After long 2 months of waiting the day was finally here! It was the 23rd of April and the journey to my first Erasmus+ Youth Exchange could begin.
So, I took the trains to Čadca, met the other people from Slovak group (for the first time) and then after one hour and a half of waiting our bus to Poronin departed. During our way to Poronin we could see the Tatra Mountains from both Slovak and Polish side and I’ve got to tell you that the Polish part of Tatra Mountains looks as good, if not even better than the Slovak part. When we arrived the Polish team said hi to us and then we ate the lunch. After the lunch I went to see what people from the Polish group were doing. They were playing volleyball and when they saw me, they invited me to play with them. Even though I’m really a terrible volleyball player I thought that I should try it to get to know them. I said I wanted to join in and they all came to me and introduced themselves. I only remembered that the first one said she was Marysia, then some other people and then a girl that looked kind of similar (not really but I thought so on that moment) to the first girl and said she was Marysia too. I was a bit confused with the names at first but it got better as we were playing the game. And then the trainer came and said we should divide ourselves into the Polish and Slovak group and create a welcome poster for the Hungarian group. For some reason I was in the Polish group. So when the Hungarians arrived we welcomed them, played an energizer and then got some basic information about the exchange. Then we spent some more time together and went to sleep. The second day started with an energizer and some Ice-breakers. After those we had our first session. During that session we were divided into 3 groups and we were supposed to create a short and easy game using 2 dices and 12 pieces of paper. This session was supposed to help us realise we need some kind of rules. Then we created rules for the exchange and one of them was really helpful and is common among Erasmus+ Exchanges. It’s called Bora Bora -whenever someone said Bora Bora the other people had to start speaking English immediately. Then we did the photo scavenger hunt and took some crazy pictures. The third day began with a funny energizer game again. Later we talked about traits of successful people and then created and presented games that were supposed to help students develop entrepreneurial skills. In the evening we presented our country during the Slovak cultural night. We went to play our games with students in Nowy Targ on the fourth day. We had some free time in Nowy Targ after the games and so we looked around the school in Nowy Targ to see the similarities and differences and meet some other local students. As we were leaving the school Paweł introduced me to his friend and then we walked and talked with her on our way to the ice-cream shop. We took the bus from the square in Nowy Targ to Gorący Potok, which is a thermal swimming pool near Biały Dunajec. On Friday (the fifth day) we talked about our future selves, our personalities and the way they affect our future jobs. Afterwards we went to look for social and environmental issues in Poronin.
In the afternoon we used our gathered information to create business plans for social enterprises in Poronin and then did the paper aircraft challenge, in which we were supposed to create paper planes and then sell them to other companies. The Hungarian night took place in the evening. We went hiking to the Tatra Mountains on Saturday. The whole group went to a valley and some of us also went to Sarnia Skała and a waterfall. As I was soaking my feet in the brook a crazy idea came to mind – the bare-feet challenge. I persuaded some other fellows and we had to walk with bare feet to Zakopane. It was a lot of fun but at the same time so sore, because the path was made of sharp gravel. We had some free time in Zakopane afterwards and so we went to a restaurant and some souvenir shops. We watched some Ted Talks in the evening. The Polish group suggested that we go to the mass on Sunday and some of us went. It was in a small church with local wooden architecture. Unfortunately the church was too small and there were a lot of tourist, so we had to sit outside. When we came back we had to make our games digital and did the ice cubes – everyone got an envelope and anyone could drop them a message that they could read at home. The Polish night took place in the evening and it was the best one.
They had a presentation, one girl was dressed in a Polish folk costume and then we went to a BBQ party to a typical polish cottage restaurant. On Monday we had to pack our baggage and say goodbye. After plenty of hugs we had to leave Poland and go back to Slovakia. I miss Poland and the people, but the good thing is I’ve got them on messenger and I am already planning to meet some of them during the summer holiday. This exchange gave me new information about the topic (entrepreneurship), I learnt how to co-operate better since most of our tasks were group tasks, I learned how to play Makao, got new information about foreign cultures and most importantly I met and made friends with a bunch of new young people.
I recommend this to everyone who is able to get out of his comfort zone.