Work as a volunteer in Slovakia and Switzerland

One of our readers will tell us todayabout your experience of volunteer projects. Thank you, she is great for an interesting story with photos. Thanks to this article, my wife and I deeply thought about going to Switzerland by volunteers.

After a successful experience with Work & Travel decidedtry something more unusual, and Europe wanted to see. So it came to the idea of ​​volunteering. In the summer of 2008, this idea embodied. Originally I wanted to go to Western Europe, but countries are not as popular as France or Germany. I wanted something unusual. I searched for a long time and was aimed at Denmark, but the projects there were already taken and caught the eye of the Swiss. He chose. I decided that since I was going to Europe, then why not turn 2 weeks into 4, and began to look for countries not too distant from Switzerland geographically and projects close in time. So chose the Slovak project.

The content of the article

Project organization

Worth noting that both projects wereenvironmental. In Slovakia, we cleaned the local river and pond, painted fences and marked hiking trails in the mountains. In Switzerland, they helped a local farmer to clear a small pasture from trees, store grass for cows and repair the roof for the winter.
In Slovakia, we worked 5 hours a day and 5 daysin Week. The work schedule was coordinated jointly, so that there was more time for entertainment. In Switzerland, in addition to the work (4 hours each), educational seminars were planned (also 4 hours each). Take them to the Swiss from the host organization. We discussed the topic of war and peace in different countries, human rights, economic and environmental problems and ways to solve them. It was extremely interesting to learn the experience of other countries on certain issues. So in Switzerland we were busy for 8 hours. Of course, the seminars were not mandatory, but did not want to skip them.

Cooking

In Slovakia, as in Switzerland, we prepared in pairs. We chose a partner op your wish. And every day tried some national dishes. In the Slovak camp, those who were on duty in the kitchen, finished work a couple of hours early and went to cook. In the Swiss camp, the cooks were released for the whole day and even went to the store on their own. If you are not very good at cooking (or you think so), then you can take a couple more experienced in this matter)) And of course, do not forget to ask your mother for a borscht recipe)) In Switzerland, we had one vegetarian, so we had to vegetarian soup cook))

About Slovakia

As a rule, there are camp leaders in the camp. Their task is to organize volunteers, coordinate their work and contact local ones. The leaders of our camp were two Slovaks from Bratislava. Not without their help, our pastime was so interesting. Of course, there were contacts with local residents, because we were in a village with a population of 100 inhabitants, where foreigners are a wonder. We organized a presentation of our countries, and the Spaniards even prepared a couple of national dishes. Of course there were joint parties and football games. And those who were not very interested in football, gave a master class on cooking pancakes and then fed us with them. You can spend your free time as you like. Korean girls traveled to Slovakia on weekends (I wonder how they did it, if they understand little English and had to speak Russian?). We were divided into two groups and some went to the water park at the hot springs, and we went on the shuttle to the castle that interested us.

All necessary information and bus schedulewe received from the leaders. As it turned out, the ticket collector in the castle did not speak English and again we were rescued by Russian)) For our small group of 5 people, we specially put in English-speaking guides and had a great tour. There was a hike in the mountains. Although they are not too high (about 1200 m), it took a lot of effort, and the joy from the beauty they saw caused a desire to repeat it again.

Our camp took place just during the Olympics inBeijing, so the leaders organized us our own Olympiad. There was plenty of fun and every day was full of funny events. Once they figured out how the bison would be in every language despite the fact that nobody knew the English version. They were even able to explain to the Korean women, but the girl from Canada, where, according to our assumptions, they are found, did not recognize him.

In our camp there were 10 volunteers and 2 leaders. Russian speakers were 3e: 2 boys from Ukraine and me. After some time, we began to understand the Slovak and the jokes of our leaders in their native. Then they decided to play with us. Imperceptibly, they divided us into 3 groups, leaving one Russian-speaking volunteer in each, and carried us to different towns. The task was simple: exchange one match for something more in 3 hours. And this is in Slovakia, where it is difficult to meet an English speaker. We all had to use Russian)) And the result just stunned everyone: we exchanged 3 matches for a floor lamp, a couple of bottles of wine and beer, a lot of fruit and small trifles))) Now we know that we will not be lost anywhere !!!

Our village

Our village

Mountains in Slovakia

Mountains in Slovakia

Work as a volunteer in Slovakia

Work as a volunteer in Slovakia

Cooking food

Cooking food

Kitchen schedule

Kitchen schedule

Olympic Games

Olympic Games

Olympic Games

Olympic Games

Playing football

Playing football

Hiking in the mountains

Hiking in the mountains

Words in every language

Words in every language

Homecoming

Homecoming

About Switzerland

Everything was completely different in this country, butno less interesting. Of course there were a lot of trips around the district, walks, games and nightly conversations. We didn’t have any animators as such, but there were local Swiss and our farmer. We swapped the time of work and seminars (sometimes worked for 8 hours, and sometimes 8 hours of seminars). Thus, we managed to get out in a chalet (Swiss house in the mountains) for the whole 4 days (!) And this is in the camp for 2 weeks. Of course, we conducted seminars there ... in the alpine meadows and the sun !!! The house turned out to be huge and contained all 17 people)) at the very top there was even a music room with a piano, a synthesizer, drums, various pipes and a bunch of vinyl !!! We lived in it all 4 days !!! Visited Aarshlyuht (the river inside the caves with music) and the waterfall, near which Sherlock Holmes died. Being in the Alps, it would be just blasphemous does not go to the mountains !!! While descending from the mountains, we went into the cheese factory and tasted Swiss cheese. On the way to our camp, we spent the whole day in Lucerne and even got to the festival.
After the camp, I had a couple of days off, and I traveled a bit around Switzerland on my own.

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Volunteer work in Switzerland

Volunteer work in Switzerland

Volunteer work in Switzerland

Volunteer work in Switzerland

We cleaned the roof

We cleaned the roof

Festival in Basel

Festival in Basel

Lucerne

Lucerne

Music room

Music room

Our farmer

Our farmer

Distribution of grandmothers

Distribution of grandmothers

Seminars

Seminars

Chalet

Chalet

Vegetarian lunch for 17 people

Vegetarian lunch for 17 people

A couple of tips:

- take something that characterizes the country. And maybe some small souvenirs. For example, I carried a bottle of vodka to each camp (I was still asked to show a master class on drinking). As a souvenir, there were keychains keychains, which were called babUShki for some reason.
- if you want to go in the summer (most of the short-term projects run from May to September), then you should choose a project and start a correspondence in March, as soon as projects appear.
- it’s worthwhile to select about 7 projects at once and start a correspondence, because there are many people (especially girls), and in one project, as a rule, they recruit 10-20 people.
-. Projects are completely different subjects. This may be the restoration of castles, the organization of festivals or communication with children or the elderly, environmental projects such as garbage collection or planting flowers ... So the choice is huge, and everyone can find something for themselves)))
- volunteering provides an excellent opportunity to travel a couple of days after or before the camp. To do this, in the documents for a visa, indicate not the exact dates of the project, but add a couple of days before and after.))

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