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Make the house alive II. - prostovoljska izkušnja

torek, 22 junij 2021 13:45

O svoji prostovoljski izkušnji v okviru projeka Oživimo hišo II, so Dawid, Dominick in Katie zapisali:


In the living room filled with memories the last of the group sit in silence, while most of us are already heading home. Accompanied with inspiring experiences of the past three weeks we are facing the challenge of concentrating all of it in this short article.

Prior to our arrival to Slovenia, barely no one had any clue of what to expect from the country and the region. Our expectations regarding the project also varied from person to person. However, everyone were greatly amazed by the variety of skills we acquired and emotions we experienced. After crossing the border we were stunned by its spectacular landscapes, lush forests and clear, turquoise water. After these weeks we got familiarised with plenty of hidden gems of Slovenia and picturesque Idrija.

The project’s aim was to renovate one floor of the old building which is meant to be utilised as a youth hostel. We spend our time on sanding the walls, windows and doors, painting rooms and the corridor. Besides the routine tasks we were able to have a workshop on renovating old furniture and took part in renewing the playground in front of the building. Learning by doing, we acquired many new manual skills. In addition, every day a given group was responsible for preparing the lunch, while other groups took photos, kept an eye on the work schedule or took care of the renovation equipment. All tasks were supported by the local team, who were always happy to demonstrate us how to use a hammer or properly wash brushes.

Nevertheless, our Slovenian adventure did not only include working at the hostel. An inherent part of the project was exploration of the local culture. Masterminds of our project prepared for us a bunch of after-work activities, such as a tour, visiting the local mercury mine and UNESCO heritage sites. Additionally, our free weekends allowed us to travel around the country. During these weekend trips our group visited the mountainous north, the thriving city of Ljubljana as well as the charming Mediterranean coast.

The mix of physical and creative tasks with breath-taking views over the valley of Idrija made this experience remarkable. The effort, blood, sweat and tears that were put into this project came out as more than worth it after observing the outcome. On the last day all of us felt proud of what we have achieved bearing in mind our lacking skills and the limited time of only three weeks. Mostly thanks to our hard-working and engaged local mentors.

Who would have made the house alive if not the amazing, diverse group of committed individuals? How would have we bonded if not for all the challenges we overcame all together  while working and travelling? We learned how to function as an inclusive group where each of us can feel safe and supported, even in case of unfortunate events. Paradoxically, these challenges became one of the highlights of the whole project. Especially, after months of stagnation and social distance, hugging, dancing, laughing and sharing never felt as good.

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