“The right amount of everything” – but literally

It is almost end of my EVS in Slovenia, time when I summ up all the good and bad things that happened to me during those 12 months that went by faster than I could even imagine at the beginning.
And for those who are familiar with this, let’s say it in a cheesy way, „lifechanging opportunity“, it will not be strange if I say that this year was really filled with very usefull, heavy and deep learning processes. Boy, it was a true rollercoaster.

But this time I will not tell you the whole story about my EVS, not even half of it. You know, two of my strongest experinces are actually part of this „Backpack journalism“ project. First one, July’s „Jaz novinar“ summer school for kids was just the intro into the second one, one that really (let’s say it again in a cheesy way), brought me the strongest learning experience on my EVS.
So, this blog is about the youth exchange „The right amount of everything“ held in August, when my EVS was right in the middle, and yeah, when really right amount of good things happened to me 🙂

The idea of the youth exchange was to gather young people from seven countries who would be learned how to make short documentary movies, and then be divided into five groups and make their own docuumentary during three – day trip around Slovenia.
First of all, it is important to say that this was my first ever youth exchange that i participated in. And since my organisation (Socialna akademija, SAK) was the main organiser, i had an opportunity not to be just the participant, but also to help with the first steps of organisation. Project management + filming&multimedia stuff, not so bad, right? 🙂

Now when i look back, i see how i was unprepared and not aware of the things that need to be done. But I had luck that i could learn from the best ones – Sabina and people from SAK were really giving their best to make this thing both well organised and interseting. Maybe one extra plus was the fact that the team was really young and mostly all of them i also consider friends, not just co-workers, so it was really funny and interesting to be in the process from the beginning where we all, you know, brainstorm, work extra hours, organise stuff, make quizzes, make for the third time tea bag presents, ask around for extra sleeping bags, cry, laugh, search for the right trainers, bla bla bla. LOL i am so happy that we picked those trainers that we did, one of them really impressed me during one class. 😛
But all in all, it was nice to feel like a part of the good working team.

And when we talk about the participants, as i said at the beginning, at some point we needed to divide them into five groups for that filming trip, and each group should have had two menthors, and as i saw it, each group had at least one very strong and experienced mentor. I was pretty new in this field and expected to be in a team with somebody more relevant that i am, but at the end, i was a menthor with another person who was also pretty unexperienced, and also busy, so a lot of the things i needed to do alone. Later on, Sabina, that clever foxy, told me that she drag me into this fire on purpose, so that i have even stronger learning experience. You know, in other case, i would rely on the other menthor too much and wouldn’t learn a lot of things, so thanks for that 🙂

As for that filming trip, I can say that I learned two major things:
– There are some things that you need to push and organise very well, in advance, quicly,
– There are some things that you need to let build up slowly, naturaraly, spontaneously

For the first one, I thing that it is very obvious. Whenever i organised stuff in advance, called to check if there are free parking spots, free camping spots, free tables for lunch, the right busses that drive at the right time, everything was allright. But on the other hand, whenever i was like, „ok, let’s go to the bus station and wait for the random bus“, or, „ok let’s just go inside the first reastaurant that we see“, or, „ok, lets just go there and check when we arrive if we can leave our tents there“, something went wrong. It sounds stupid and obvious, but before, i was really too much relying on luck and doing these mistakes and this was a problem.

On the other hand, as a team menthor, your kinda of a „job“ is to take care that the team is happy, connected, without any tension, all in all, surrounded by healthy atmosphere. We are all different individuals with our own needs and tempers, and sometimes it can be difficult to build up that harmony. And there I learned that these kind of a things you cannot force and openly push, because otherwise your team will feel presure and at the end, only break. So how this proccess looked like? First we shared some random box of chocolate that we found. Then we needed to set up the tent…then we went swimming…then we were together nervous because we were late for the bus and then even took the wrong one…then we laughed so hard together when we were filming one person talking and at the end realised that we forgot to click „play“ button. Then they all laughed so hard when we went SUPing and i was the only one falling into the water on the right place where we were warned not to fall. Oh and then we were laughing so hard when we went for some beers and after went to pee in the bushes, and some guys saw us. By the end of the filming trip, hilarious unpredictable situations were happening, but we realised that one thing stayed constant, word „together“.

It is so funny when I realise that life really is about the right amount of everything – both good organisation and unpredictable „go with the flow“ attitude. Going into any extreme doesn’t really bring any good…I believe this wasn’t the real intention of the youth exchange, but it really was one of the strongest life learning – experiences that i had.

Only exception is that „Despacito“ song. At the end of the youth exchange, even that thing became dear to me, although it was not played in the right amount, but we were literally brainwashed :p