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Last 9 months of my life i have spent at home

Being a Russian who was born in Estonia and currently living in Croatia is a bit weird thingie. After such a long break from my ordinary life at “home”. I got lost in a thought – what or who is that…home?

After googling, all these endless quotes totally divided my mind: home is a place or feeling or its sweet or has a wi-fi. So let`s find this… home.

“Home is where the heart is” – “Hello doctor, bye-bye logic” quote.

To begin with, my heart is inside my body, precisely between my lungs. And more likely it`s very cold bc I was born in November in Estonia. So literally it means that my body is my home. And this sounds more like a truth. We all take care of our bodies… but only until we die hehe. Just as we take care of the place where we live and people around us. It means we can be a bit self-centred and say “ My home is inside me”.

“There is no place like home” – “Forks doesn`t exist” quote.

This works only for children. By law, until you are 18 there is really no place like home. For some people, it lasts forever but these are lazy individuals. Somehow when you start being an adult you have this feeling you are not child anymore. At this moment you lose your “home” with parents. Now you have to find your own. Doesn`t matter where: in another person, in an apartment under the roof, sitting on an old chair or while walking in the park. You gonna find it.

And I found it.

I can talk endlessly about fabulous places where I`ve been, great people I`ve met, about the town where I was born and the culture I belong to. This is all my home. These are all my memories. This is me.

P.S. Hvala lijepa Hrvatskoj zemlji.
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Blog VII: 45 days left

Please, welcome! Reflection tool Blobi was born 03.05.2018!

One part of my EVS personal project was to make reflection (mood) cards to use them in the future projects! 25 shells of motivation, boredom, happiness, hunger… etc. So how do I feel now? I am super satisfied! With great support and help of my colleagues working on Blobi was a very interesting process. Thank you!

We live in a pineapple

Yes, finally, we moved into a new apartment. Of course with a small difficulties, but who cares!
Let me explain. Now, we live in a green building that is sighted to yellow building. That means that we live in the crown of pineapple or just in a big pineapple!
Even though we had some problems with the washing machine (again), i like this place. As you know, cooking is one of my passions, so kitchen is extra important. For me, broken oven is much worse than not working washing machine.

Passion for drawing

Literally cooking became an art! Why not to draw what you are going to cook?

Some time ago, when my mum saw a recipe that i illustrated just for fun, suggested me to illustrate all my favourite recipes and make a small book out of it. After some time i started drawing it! Inspiration comes very spontaneously so you have to catch this moment and use it well. I choose not usual for me technique – watercolors. It worked and in a pretty nice way. For now i have the title and 4 pages full of recipes.

Old well-known recipes and something njammy new that i found out while being in Pula. If you have some suggestions please text me. Here is my email ( ljuba@udrugazum.org )

Drawing as a remedy 

Some life situations can be very stressful and destroying. Deep depression breaks you. I am so happy this breaking point happened with me. I feel totally different. Still can not explain what happened these days but for sure i can say drawing saved me.
I started with something simple: flowers, quotes, calligraphy writing. Now i can not “breathe” without this therapy.
The most interesting thing that I got my sleeping schedule back. Going to sleep around 10pm and waking up at 6am without any alarm. This is amazing.

The Future of the Book! 

The literacy evening on the topic of the Future of the Book is the best opportunity to read a Shakespeare`s sonnet. It was a very nice poetry evening where I have been reading my favorite sonnet in Russian language and listening to it in Croatian. Also were presented some of the local authors books and poems that were written by the students. I am grateful to Ivan the organizator for that soulful evening with cookies!

My small news:

I have been picking up wild asparagus for the first time!
Three times i have been interviewed on the radio.
Finally finished Croatian language course.
Went for a wine tasting day in Gračišće.
Had two workshops in the Schools of Istria: in Pazin and Poreč.
Endless dying from the Sun 🙂

Have a nice day!

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Hitchhiking in the name of poetry

Hitchhike in the name of poetry

There comes a time for every EVS-er to compare the prices of tickets, check blablacar availabilities and make the inevitable decision to hitchhike instead.
So it was a rainy Saturday morning when both of the Marias embarked on an istrian journey, and then…
… it started raining even more. Now, if it was only one Maria, you should know that journey was probably not gonna happen, for sure not the way it turned out, but having two of them, that gave it more shape.

We started around 9, took the bus to Crnomerec, then the bus to Savski most, then the bus to .!#?#* – exactly under the highway we needed to go to! Yes, yes, we started with almost being on the right road around 10:30.

We started with almost catching the bus we needed, getting off at almost the place that we wanted with the absolutely right mood. Almost without being wet, going to the highway, we saw this beautiful sign saying – NO AUTOSTOP !!! Beautiful, okay, so we stayed just in front of that sign, just before the highway, hoping somebody will actually go in our direction.
Funny thing, we barely got our thumbs up when a car stopped (even more cars were about to stop, but with the first one stopping they went their ways). It was a short moment of glory and excitement, because the driver just needed to check their direction and with a decisive gesture waved her hand telling us to go away and that she is not gonna take us anywhere. What can we do, Sveti Duh? We started singing… I had this song in my head that goes something like – wohoo, Im a rebell, Im a trickster… you know when you haven’t seen the lyrics and you somehow make them up, it was fun.
We had another car stopping, which was sadly also not taking us as the lady was going to Zapresic, but as they say – third time’s the charm – and it was! We had our third car and first hitchhike of the day – a guy from Varazdin, taking us from I-don’t-know-where-exactly-we-were to the ENTRANCE OF THE HIGHWAY!!!
Little did we know, that the rain is going to be so relentless….

As we stayed exactly in front of the toll booths we started getting really wet and I think we were looking very poorly, since the police car that was passing didn’t even bother to deal with us hitchhiking.

After a while we decided to go 50 metres after the toll booths and reach the nearby gas station to try and dry our clothes a little bit. Going there Marysia asked a driver there if he was going anywhere near Pula or Rijeka, but he said he was moving only 20km away. We decided to go through with this drying plan, but as we approached the entrance we saw two other hitchhikers. My, oh my, did I regret not having their attitude. They were UNDER the roof of the gas station, which means they were completely DRY and with a sign put on top of their backpacks casually 2rsaying Split. We had a quick chat, but my socks were so wet that we quickly went on inside.
Drying jackets, socks and trying to dry the shoes, in the big thunder-like sounds of the drier I heard a voice from behind calling “..uhm….girls…”. I figured at some point they were gonna ask us to stop abusing it, but no such thing. It was the guy from before, who figured he was actually going to Opatija and he offered us a ride to Rijeka !!!

Funny thing is that Marysia was actually wishing we can find people that are going Opatija, look around a little bit and continue from there. The rain didn’t really give us the chance to look around, but come on, what are the oats?
Speaking of odds… this car was just a saviour, we went in, told our poor-EVS-volunteers story, who are trying to go and support their fellow EVS-ers poetry event and we got to learn theirs – Alen, who recently quit his job in a famous cake shop and Maria, who is an experienced sommelier, were both going on an expo in Opatija. After a delightful conversation and a lot of care from their side, they said – no worries girls, you are gonna make it to Pula, if you don’t find transport until 6, we can take you after we finish work, so make yourselves comfortable, sit back and relax. And they turned up the music a little bit. Speaking of odds… can you guess which was the song? WOHOOOO, Im a rebel just for kicks … Portugal the Man – Feel it Still…. I think the message is clear – INmusic, we shall come.

*************** hour and a half later ******************

We stopped on a big gas station after Rijeka and continued from there. We proceeded to the nearest toilet to further dry what was left, laughed a little bit with all the ladies that came in, and after went into the cafe for a cup of tea. Relaxing cup, cup and hummus later, with rejuvenated powers we continued. After an hour or so we finally found ourselves in a car with more than one free spot (big thanks to the lovely old couple with recycled paper minivan, who sadly only had one). Branko and Blaz, aged 27 and 25 were going to Pula for business. Working, working people, and we EVS are just travelling around. It was lovely. They showed us a little bit around, drove us in front of Arena and continued with their business.Thank you and good luck!

Safe and sound, and really, really hungry, we were finally in Pula, a town without rain. We agreed a proper celebration over tea and food is required, and after a short google consultation went almost straight away to Jupiter.
Ladies, enjoy!

Oh My God,

that olive oil and bread.

Bread and olive oil,

Time was passing
olive oil was pouring.

Seriously. There is a reason Jupiter stands for abundance.

And what about the poetry night? We were finally there at 5, after a good meal and arrived right on time to relax and meet everybody. Irene and Dani were sitting in front of Rojc and with them we went in to… try to find Dnevni Boravak.

Written by Maria,
EVS volunteer in Zagreb from association Amazonas

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BLOG VI: 101 days left

Poetry evening – “Breathe in experience – breathe out poetry”

MID – term training in Split!

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

New recipe! Healthy! Tasty! Sweet!

Latvian singer who came to Pula to record a song in Russian 🙂

Project friend who became a sister.

One day at home.


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Blog V: May the force be with you!

Russian language cafe – my own project!

It’s been already a few Russian language lessons! I have only three cute students so far and I am really proud of these girls! Croatian is similar to Russian so it’s easy to understand and learn, but still, it is very complicated. They already know a lot and are even able to read in Russian! I receive very positive feedback from them and I love doing it.

By the way, on the 16th of February, I will start a new Russian language course! Check it out! Come! Join us!

Being allergic to don’t-know-what is awful!

I’ve never had such a strong allergic reaction before. Waking up and being all covered with red spots is FRIGHTFUL! For six days I lived in fear that it could be an allergy to the sun or chocolate or something else that I adore. I have very pale skin so the fear of allergy to the sun was killing me. I discovered the hospital in Pula twice! Yes, I liked the injections that they gave me because they had a very hard sedative effect. The pills also helped. After 2 days without red spots I had a nightmare in which I had this allergic reaction again. I woke up in the middle of the night and was checking every part of my body…. do I really have these spots again?!

Luckily, no!

Gradska knjižnica i čitaonica Pula!

Finally, I got a card made for the local library! The first books that I took were Shakespeare`s sonnets and Stephen King 🙂 They even have a bit of Russian literature. Mostly poetry. From now on, a long road somewhere won’t be a problem 🙂

Be creative!

In Spain I started sketching some funny moments or memorable jokes in my notebook! After the winter holidays I was so inspired by my own emotions that I decorated an old table in ZUM with beautiful white flowers. Then it was the right time for something bigger. What about a mural on the wall in the office?


Crazy wind, rain and sleeping mode all day. This is the kind of winter weather you can see in the  Istrian part of Croatia; a day or two when you don’t even want to get out of your bed because you hear how the wind is blowing outside and it’s so frightening. But after this scary weather always comes sun. No wind, no rain. The grass is green, the skies are blue and the sun is smiling to you 🙂 You go for a walk and smile back to the blinding sun. A perfect moment!