Oct 14, 2012

Blogging excuses

I found hundreds of excuses to start blogging even though I was thinking, wanting and speaking a lot about it. What name to choose, colors, all computing aspects, etc. ...
As soon as I posted my first article I became hooked on writing. I am thinking of the topics and how to express my thoughts clearly. I want to be precise and be close to my real experiences and facts. Also, I am trying to figure out and find answers why I feel this or the other way. It is a reflection of what is going on and it helps me to identify what happened, why I did this or that. It gives me strengths and I can go for my goals without bothering myself about additional too much. Why did I delay writing for so long? It’s easy to write blog as soon as you have the first post. I thought about too many obstacles before I started.
Blog or any kind of diary is extremely beneficial to have when you are abroad or you sign up for a project. EVS is exactly that. So many things were going on in my head during all this year, new insights, understandings, disappointments. I created my philosophies and I wanted to share it with others. I shared my observations with my flatmate. My thoughts and ideas were flying fast. One thought changed the other very fast and they were even contradictory, opposing one another. In these cases I couldn’t understand myself well. These were confusion moments or inspiration coming from outside. My values were triggered many times. Writing a diary helps to catch those thoughts and record them. It is very important to catch the moment when they just flow. I wanted to sort them in an article but I realized that they are fragmented and may make no sense on the particular moment. However, they add up to a nice story of self development. Writing and recording mental procedures whatever my mind creates is my personal story. It can be evaluated at the end having all picture. I didn’t let it go freely in the start but I still reflect when I came back from EVS. 

Aug 15, 2012

We are on Euronews!

There is an event which happened back in March and it is worth to mention here. We, Egyesek volunteers, appeared on Euronews program Generation Y. It was 2 full days of shooting for a 5-minute video. Actually, a friend of mine saw it on TV drinking her morning coffee and told me to check it out. It is funny to see the final result and remember the interviews and the logistics behind it. 

Here is Vivien's volunteering story that we filmed in an orphanage Turning Point.

Aug 13, 2012

Inspired by media

May 19-25th Egyesek hosted Reactor conference and workshops on social and audio-visual media in youth work with disadvantaged groups. It was a closing event of VIVO project which lasted for a year and a half. I assisted in communication with participants, registration and guiding during the field study.
I have been afraid of a technical part of media and I thought that it is simply not my thing. I am not using Smartphone, I do not know how to edit movies or use Photoshop. Most often I take a piece of paper to take down the notes instead of using an electronic device. Moreover, I am not following the newest technology trends. However, the fact that media is a tool for visual arts, delivering the message and involving crowds always admired me.  For the sake of curiosity I joined Reactor plenary lectures and workshops. I should admit that I found new things for myself. I hooked on media topics and I got some ideas how it is applied in youth work. I learned about useful media tools like Pintrest, Piratepad and how to use Twitter. In a workshop about Twitter I heard a story about John Wray, a writer who writes fiction on Twitter. Following this example we had to create a 10-tweet story in a workshop. I found it as a great idea because I could have written my volunteering experience on Twitter rather than traditional blogging. Living in Budapest so many small things happen unexpectedly and short real time messages could have been the best to express spontaneity in EVS. I was inspired by Twitter story example. It gave me new understanding how big the range is to use social networks. It is all about looking for new forms of expression. The newest media tools can inspire to improvise and do things differently or simply easier.
The highlight of the conference to me was the session about youth work and social media led by Ludo Keizer, Dutch inspirational speaker. His street style language was very convincing and triggering questions in my head. He pointed out what has change and what to expect in youth work in upcoming years. I was convinced that cloud technologies make communication easier. It is not necessary any more to sit in the office and reply emails. The physical office is not necessary any more. It is possible to do ordinary office tasks in a park or a bus stop. Crowd sourcing is an innovative way to raise funds and become independent from governmental allowances. Cloud technologies and crowd sourcing made me think about different ways of organizing things and running companies. It also triggered some ideas that I could actually implement them in my activities. Also, I stared to read the book 'Pirate's Dilema' which suggest not to fight technology but learn to live with it. 

Jul 4, 2012

Two weekends at Balaton

Lake Balaton is a famous destination for Hungarians to relax and cool off during hot summer days. My friend Kati offered me to go on a biking trip to Balaton on June16th and of cause I could not resist. It was a program so called Heyday of Health. What did we do? We went to Balatonfüred by train and there we met the rest of the group. Then we were cycling from Balatonfüred to Tihany and back, which in total made 21 km. On the way we enjoyed the landscape and stopped to swim, because it was about +36. Four of us including me were riding old style Dutch bikes and it spiced up our trip a bit. Our bicycles do not have breaks or gears, which complicated to peddle up to the hills. However, it was a funny part of an adventure.
 In the evening we cooked Hungarian dinner and now I am able to make Hungarian lecso. All you need is just chopped onions, tomatoes, paprika, kolbasz and eggs. You cook everything in a big pot and serve with a slice of bread. Jó étvagyát!
Finally, we visited Figula winery where we were told about the philosophy of Figula wine making. We tasted 4 white, 1 rose and 2 red wines. One kind of the red wine was rewarded as the best Hungarian red wine in 2009 even though Balaton region is mainly famous for white wines. I have never participated in a wine tasting before and it was very unusual for me to see the vineyards just next to people’s houses.
Actually, I visited Balaton two weekends in a row. I came back for Egyesek summer season opening to spend some time with my colleagues. Thank you for Eszter who invited everyone to her summer house in Tihany.  I enjoyed our little adventure with Saskia, because we hitchhiked to get there. There were many cars passing by and we got a lift in 10 min. In addition, we had a lovely conversation with a couple who took us and they even invited us to check out a Ramadan Garden in Budapest. Lake Balaton is often called as a Hungarian sea. Indeed, it looks like a sea more than a lake because of the light blue water. 

Jul 3, 2012

Fashion show "Twiggy's Kiss"

My spring in Hungary started with a fashion show “Twiggy’s Kiss”. On March 2nd 600 people gathered to a VAM design centre in Budapest, which is famous for hosting cultural and art events. All those people came to watch and support the students of Fashion and Design specialization of Forrai Bilingual School.  The beauty of the place itself was promising a pleasant surprise for a Friday evening.
The fashion-show “Twiggy’s kiss” was inspired by the feeling of 60’s and each student had to prepare 3 costumes within a theme black&white, tone in tone and rock. In total there were around 60 young designers who presented their art.
It was the first time that the students got to present their collections in such a fancy place. When I entered the building I was positively shocked. The atmosphere took my breath away because there where tons of photographers, glass podium and flashlights around. Then I went upstairs towards the changing rooms to meet the students. I could not recognize most of them. The models were trying the costumes on, the make-up artists were working, and the photographers trying to make the best shots.
 The show lasted for more then 3 hours but my favourite part remained the preparation in the changing rooms where I could feel a sweet tension while the models were waiting for their turn to step on the stage. All in all, the event was successful and, actually, it even exceeded my expectations. I was pretty critical, because from my point of view, the organization process before was too chaotic. I had to help the students to create the title, to choose communication tools and invite the journalists, compose the invitations for the guests, make the poster and stage decorations. However, it was very hard to make a contact with the students and I mostly communicated with a teacher. So, I contributed to the event by promoting it and inviting guests. I invited some EVS’ers and some students from Karinthy fine arts club. Also, 50 Dutch exchange students from Karinthy joined to watch the show and I hardly could get the tickets for them.  Being in the audience I noticed that some of the models lacked of energy and self-expression.
Looking back, I think I should have helped the students to work on the actual presentation of their collections, which includes music, movements and face expressions. A nice costume is just half of the work. The other half is to tell the story with it. 

May 29, 2012

Perfect Saturday in January

I and my volunteer friends went hiking to Budaörs hill which is in Budapest metropolitan area.  It is the end of January but the day was so sunny, cloudless and a bit chilly.
The peak of the hill is magic. You can see a wonderful panorama with red roof houses. The stone with a cross and a little church beside it gives an impression that here pagon and Christian cultures merge together. That was a perfect Saturday. Getting up early, climbing the hill and being overwhelmed by many positive feelings of peace, eternity and happiness.

January was a very productive month to me.  After the winter break I felt a big kick to start working and wanted to implement my ideas as soon as possible.
Firstly, I made a class in Forrai about constitution. The topic is very actual since Hungary started 2012 with a new constitution and the issue brings a public debate. I did not want to go into very deep discussion or criticize the new constitution. I wanted to give some historical background for the students about the spirit of constitutional law making. I wanted them to look at the issue from aside. Also, it is important for them to understand the philosophy, principals, and ideas that are in democratic constitutions. The class was successful and I decided that I want to continue with this topic. I will prepare the simulation about constitutional law making. The students will have to pass the law fallowing democratic procedures by American and British traditions. Also, I plan to invite an expert on Human Rights Law.