Here I am writing my EVS blog again, because this last month was very funny and full of new adventures. At the beginning of June my club Princ held the third Euroleague tournament and with my team we played 4 games in two days winning 2 and loosing 2.
Then we had the summer camp for kids, I was one of the volunteers there and it was surprising to see how many kids join the camp, for half of them was the first time trying softball and they were enthusiastic and learning very fast. The summer camp was from 9 in the morning till 7 pm for 6 days, the kids had 2 practices per day and they played a lot of games and had workshops in the afternoons, they even participated in my Italian workshop were they learned some easy words and sentences and in the end they compete for a medal and it was very funny and interesting to see how they listened and remembered what I thought them.
But my adventures didn’t stop with the end of the summer camp, in fact the last day of camp finished at 7 pm and at 11 pm I took the bus for Dubrovnik and I arrived there the morning after at 9 am. I stayed in Dubrovnik for 4 days and for 3 of them my friend Francesco, that I met on the on-arrival training for EVS volunteers, joined me and together we visited the old city, we walk on the city walls, we went to Lokrum island where we enjoyed a day full of relax and sea and we took the cable car admiring the beautiful view of the old city from Mount Srd. I must say that among the cities of Croatia that I visited Dubrovnik is the most beautiful and the most expensive too .
My adventures didn’t stop in Dubrovnik in fact I came back for one day in Zagreb and then I hit the road again and this time I went to Rijeka, the Krk island, Opatija and to the Plivitce lakes. My parents came to visit me for my father’s birthday and we dicided to visit some cities in the coast, the fist day we visit Rijeka and then we went to the the Krk Island, precisely in Malinska, where we booked our apartment. The second day we went to visit some cities in the island, like Baška and Krk, then we went swimming at Potovosce beach in Vrbnik and in the evening we visited Opatija and we also played a bit at the casino. Saturday, we decided to finished big, so for the last day of our little holiday, we visited the Plivitce Lakes, the lakes were amazing and we had a wonderful time there. In this last month I had a lot of fun and I loved all my new adventures and I can’t wait for the next one.
6 months of this adventure are already pass and 6 more have yet to pass, time flies really quick, it seems yesterday that I arrived for the first time in Zagreb and instead half of this adventure is already gone. This 6 months were amazing, I had so much fun playing with my new team and coaching the kids, It’s very rewarding when you see the kids improving and I’m really looking forward to play more tournaments, more games and to have more fun and adventures here in Croatia.
Some days ago I’ve been to the mid-term meeting in Split, they have been 4 days full of sun, sea, fun and many interesting activities. In Split I found some volunteers I met at the on-arrival training and some new ones, we shared our experiences and together we had a lot of fun during our free time, visiting the city, eating ice cream, climbing the tower and admiring the beautiful view and we even managed to go to the beach and swim (first swim of the year ). Another highlight of this month was the Euroleague tournament in Kunovice, Czech Republic, where we played against the Reds of Hungary and the Lady Pirates of Zagreb, winning both games.
Finally the softball season started, in fact last weekend we played our pre-season tournament, the 11th edition of ForEver Fastpitch, a softball tournament organized by the softball club Princ, it was the biggest ForEver Fatpitch tournament ever, with 9 teams from 6 different countries, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sweden and Italy. I enjoyed every second of it, I had so much fun playing with my new team and at the end after a really tough final we won second place on the competition. I think we did a really good job and it’s rewarding when you play good after all the hard work of the winter, I think this tournament was very good for us, we had the opportunity to know each other better, it was the first time that we played together as a team and to know how much each of us can give to the team. During this tournament I felt immediately accepted in the team, I think that every team is like a second family and i really miss my italian softball family, but i’m so happy to be a part of the Princ family and I can’t wait to continue this journey with them, to continue to play and have fun with them.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.