HELLO EVERYONE !

Hello everyone!

I am Efthymia (or Mia, in short), I’m 21, from Greece. I am studying geology and l am very interested in non-formal education and adult education. I love to read, learn new things, do sports, explore my creativity and cooperate with new people.
When a friend of mine told me about this EVS programme in Sweden l realised it was exactly what I was looking for: be a volunteer, live in Sweden and learn how a NGO functions, as I’d like it to become my future job.
I did not have a second thought and l applied. l am very happy for this opportunity and l believe this is a life experience you cannot miss. and l would like to share with you some of my everyday ‘special’ moments.

The main purpose of this blog is to transfer to you my everyday special moments. For example to make you see a beautiful scene that l saw doing my walk near a lake, share a poem with you or recommend you a book , express my feelings for Sweden or make a comparison with my country  and sometimes I am gonna use some quotes to explain my own point of view.

What do you think, will you join me?

 

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Featured post

Goodbye Sweden!

To tell the truth at first it wasn’t that easy to adjust in Swedish community, but now l can definitely say ‘’I AM GONNA MISS YOU SWEDEN’’!!!

After these 64 days l spent here l became a completely different person, l changed also my everyday habits. For example l was a food lover before, using and eating most of spices and l can admit l used to eat salt with food, now l am also surprised l am cooking and l do not use salt at all!

And this is just to start! Here l came out of my comfort zone and l found out my deeper personality, and l am not joking. Maybe this is one of my most serious posts and l am not going to make such a post again, cause l am not serious at all, but now l feel the need to share with you my most life changing experience which taught me so many important things!

Another thing that l gained through this experience is my ability to communicate with many different people and express myself as correct as l can to them, and this ability improved a lot, now l understand why languages are so important for humans. If you really possess them, doors are open to you to try new things, learn from the difference, improve and develop yourself and finally feel much freer than ever before.

If you are bored with the way you live, if you are confused about your own life, if you do not know what fits you most and – the most important thing – if you are ready to face the unknown and not afraid to lose your convenience, your warm home and your comfort zone…

DO NOT HESITATE… this is for you! Move on try to get rid of your safety zone.

CARPE DIEM, take the chance, but keep in mind that it is also challenge, my friend.

Yes, Sweden and its nature are impressive but l am more impressed by the things l did not know l was able to do. For the things l met for first time in my life, even the simple ones: a good companion, a good conversation, having fika with my colleague, the realisation of the people l can rely on, my limits, my abilities.

Here l remembered why l liked to exercise, l learned not to be ashamed of my body and my natural appearance, not to be afraid to tell what l am thinking about, l felt more free. I could speak with many different people, just at the bus stop, just on the street if l noticed something interesting.

Now l am caring a heritage and l do not know why I feel completely different, and at the same time almost the same, but the most important thing is that NOW l feel like myself.

I learned to learn, most of the time from my mistakes, at my job or in English language… Yes maybe l had a child’s knowledge in computing at first but l also had and still have a child’s spirit inside that pushed me and still pushes me to learn more, be curious, try on my own, dream ….

At first l remember myself counting the days, one by one, like prisoners do. Everybody laughed at me , but l know the meaning it was my own Ithaka.

I was expecting to approach my Ithaka (my hometown, my family and my comfort zone) in order to feel better and free, but through my stay here and my trips l was reaching Ithaka every day more and more, being far away from this imaginary land. The journey gave me what I expected from my own ithaka , this journey gave me a bit of myself back to me!

Maybe when l am back l will start again to do the same things as l used to do, but nobody can ever take from my mind the little sense of freedom l felt!

It’s not bad to complain, it is bad when you are just complaining and you don’t do anything to improve your current condition.

These were my last thoughts for this EVS experience, so I preferred not to edit them at all!

Thank you for reading, stay tuned I will be back with much more experiences to share and a new blog name!

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Åland islands in Finland!

A cruise with Viking line . I have to admit that the trip was long, but it definitely was worth it!

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But let’s start from the beginning .Me and my lovely colleague Lorenzo started our trip from Stockholm at 12:30 and we were travelling by bus around two hours and then by boat for another three and a half hours and that’s why l said it was a long trip. We were landed  in  the capital Mariehamn, on the main island of Fasta Åland, which is known for its beaches and streets lined with 19th-century wooden townhouses, handicraft shops and cafes. Västerhamn, the town’s western port, links Åland with Estonia, Sweden and mainland Finland.

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What are the Åland islands?

Åland islands or Åland  is the smallest region of Finland in the Baltic sea. It is  autonomous and demilitarised.The Åland archipelago consists of 6500 islands and the official language is Swedish.

 

And what did we do?

We enjoyed our cruise drinking our coffee on the deck , having the beautiful view of archipelago.

We did our shopping at ferry’s duty free shop, which was the most crowed place!

We combined our drink with live music seeing all people around us having fun and get a bit of drunk too! Of course we admired the beauty of Mariehamn when we were landed and are no words to describe it!

 

Do not miss this!

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Malmö Festivalen

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It was extremely hard to manage to have this photo, everyone wanted to take a picture here!

Malmö is the third biggest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg and the fifth in Scandinavia and ”Malmö festivalen” is the largest festival in Scandinavia with aproximately 1,4 visitors!This is a sustainable festival which  takes place every year, lasts one week and established since 1985!

This year started at 11th and ended at 18th of August. It is a mixture of musical, cultural and arts fest which turns the city on.Here you can hear many different kinds of music and discover new  forthcoming artists, experience and try cuisine from almost all over the word. For children and for those who feel like they’re, plenty of  amusements park games are waiting for them!  Even for the fashion icons there is still an interest here as you can also see a kind of fashion show takes place.

In my opinion it is definitely for every taste but if you still don’t find something interesting here, you can take a walk in the beautiful city of Malmö!

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Puss in Swedish means kiss!
 For more information do not miss the slideshow below!!!

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100 point challenge Stockholm

I will describe you my experience …

It was Friday night, I was watching  tv with my colleague Lorenzo, when a friend of his asked us via facebook if we wanted to join him the next morning in this challenge! It was the first time l heard about this, but I said yes. The next morning me , Lorenzo, Anas and Nina we were gathered in Gamlastan ( the old city, Stockholm) at 10 a.m.

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There are three types of challenges, and our friend chose the second one:

1)ASTRID’S ADVENTUREs, a great introduction to Stockholm to newcomers .

 

2)BJÖRN’S BATTLE, for those who are in love with Stockholm .

 

3) GUSTAV’S GLORY, for the people they think they have done everything in this city.

A man wearing a white hoodie where was written ‘100 point challenge Stockholm’ came and the adventure began. We were three teams , he gave to every team a cotton bag where were all the things we needed :

1­) one retro Fuji camera

2) one envelope with the challenges we had to complete and some instructions

3) a map of Stockholm city

Also pens were provided.

And then?

2 hours , 23 challenges all over Stockholm city, you vs the city!

In these limited time we had to solve the clues, take pictures to prove some of our tasks or even make handcrafts with things can be found on the streets. For example , when we found the most narrow street in Europe or the tiniest statue in Stockholm city, it must be captured, we had to make a mask or draw something also!

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Here is the tiniest statue in Stockholm, shame that can not be seen in this photo !

 

Each challenge has some specific points, in total they are 100. In two hours from the beginning each team has to gather again in the meeting place. Then the coordinator takes the envelopes from each team, calculate the results and announces the winner team! The winner team receives a symbolic gift.

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We were in absolute hurry, almost running all over the city and of course all team members together, but we definitely enjoy it. We weren’t the winner team but it was a great experience, l recommend it, you can book your ticket online at https://www.100pointchallenge.com/

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The day l met you

The day l met you it wasn’t sunny at all

the sky was grey and everywhere was spread the smell after the rain

 

The day l met you everything was wrong

even the night took a day off

 

The day l met you l hadn’t any thought

but l didn’t like you at all

 

And when l left you l was crashed off

it was my fault

 

5 differences between Sweden and Greece

Sweden

  • Swedes recycle almost everything!
  • It is impossible to find a smoking area indoors.
  • Here you can find and buy snooze or snus, which is a kind of ground oral tobacco product usually contained in sackets that look like small teabags and are placed behind the upper lip.
  • When Swedish people go for a coffee, they mean it. When their coffee is finished they leave the café.
  • In this country you can buy alcohol over 3,5 vol only at specific markets which belong to the state.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Greece
  • Recycling it is not their preference.
  • In Greece smoking is allowed almost everywhere. It is difficult to find a café, restaurant or a club for no smokers even though smoking is illegal in these places according to the law!
  • Snooze is illegal here and you cannot find it.
  • When Greeks go for a coffee, it can last sometimes for hours.
  • Back in Greece you can buy alcohol even at a regular supermarket.

What happens on Tuesdays?

In this country I met the smallest library l have ever seen!

So cute, so tiny, it was made from the residents of the village, located in Tuna.

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I borrowed also a book and l really liked it so, if you are curious to find out what happens on Tuesdays, read <> by Mitch Albom.

Here it is a small excerpt.

<<Story of a little wave>>

A little wave is bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air ~ until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.

“My God, this is terrible”, the wave says, “look what’s going to happen to me!

“Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?”

“The first wave says: you don’t understand! We are all going to crash! All of us waves going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”

“The second wave says: no, you don’t understand. You are not a wave; you are part of the ocean”

Written by a tree

Sun sun real man

Bright our minds, heat our hearts

Bring us closer help us live

 

 

You can help me raise my hand

You can also feed me up

You can burn me but you don’t

Thank you mate you’ll not regret.

Lake or sea?

It’s not too cold

It’s not too old

It’s not too hot but also warm

You can swallow it, you can swim

It’s a lake it’s not a sea.

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