AVTORICA: Csilla Szasz
A relatively long time ago the same decision was made in the heads of 10 different people living in different countries of Europe like France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Spain, Hungary, and Romania. The decision is the following: to go to Idrija, Slovenia to participate in a project named Youthful Heritage. So, on the 15th of June these people, including me, arrived to Idrija. The first days were mainly about getting acquinted to each other and the place: we had guided walks in the town, where we got to know it more and we got a deper insight into its history as a mining town and we understood better why it is part of the Unesco World Heritage List. Besides having these guided walks, we did walks on our own as well, well, better said, we let ourselves being guided by Jan (Czech Republic), who previously discovered the places we were going to on his own – the sun doesn’t go down without him having his hike for the day!
Very soon after our arrival the first weekend came. To our surprise, there were events happening related to the Idrija Lace Festival. We had the chance to see a miners’ house from the inside, we saw some exhibitions and museums. And in the evening, we had the chance to taste some music of Slovenia, because there was a concert of the band called Joker.
After the enriching weekend, the first week of work awaited us. We started to work in Giser’s house, an old miners’ house, where on the first day we worked on clearing up the garden and the outer space from some unwanted bushes.
In the following days, there were still some bushes waiting to be cleared up and some concrete to be put down, in order to restore old stairs and the wall of an old shed. However, in the spotlight was the furniture that we have started to refurbish with the help of the talented architect, Nina from Ljubljana and her team, who passed some knowledge to us about how to work on old furniture. Until Thursday most of the team was working on refurbishing furniture which was a very satisfying and peaceful work to do. And while working, I can say that we also gained some new skills.
Even though on weekdays we would need a break after finishing the work at the house, we did not stop. Firstly, when arriving back to a hostel, a lunch prepared by two volunteers was waiting for us. According to Juliette (France), cooking was satisfying, especially seeing people coming back being hungry and saying how good it smells. As she said, it allowed us to share a little part of us – the way we cook and a little piece of our culture. For example, Juliette and Sabrina prepared some traditional tortillas for us.
In the afternoons, we have tried to take advantage out of our time here. There was enough time to have some time for ourselves if we wanted to, and we also had time to have a board games night. We had opportunities, where we could further immerse ourselves even more into the cultural life of Idrija. Idrija is full of cultural life on weekdays as well! During the week there was a concert happening, which some of us attended, and according to Venes the concert was superb and Slovenians are fun-loving people! There was also an opportunity to see a museum of arms, and some people went there which they didn’t regret – those who attended had the chance to try on different types of helmets. Those who preferred sports had the chance to go play basketball with locals.
I can say that the first week here was a very enriching one! We hope that our upcoming time here will be full of experiences as the previous week!