, meg persze megszerettem a reggaeton-t, de hát ez nem egy nehéz feladat, ha az ember lánya spanyolokkal él együtt.

Sajnos Núria-tól búcsút kellett vennünk néhány hét után, mivel lejárt az egy éve. Dugiban, a szobámban megsirattam a távozását, viszont előtte ezt titkoltam, hogy ne könnyes legyen a búcsú, hanem mosolygós perceink legyenek az utolsóak itt együtt.

Itt, Budapesten tanultam meg mit jelent szívből segíteni valakin, aki tényleg rászorul erre. Megtanultam értékelni a családommal töltött néhány perces telefonbeszélgetéseket. Megtanultam főzni. Megtanultam hogyan kell kiismerni egy mosógépet, mert ezek a szerkezetek nagyon gyakran kifognak rajtam. Megtanultam beilleszkedni új környezetekbe és társaságokba. Megtanultam jobban angolul és folyamatban van, de tanulok spanyolul

Hálával tartozom mindenkinek, aki körülvesz engem és segít mindenben, legfőképpen Zsuzsának, aki szerintem titokban boszorkány, mert mindig igaza lesz, hiába nem hiszünk neki a dolgok elején.



Reggeli a lányokkal egy vasárnap délelőtt (a képen épp csak Núria-val)



A budapesti kiscsaládom (Beci, én, Zsuzsa, Núria, Irene)



Kalandozásaim Irene-vel az Ikeán innen és túl




Séta a Margit szigeten Núriával





2022. október 13., csütörtök

It's not a goodbye yet

This experience is coming to an end and I can only be grateful. What an amazing group of people I have met, each one with their own culture, language, customs, political ideas... sometimes we feel unique, special... and we are. But when you share differences and similarities with other people, you realise that in the end we all have the same values in common: family, love, friendships, work. Then everyone has their hobbies... traveling, meeting people, Netflix, reading...

How many interesting people there are in the world and how difficult it is to get out of your comfort zone to reach them. It's also increasingly difficult to find someone interesting, as many of them look alike and are no longer special. 

Time is money, so there is no need to share it with people we don't feel like sharing it with. But I have been lucky in this volunteering, as I have met wonderful people who have taught me so much and I hope I have taught something too. I am not formally saying goodbye yet, as this is not my last blog, but inwardly I am beginning to do so. I am living things more intensely, I know there is a limit, there is a day when I will take the flight and say goodbye to Budapest. Maybe it's not forever and I'll come back for a new job, maybe I'll come back to visit (visiting of course, it's not a maybe), who knows? 

Three years ago I was living in Prague as an Erasmus student, and I thought I had learned how to say goodbye to a city. But I'm discovering that you never learn how to manage goodbyes. You don't say goodbye to the city, you say goodbye to the experiences, to your favourite bar, to the guests who came to visit you... but above all you say goodbye to the people who made your everyday life wonderful.  

I would recommend volunteering to anyone, I would recommend it to anyone who can spend a year abroad, it fills you with a magic that cannot be explained. You connect with yourself, you discover things about yourself that you didn't know, you forge friendships in a language that is not your own language. And the more you travel, the more people you meet, the more you discover about yourself, the more you realise how much you still have to learn.

So I can only say that I feel gratitude for everything I have learned this year personally and for everything I have learned from the people around me. It has been a great opportunity to meet you.




New volunteer, new workmate, new flatmate! Móni

At Zsuzsa's parents place making Zakuszka. 
It was an incredible family Sunday :) 

An amazing sunset as always



2022. szeptember 21., szerda

Puszi Puszi Budapest

I put the laptop on my thights: luckily the bus is not completly full this time so I can strech my legs. I am coming home!! I feel a lot of different emotions.

I am excited because I am coming back home to my family and friends that I have missed more than I ever admitted. And I am happy to engage myself with new projects: I still don't know them exactly but it is ok. Some years ago I decided that I don't want to be anxious about my future. Everytime I wasn't looking for something, new and adventurous opportunities were there waiting for me! This happened with this project too. One day of July last year I received an e-mail from Sara, inviting me to read more information about the project, and to contact her if I was interested. This is how this crazy, thrilling, inspiring journey started. In September I left home with some doubts, but now I know I made the right choice.

And about new possibilities that finds you when you are not searching for them: in August I read about a course about sustainability in fashion and I applied! They selected me and I will start in November with other 32 classmates. I am sure this is the path I want to walk.
I am looking for a job for the next months but, at the same time I want to save some time for me: for reading, having small walks and for friends and family.

I am deeply sad for everything I am leaving behind: an amazing city, a rewarding job and a lot of special people. Only now that I left Budapest I can shape my thoughts and I would like to thank my fellow coworkers for the adventure. I am sorry if I am late, but last days in Budapest were surreal!

So thanks Zsuzsa for trusting and for stimulating me. Thank you for being coherent and fierce and proud about that corner of hope and utopia that the shop is: you are an example of perseverance to me.
Thank you Beci because you showed me what being commited to a project looks like. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a good person, with no prejudice towards anyone. Thank you for your (always conforting) words and thank you for always being availabe to listen.
Thank you Núria for being an amazing workmate and flatmate, for being understanding and fuc*ing funny! Thank you for including me and for sharing your friends, your space and your incurable optimism. You were like sunshine and I will truly miss you.



(Us solving the mystery of Egypt)



(Ice cream and chips in Leányfalu)


(One of my favourite spot in Budapest, I will miss it!!)

I am gratefull for the opportunity that was given to me and I am curious about this new part of my life that is coming.

When I finished high school, I went to Scotland with a friend: we decided to explore the island with only one tent, two backpacks and our feets. One day we met some italians on a ferry and one of them told me about Tiziano Terzani. He was a reporter and a writer and now, 5 years later, he is a big reference point in my life. I read almost all his books and the most inspiring phrase I read was: "The best thing that a young can do is to come up with a job that suits his talents, his aspirations and his joy".
So, here I am, trying to come up with a job that suits me, and that will allow me to live my life exactly how I want to. This is a job that doesn't exists now, but I will put all of me to create it!

To whoever is reading this blog post: good luck. And remember: "prayers won't help, second hand will", so go and shop in Filantrópia even if I won't be there anymore!!

Eleonora :)

2022. augusztus 1., hétfő

Searching for balance

More than one year ago, while I was studying for the IELTS certification I stumbled upon an article where the different phases that every expacts live abroad were explained. I clearly remember the pattern of the curve: euphoria – shock – adaptation.

Photo from: https://ebrary.net/21444/management/international_assignments

We talked about this also during my second training: after only four or five months almost everyone felt like they overcome the first phase (the "honeymoon phase") and they were facing a different, unfamiliar culture. I had a very long honeymoon phase instead, and for the first six, seven months I lived in a bubble made of wonder, changes, inputs. I felt like I was an alien compared to almost everyone else in that room with me. I am sure this phase was so long because I felt completely at ease with my flatmates, that became my friends and important points of reference.

Then spring came, and a lots of thoughts too. After a lethargic and cold winter, flowers started to bloom and so my will to do things, see places, have a nice walk to see the sunset, drink something after work. And yet, there was always a "but...". I felt an unwillingness to do that often forced me to just go home to stay in bed. Additionally, I had a lot of thoughts about my future, about missing my loved ones, about still feeling after all those months to live in a country which is not my home.
In retrospect, I say that it was exactly in March that a new phase started for me here in Budapest.

I had a lot of nice experiences anyway. I travelled around Hungary (Szeged and Sopron added to my visited cities list) and abroad (Vienna and Italy), but the homesickness was very strong.
The nearer June came, the stronger was the happiness for Sara's new life but also the disorientation because since the very first day she was "our mama". I knew that after her departure nothing would be the same again. Her farewell was unforgettable: three days of party and memories and laughs and tears. I cannot explain with words how her presence enriched my experience here.
Now, after a couple of weeks I finally accepted her departure, and that is maybe why I can leave behind the "shock phase".
I am finally accepting what being here means: being far from my old grandmas, from my friends, from my love who is 850 km far from me.

Photo from the farewell💗

One of the things we did in these months is the Adományboltok éjszakája, a night that involved a lot of charity shops from Budapest and the rest of Hungary. Every shop had its own program till midnight, with workshop, activities, discount for the costumers. This year's theme was "HELP". It was very interesting to think about the question "how do I help?" and to be honest to answer the question was very difficult for me. I almost felt ashamed because nothing was coming to my mind. Then I had an idea, that encloses everything I learned here in the shop. I like the idea to help others by buying from small brands, innovative brands made by young people that believe in a possible change (in fashion as in every other area). I like to think that my purchases can help young people with an idea, to take it forward. That my purchases can help artisanship not to die. That I can spread the love for beautiful stuff made by hand, slowly, with love and passion in a world every day faster and uglier.


The wheel of fortune we made fot the event

Another good news we (as NGO) received is that we will take part on the Sziget festival in August. During the day we will do workshops and in the night we can enjoy concerts. A very close friend of mine will visit me in those days so I am super enthusiast and I am really looking forward to this new experience!

Summer finally came and I really want to go on holiday and enjoy the weather. This weekend I went to Pannonhalma Archabbey, because lavander is blooming and it was possible to pick it. Nature is so moving! In the botanical garden, in that landscape so similar to Tuscany I felt so peacefull, as I wasn't since a long time. In the next months I will go to Italy: to my hometown, in Bologna where my boyfriend is living and in Sardinia, where we will spend some days of relax.

I would have liked to go to the Balaton lake but the prices were very high so I bookeda place  for one night in Miskolc. From there I will visit Lillafüred and Miskoltapolca. I hope wherever I will be, a new balance will join me.

Wiew from Pannonhalma Archabbey


2022. június 19., vasárnap

Friends


It's already been six months that I am here in Budapest and it seems like at least one year. It's incredible how time flies and we are not even aware of it. 

I came in November and every experience abroad is difficult to deal with. When your experience is starting, you are full of energy and ready to live through the next chapter of your life. 

Last week our friend and workmate left because it's her time to change the chapter. We were living together, working together and hanging out together. So, I would like to tell you about Sara. 

When I came to Budapest, Sara was waiting for me in front of our home, she carried my luggage (27kg) and she had prepared my first lunch here. Sara, Harry and me were eating tomatoes and cheese. (Yes, they love cheese. There is no meal without it and it was just my beginning in the cheese fantasy).

As I was telling you before, going abroad alone can be hard in the beginning because you don't know anything about it and you don't know anyone to share your experience with. But then, Sara introduced me to all of her friends here, she was always organising parties and making plans, she was always working very hard and taking care of everyone. Sara is an easy going person, caring, friendly, confident, generous, clever and an amazing cook. I would like to be Italian to know how to cook once a week: home-made pizza, pasta and risotto. (I made a lot of mistakes, for example I cooked pasta one day and I ate it the next day hihihihi).

Sara wasn't just organising activities for everyone, she was really good at planning too. Once, she organised a quiz night at home... full of people, full of questions, full of cheese (do you have doubts about a party without cheese?). She organised barbecues, capuccino time (we love coffee too) and luggages. Yes, I've written  luggages. Already three rounds of clothes went to Italy. (Yes, three weren't enough, she has to come back to pick the fourth round up, lucky us hihiiii).

As I told you too, Sara, during our last night in Morrison's... (finally): Sara is an amazing workmate, she knows how to teach you, how to say if you are doing something wrong and she's able to spread her energy and positive vibes. Sara is also a very good friend, she listens to your worries and she gives  you really good advice. She would never judge you. 

To sum up, it's very important to know how to enjoy life. In other words, all of us have worries, responsibilities and goals although everything takes time. So, on the path to reach those goals, I would say that we have to learn how to appreciate  the people that are surrounding us, enjoy our daily activities and never we have to get stuck, we always need a change in whichever field. And that is what Sara is always doing. 

I am very lucky to have met you! See you soon apañada! :)


PS: In spanish, apañada means someone who always finds a solution for everything. And that's why Sara is apañada apañada. 

At the Carnival Party. Zsuzsa, Eleonora, me and Sara

    At Sara's birthday. Me, Eleonora and Sara. 

Last day of Sara. Me, Eleonora, Becci, Zsuzsa and Sara. 




2022. május 12., csütörtök

BEING AWARE

 

I would like to start my post by being grateful for everything that surrounds me. The opportunity to live abroad, volunteering and meeting people from different countries is making me grow every day positively. In fact, I consider myself really happy and lucky because after six months I can truly say that I am settled down in this city. 

Szimpla Kert


                                   Having a French dinner with other volunteers that I met in Budapest


One highlight is the way I am learning to be aware of the value of money. Before coming here, I used to buy a lot of things in shopping centers, such as new clothes, new utensils for home... And then I realised that you can find almost everything you need in charity shops or second hand shops as well. When people are getting rid of tools that they are not using anymore,  another person can reuse it and give it a second, third or fourth life. This means that we are taking care of the environment by reducing waste production, reducing the use of plastic... and this is amazing.

All of us should learn about finding treasures in this kind of shops. A lot of times we need something immediately and the easiest way to get it is to buy something new. However, what about looking for the cheapest way? That's what I'm learning now. In my opinion, marketing and advertising are creating needs that we really don't have and we should be critical to know what is important and what is not. 

                                                            

In my second volunteer training, learning about recycling

Now, before buying something, I'm wondering... do I need it? How many of these have I at home? Can I find it in a way that takes care of the environment?   

On the other hand, recycling doesn't mean that we have to donate absolutely everything or keep everything. The act of giving clothes, tools, utensils... that are not in usable condition, why are we giving them to charities? If we are not using something because it's ruined, we should just throw it away. Why are we thinking  that other people can still wear it or use it? 

Recycling t-shirts into dog toys 

In conclusion, I believe that more and more people are learning about recycling and they are also becoming aware of the value of money because they can save it easily! So all of you that know how to do it, spread the word!



2022. április 14., csütörtök

Who I want to be

 A cardamom and lilac scented candle is burning on my table, I am listening to my favourite playlist and I think about my future. Six months of this astonishing experience are already gone and soon I will make new choices. This has never been easy for me, to be honest it scares me. But after all, aren't choices that make us adults?

A couple of weeks ago I joined the mid term training and, among the other things, they asked us to imagine ourself in three years and draw our ideas. Which results will we achieve? Which will be our new goals?
I drew a flat (because I really want to achieve independence) and a dachshund (no kidding, I love them) but the very first thing that came to my mind was: "sustainability", so I added this word too. I like to think that in 2025 my life will be more conscious, closer to nature.

About this: my mother teaching me to sew is definitely one of the goals for the next years. I am 100% sure it will be difficult for me but I really wanna learn to do something so cool with my own hands. Every day in the shop I see so many clothes with a button missing or with a broken zip but still in good conditions; it would be a very simple but important job to repair them.

I am not a creative person but in the last months I realized I am really curious about upcycling (in other words: creative recycling), especially in the fashion field. In January I saw a short Italian documentary called "Stracci"*. It talks about the wool upcycling experience of Prato, in Tuscany where the wool is recycled since 150 years by expert hands. Every day an incredible amount of clothes arrives there from all over Europe. The first step is to separate the clothes for the second hand market from those for recycling. Of the latter the wool ones are selected and the zip and the labels are removed. They also divide the clothes by colour, this allows to do new fabric without dyeing, saving a lot of pollution.
It was touching to see a knowledge so old becoming so actual and necessary, because it saves  tons and tons of textile waste from the landfills every year. I would love to know better this reality and I would also love to deepen my knowledge about examples of circular economy in Italy.



To know more: https://www.straccidoc.it/stracci-un-viaggio-nella-sostenibilita-della-moda/

On another hand I am very curious about the international cooperation world too. I got my bachelor degree in "International cooperation and development" in December 2020 but because of Covid I didn't do any internship yet. In January the call for a very interesting project with the Italian NGO "Mani tese" expired so I tried my luck and I applied for it. They have a lot of projects around the world regarding fashion sustainability but also agroecology and rural development. I will know more in the next months.
Speaking about international cooperation, in the last weeks Zsuzsa allowed me to join some online meeting with other NGOs. I think this is a good opportunity for me, to see if I am
interested in EU projects. It is too soon to say something about it, but I am grateful because this can help me understand what I like and what I don't.

I am full of inputs but also disoriented. I would like to study, but also to work and be independent. Sometimes I feel like I am "late", but other times I just choose to not think about it. It is hard to accept that I do not have control over my future but what I know is that every experience I made led me where I am now. My path has never been regular, but made me grow. When I was 19 I felt the urge to travel around the world and now I feel like I need more time. More time for the pub quizzes, for the boardgame nights, for the dinners and the walks around with my new friends. More time to think about my future and about my carnival costume. Time for planning new trips** and for friend's birthdays. More time for life to help me understand how to take the next step: choosing who I want to be.


*Rags

**Pécs I am coming!


P.S. I was dressed as a sailor, guess Sara costume if you dare!