“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”, – once said A. Einstein. Unfortunately, I‘m not Einstein, but he had a point. It‘s been a month since I‘m in Latinovac and it feels that I‘ve spent much more time here. Though I still feel like sitting with a pretty girl and not next to the hot stove.
Last week I participated in on-arrival trainings for EVS volunteers in Orahovica. There were around 20 people from all the Europe that recently started to volunteer in Croatia. The trainings were oriented to the rights of volunteers and EVS in general. It was nice to change place for a few days as we had a swimming pool, air conditioning and tons of food, while it was almost 40 degrees outside. We also had an opportunity to explore Orahovica which I find to be quite cozy little town. This was short holidays for me as I slept more hours than usual, while others were recovering from hangover every morning.
Our trainers dedicated some time talking about cultural shock and it was quite funny for me. I don’t find Croatia very different from Lithuania. To be honest, I experienced a strong cultural shock only once – while living in India. Croatia seems more like a holidays than a challenge you have to survive as it was in Hyderabad.
By the way, Croatians looks like very friendly people so far. While we were waiting for a bus to go back, one lady bought us ice cream and a shopkeeper gave some lemonade for free.
Meanwhile in Latinovac the things were more intense than usual: ekocenter received 15 people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 3 from Canada. At the time I was lying in the swimming pool these people were enjoying summer camp and together with other volunteers preparing for Straw festival. I came back from Orahovica just on time.
Straw festival included various workshops, building straw sculptures and Gong music. The atmosphere was really laid back and a bit hippie. There were not a lot of people and that’s also an advantage for me, yet I met two Americans that are WorkAwaying not far from Latinovac. They started their trip in Austria and continued to Croatia through Slovakia and Hungary, covering most of their way by foot. Inspiring!
When I came back from trainings, I found two girls from Lithuania – Rasa and Gintarė. They volunteered in Latinovac last year and came here for a short visit. We spent significant time together, along with my favourite Bosnian friend Arnel. As I joke, Lithuanians became second biggest minority in Latinovac, after Portuguese. At least for some time.