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lunes, 10 de diciembre de 2018


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...Bohemian Rhapsody...
It is still on my mind.

Last week, one of my flat mates named Hanna wanted to go to the cinema because she loves Queen a lot. She had already recommended me to listen to the group’s music, however I didn’t like it so much. She was in a bad mood one day and wanted to be cheered up by a movie and I decided to go with her. By the way Marci also wanted to come with us but he needed to go to Ireland instead. I think we will do it again all of us together.

At the same time, I was worried. I could watch movies with English subtitles but It would be with Spanish subtitles in the cinemas in Granada. She told me that I would manage to understand all movie. Yes guys, it was MY FIRST TIME TO GO TO THE CINEMA IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.

I did my Erasmus in Stockholm but I haven’t dared to go to the cinema in a foreign country before. I managed to understand all of the movie. The important thing is not about understanding, is about enjoying. Yes, Hanna manage to convert me as a fan of Queen =D

I am so happy that I have Marci and Hanna as my new friends…

Celebrating Human Rights Day

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Every year on the 10th of December, the world celebrates Human Rights Day. This year is a special one, because it marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most important document on human rights. On this day, in 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations created this document, enshrining human rights into international law. Human rights are inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. If you are interested, you can take a look at the document here.

On this day there are many official celebrations and commemorations of this historic event, but perhaps even more significant is the work of NGOs and human rights activists. To turn things more local, while we in the organization don't organize an event for Human Rights Day, we do encourage you to go out and participate in some events. Surely there will be some local event which you could join near you! For those of you from Granada, an example of it is Amnesty International's film screening today. See the poster for the event below and watch the trailer for the film here.

domingo, 9 de diciembre de 2018

We Look Awesome, Right?

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We just look so cool, no? It was finally time to update the photos of the team on the website and on social media, so we did a little photoshoot last weekend! It's very convenient that Las Niñas del Tul has a photographer on the team (that would be me, Marci)! We went to the park just across the river from our office, near the Palacio de Congresos and took the pictures there.

Have fun browsing through our new portraits!

How Granada reminds me of Vietnam

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What you have to know about me, is that I love living in different parts of the world. Don't ask me how do I do it, my life is very random and some things just happen to me without a reason. Now I am living in Granada but previously it was Vietnam.

And after moving here I realized that Granada has many things very similar to Vietnam and today I decided to talk about it.

And please, don't treat this post very seriously. It's like a half-joke, bear in mind.

First thing I noticed that is similar to both countries is... well, not very splendour thing. Dog poops. Everywhere. I mean, seriously, you don't mind them? Each time I walk the pavement I have a red light in my mind screaming "Shit alert, shit alert!" And even if Vietnam didn't really have dog shits on the pavement... they had human shit. People there pee in public space. Once I saw a lady in a park who didn't pee. She was pooping. In. The. Park. Ok, people in Granada don't poop in public places. But their dogs do! And you know what we say? Dogs are like your children. Means, your dog's poop is still your poop.

Oh, and talking about pavements... In Vietnam people are used to scooters everywhere. That means that the pavement is not for the use of regular people. No, it's for scooters to park or to pass the traffic jam. That make regular pedestrians to walk wherever they want. Somehow, pedestrians in Granada do the same, even without scooters... I mean, how is possible that a single person takes so much space that I can't even pass them???

And crossing the street... Well, in Vietnam I was used to crossing the street everytime I wanted. That's because they don't use traffic lights, you have to just become a part of the traffic and cross anytime you want. But here I do the same, I cross the street anytime I want, mostly on the red light! And that's because THERE ARE traffic lights here but so terribly organized. I mean what a genius organize traffic lights in Granada? Seriously, every time I want to cross the street, I do it on the red light. Because the cars also have a red light! It's just so terribly designed...

And the other thing is the smell of marijuana. It's everywhere in Vietnam, it's everywhere here. I think I don't need to comment more on this.

And there is one more... you know, I love people in general and people in Granada are amazing! (Maybe except the guys I meet on Tinder but that story I'll tell you next time...) Friendly, polite, smiling, really chilled. Just like in Ho Chi Minh City, where I lived! And they have one more thing in common! They are super flexible with work. I don't know, maybe it's just me, you know, I am from Poland. We are not that flexible there. We need to plan to be spontaneous (ok, maybe I need but when I think about my Polish friends and how we organize our work and free time it's the same with everybody - you have plans fixed beforehand. Long ahead. That means that when someone messages you to meet the next day, it's almost impossible because people have plans!

Well, this is this thing about Granada and Vietnam. Seems like people here and there don't have any plans for the next day. And they don't see a problem to meet just-right-now, like, how do you even know that anyone else has a free evening to meet? I usually make plans. And then people say something like, hey, let's do this and this NOW and I'm like, 'wut? WUT? I can't do it now. Do you even care to ask if I'm free?'

I guess it's just a mental and cultural difference... I'm not sure though if I can ever learn how to be more flexible here, I'll just struggle with the spontaneity of Spanish people until the end of my stay :D

And as the last let's mention the positivities! Yay! First of all, going out with your friends in Granada and in Vietnam is cheap. Well, still Vietnam is much cheaper than Spain, especially for going out, but I compare Granada with the rest of Spain and even Western Europe. You know, for a person from Poland when you think 'Western Europe' (and that geographically includes Spain) is equal to 'expensive'. How surprising it was for me to find out that Spain is much cheaper than Western Europe! I could even say that the costs of living there are very similar to the costs of living in Poland. I didn't have that financial shock when I arrived here and that was such a relief! Love it!

Oh, and as the last thing, I will give you what I love the most about Granada. Of course, I skip things like skyline or Alhambra - they are amazing but for me, every city or place in the world, in general, has its own peculiar thing that I love. I am talking now about something else that I really appreciate. And it is... the quality of the air! It's amazing!!! You know, in Vietnam the air quality is... oh, sorry, what quality again? There is NO quality. The air pollution from the bad scooters is awful and you can feel like you were inhaling the concrete, the dust is just so thick. And in Poland, we have mostly a pretty old central heating system that requires using the coal, so in winter the air is just very polluted. And here? The air is so clean! It's amazing!

So yes, Granada reminds me of Vietnam. Every little thing here gives me a huge smile on my face and this weird "WTF?" feeling. But hey, it's only positive! It's like living in a comedy film every day! :D

And that's me with my face "I can't believe what I'm seeing" which I have 90% of my time here in Granada! :D (picture by Marci Gorka)

viernes, 7 de diciembre de 2018

Inventaciones Training Course

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A few weeks ago, we helped the Asociacion Carreteras Segundarias run an international training course as part of the project called "Inventaciones". Inventaciones is a multi-event project, which was developed to help social workers throughout Andalusia. The aim of the project is to help increase youth participation, and the international participants in the project, from Poland and Portugal came to share best practices with the participants from Spain.

On the first day, after some fun icebreakers organized by us, the work was mainly focused on introducing the project and there was an extended brainstorming session for ideas on how to improve the project and how to increase its impact.

In the afternoon, we visited a youth center in Las Gabias, a town just next to Granada and met with some of the local youth who told us about their own initiatives that they are working on. For example, we heard from their recently started board game club!

Afterwards, the international participants of the project told us about how they work with their organizations and what kind of challenges they face when trying to impact the lives of young people. Hopefully everyone picked up some useful lessons for the continuation of their projects!

On the second day, we started by visiting the Andalusian Youth Institute and the Diputación de Granada to learn more about how the Spanish system of governance, as well as cultural and youth policy are working.

In the Junta de Andalucia we got introduced to a program called "Creando Futuro" from Chema and learned more about the youth policy of Andalucia in general. Finally, we wrapped up the project back at the office with an intense discussion about how to improve things and how the future meetings should go! We will be back working on this project in the spring and the local events will be going on throughout the next months.