Two months!!!!

I’ve been in Croatia for two months now and I was happy to go back home for the holiday because I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family and to eat some very good pizza :), but I’m also happy to be back in Zagreb and to continue this wonderful experience.

Two weeks ago I started with my new team the softball practice and I was very happy about that, because I missed practice so much. Being a coach is super funny and I liked very much, but nothing is like playing and I cannot wait to practice on the field and to start this new season.

Kids already start with some tournaments, in fact yesterday we went to Gornje Vrapče school and they played many games and even if they have still a lot of work to do, I saw them improving more and more every game and they had a lot of fun and that was the most important thing.

I enjoyed very much being a part of the coaching staff and to help the kids in the games, I love their energy and their will to be better and I had so much fun with them and with the other coaches.

Elisa #9


Christmas Party!!!

I’m writing while I’m on the bus to go back home to my beautiful Florence. I’m very excited to go back home for the holiday and see my family and my friends, but I will miss Croatia this two weeks.

Yesterday ma and the other volunteer Natalia prepared a party and a lots of the people of the club came and had fun. We had live music, an ex player, a young player and her dad bring their instruments and they played some Croatian song and all together we sang some international song like Jingle bells and Last Christmas. Then we had a softball quiz, where everybody parteciped and at the end when only the older players remain we exchange some gifts and the boss of the club also gave me and Natalia a sweatshirt and two t-shirt of the club. One of the mum also prepared for us a very beautiful Christmas ornament. I had a lots of fun during the party, many people came and the cake that Natalia baked were delicious.

I’ve been in Croatia for one month and a half now and even if it is difficult sometime to be far from my family, my friends and my city, I’m really enjoying this experience and every person that I’ve met was very kind and the team welcomed me as a part of their big family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Elisa #9

One month in Croatia!!

It’s been already one month from my arrival to Zagreb, unbelievable how the time flies. In this moment we are in the advent period here in Zagreb, there are Christmas markets, lights, colors and music. Two weeks ago my parents came to visit me and together we visited Zagreb, we visited all the Christmas markets, we bought some presents and typical products and we tasted many Croatian dishes. I must say that Zagreb in the period of the advent is very beautiful and it’s been fantastic to be able to visit it with my family. Unfortunately my parents remained only three days and on December 11th they left and return home.

In the same day I also left Zagreb to go to Orahovica where the meeting for the EVS volunteers was held. We had almost been there a week and it was a wonderful experience, I learned a lot about EVS and I’m sure that every lessons taught me something that I can use during my service period. I also met a lot of great people there, other volunteers and the trainers too. We spent all the time together and I can say that I make 9 new friends there, 2 from Turkey, 3 from Italy, 2 from Portugal, 1 from Egypt and 1 from Romania (plus me and Natalia). There were so many different culture in the same place and we had so much fun together and the funniest part for me was the project management, because we failed at the first attempt, so we had to stay up until 1 am to finished the project and everybody was so tired that we ended up laughing all the time for the stupidest thing, but in the end we managed to finished our project and even if it wasn’t perfect we worked as a team and this for me was the most important thing. On Friday there was also the traditional dinner, where we tried many traditional Christmas dishes and then we stayed up until 3 am, talking and listening to music. The last day also snowed and the Egyptian guy saw the snow for the first time in his life and all together we did a snow ball battle. The hardiest part was to say goodbye to everybody, because we shared some really good moment together and it was sad to say goodbye, but I hope to see them again during my EVS period.

Friday I will return home for Christmas and I I will be there until January 3rd, in that days I hope to rest, to spend most of my time with my family, to see my friends and my teammates. I know for sure that the day I will return in Florence I will go with my families, my uncle, aunt and cousins to my favorite pizzeria to eat Pizza with Burrata, my favorite one, and I’m so happy for that, because I miss Pizza so much. 🙂

Elisa #9

Advent time in Zagreb!

I finally managed to find the time to write, so last weekend my parents came in Zagreb to visit me and we spent 2 days and a half together. They arrived in the afternoon of December 8th and left in the morning of the 11th. In 2 days we visited the whole center of Zagreb both in the daytime and in the evening, we visited the upper city, the Cathedral, the St. Mark’s Church, the Christmas markets in Strossmartre, we took the funicular, then we visited the lower part of the city, we went to the Zrinjevac park, we admired the ice skating park, all illuminated, and we listened to some music in Jelačića square and in the end we went to the markets in front of the Croatian National Theatre, but they weren’t good as the other markets, so we didn’t stay there for too long. I must say that in the evening everything is more beautiful, with all the lights, the colors and the music. We visited all the Christmas markets and we bought some Christmas balls and other typical Croatian products, like figs and plums brandy, we tasted the “fritule” and drunk warm punch and we tasted some Croatian specialties in some very good restaurants. They have been two very cold days, but still wonderful, the first day has also snowed, but this has not stopped us, we have been even more exciting, because in Florence snow is very rarely seen. I am really happy that my parents came to visit me, it’s been wonderful to see them again and to be able to spend some time with them.

Elisa #9

New uniform

Yesterday at the club house of my new team was held the second mentale practice and in addition me and Natalia made a presentation of our countries and Natalia cooked for us all a typical Polish dish the “bigos”.

They also gave us our new uniforms that we will wear during the next season’s softball games, I love it, my new colors are blue and yellow and my new number will be 2, I would have preferred my beloved 9 but unfortunately I will have to wait before wearing again my number and I will also miss the word Sestese on my chest, but I will do my best to honor my new Team Princ.

Elisa #9

1st week is over!!!

The first week of this new adventure is over, and I have to say that it went fast, the welcome was great, I met many people of the team and although I still do not remember all their names because they are so many, they have all been very kind and enthusiastic.

The first few days were a bit frenetic because I met everyone and I had to do all the administration things to live here in Zagreb, I had to go to bank, police etc … but now everything is done, I settled, the apartment where I live is nice and cozy and if I have to be honest home nostalgia is less than I was expecting, even though a bit of nostalgia is always there. First I miss my family, but also the Italian food, because even though I am improving in cooking every day, mom is always mom and she cooks a lot better. 🙂 I also miss my teammates, who will start training soon and for the first time in 11 years I will not be with them, but I will soon starting to train too, with my new team and I’m already looking forward to the start of this new Softball season.

Meanwhile, I have already taken part in many activities, like some training and I must say that the funniest thing was to train the kids, because they are all full of energy and they want to learn as much as possible about Softball. Together we have already participated in the first winter tournament and It was a great experience to see the game from another point of view, the coach one and I like this new role very much, even though I miss playing. I also participated in softball presentations in schools and seeing those kids wearing a glove for the first time reminded me of when I started, 11 years ago. I think this assistant coach experience will help me a lot in the game and I hope to be able to help kids improve in Softball.

I have also started to follow an online course in Croatian, it is a very difficult language and so different from Italian that I still can not understand a word, but I will do my best and I hope that by the end of this year I will understand something.

I have also been able to visit the city, a little, I did a free walking tour where I visited the upper town and then I walked through the streets of the low part of the city, where I got also lost :). I also walked through the streets of my neighborhood, Prečko and I have already found my favorite bar.

So, my report after this first week could not be more positive than that and I’m sure it will continue to be positive and full of adventures.

Elisa #9

It’s Time!!!

Very soon I will start a new adventure, I will live and work in Croatia for a year, for the softball club Pric of Zagreb. I will leave Italy on November 10 at 23.55 and in 9 hours I will be in Zagreb, the journey will be long, but with the company of my trusty Ipod and a new music playlist I’m sure the time will go in a flash.

These last days of preparation have been frenetic, preparing the suitcases, deciding the clothes, checking that the suitcases were of the right size and that they did not overdo the weight, packing and unpacking them a thousand times to fit everything in, the last minute race to the supermarket to buy the latest things, but now everything is ready and I’m ready to leave. I’m ready to start this new adventure that will bring me to a new country, with a new language and a new culture, but I’m sure I will have a lot of fun.

I expect to spend a lot of time on the softball fields, doing what I love most, playing softball, I expect to improve my softball skills, but I also expect to grow as a person, to make new friends and to immerse myself completely in the Croatian culture. I also hope to learn a bit of Croatian and learn how to be on my own.

For quite some time I was hoping to experience living abroad and now I’m euphoric to finally have this opportunity.

So, see you soon Italy and welcome Croatia!!!

Elisa #9