Last of the EVS team 2017

So, the end is here, our fellow reader.

Two months have passed and we don’t really know how to feel about that. In one hand we are relived to go home and see our friends and family again, to go back to our old lives. But, in other hand we feel really sad and depressed to leave Kuterevo, to leave this small piece of Paradise, to leave the bears, to leave Postaja (our Volunteers Station), to leave all the domestic people, all the friends we made here.

No matter how we twist it, that is reality. And to cheer up the sad part of the story , here we present you some bloopers, funny photos or just us doing… something!

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Farewell Kuterevo, farewell bears, ponies, Misho, Kiki, Ivan, Barbara, Glorija, Josipa, domestic people and other volunteers! We shall come back, but for now here are our faces in case you star forgetting how we look like.

Goodbye, for now!

Lots of bear hugs and wishes to meet again soon,

The EVS team 2017
Written by: Tamara Gjuroska

The Golden EVS Middle

Yes, our dearest reader, believe it or not we’ve come to the more than a middle of our EVS stay! A lot of laughing, tears, sweat, friendships and more has filled our month and so. In our previous post we talked and talked about all the things we’ve done so far. So, now, we wanted to justify our words and offer you pictures as a proof! But, first, bears!

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So as you can see on the pictures above, our Lithuanian girl Laura repaired our Meditation Spot and even though we don’t have pictures from before she laid a hand on it, we assure you that she did a great job. She cleaned it up, repaired the fence and gate, put new gravel on the floor and even made motivational quotes.

Next one, we have Martin, our French man, who besides reviving the German Garden worked on another personal project which involved creating a Greenhouse. Below you can see the almost finished product and how Martin and Teodor enjoyed it :’D We will also show you pictures when it gets painted, but for now we just wanted to show you our EVS human plants!

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And the last finished personal project belongs to our youngest EVS volunteer, Aleksandra from Serbia, who repainted the old bear signs we have, so we could replace the ones we have on the roads as directions to the refuge that were too old to be easily noticed by our visitors.

And here you have the chance to see Luke working on his personal project, but because it’s still not finished, we’re not going to tell you what it will be!

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Besides all of this, we were special guests to Hrvatski Radio Otočac twice and will be one more time by the end of our stay here. We also had a Skype talk with the volunteers in Brezovica, Kosovo, where the second part of this EVS project is taking place. It was really nice to meet these people and to share our experiences so far, to give them advice considering that we started our EVS one and a half month earlier and to hear what their plans are! We found out they were working on organizing an eco-friendly festival, BreFest on Sharr Mountain, Brezovica, a project that was initiated by GAIA Kosovo, our sister organization. They were working on a music program, capoeira workshop, vegan cuisine, sustainability education for visitors etc… but all with consideration and respecting the mountain. They were at the beginning of their project, and the first thing they did was to remove a very large garbage dump from the place! (Good job, guys and girls!)

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Both volunteer groups on both mountains (Sharr and Velebit) had a similar motivation to join these projects, experiencing an eco-friendly lifestyle and paying respect to nature and its creatures and living in harmony with them. Of course, one of the biggest topics of the skype meeting was bears 🙂 and the volunteers were especially interested to know how they should act in case one visits them. (reminder – act calm, don’t run, give the bear space to go away)

We built a new fence around the volunteer accommodation, we learned how to cook and eat vegetarian food ONLY (a challenge most people survived surprisingly easy) and how to make an amazing homemade bread! How to play chess, to take care of a garden and not to kill it, how to make limestone mixture and paint fences with it, (we are preparing planks to extend the fence for the Shetland ponies we rescued from a zoo this year).

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But also how to have fun every night and use our days off to the maximum as the next few pictures can show.

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This is all we can tell you for now. We hope you enjoyed the pictures and you will stay here till our last post!

Lots of love and bear hugs,

The EVS Team 2017

Written by: Tamara Gjuroska

BREfest! Sharr is more than snow

Festival in Brezovica ski resort brings people together to celebrate Sharr Mountain nature and culture

From 11th to 13th August local people, guests from around Kosovo and neighboring countries are gathering in ski center Brezovica for music and nature festival BREfest. The event is free of charge, voluntarily organized and based on guests’ participation in activities. It aims to bringing attention to the beauty of Sharr Mountain, to raise awareness on environmental topics and to provide space for people who love the mountain; to share their vision for its future. The message of the festival is “Sharr is more than snow” emphasizing the unique, natural and cultural values of the mountain besides the attractive skiing slopes.

The program during the day will offer diverse activities for children, youngsters, elders and families. The evening will be a celebration of nature friendly music and cinema. Jimmy Mustafa band is opening the festival musical progamme on Friday. The band consists of 4 young and talented Roma musicians who create music based on Roma tradition and contemporary sounds and genres. On Saturday the mountain will be vibrating in a jazz wave thanks to the rich sound of Trio Biber. The last day will be all about exchanging music and culture between locals and volunteers from around the world.

Throughout the 3-day-event, multiple workshops such as capoeira, vegan cusine, RecycleArt, DIY (do it yourself) activities will take place. Guests will have the possibility to learn about medicinal herbs, wildlife and the mountain through guided educational tours. Everyday of the festival has its own topic which will be presented by an exhibition and discussion. The first day is dedicated to the environmental realities and the alternatives for a just world. Saturday is all about migration of people throughout centuries and continents creating a link between the historical cross-border region of Sharr mountain with current migration issues. Last day is dedicated to the nature and culture of Sharr – sharing positive stories, challenging threats, exchanging and creating a vision. More about the programme, accommodation, transport you can find out here.

BREfest is promoting a different approach of appreciating nature by making us think about our own impact on the environment. The organizers from GAIA are inviting guests to bring their own cup (and camping food equipment if possible) in order to avoid the use of plastic and to reduce the amount of waste. Share and exchange is another festival principal which is valid for sharing transport to the ski resort but also for exchanging skills, home-made products and stuff between people.

The organization of the festival is supported by:

  • 25 International and local volunteers from 13 countries
  • 20 international participants of the Tour of Freedom, which are traveling by bikes from the north of Kosovo to Brezovica
  • Roma children from Imaginatorium – alternative educational center in Gracanica
  • And everybody else who is interested

CONTACTS

GAIA Kosovo, brefest2017@gmail.com, http://www.gaiakosovo.org
Phone number: +386 49 386 709; +386 49 819 573

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