By Ionut-Cosmin Popescu
A fresh and shy warm-humid breeze moves the polaroids we took at yesterday’s party. The sun is strong but it barely burns my skin as I sit on the desk where I get light all morning. I’d say summers in Bremen seem quite interesting to me: sun in the morning, clouds during lunch, a 20 minutes storm in the afternoon followed by a clear sky in the evening and cold winds in the night. Every day is a new weather adventure!
Today is homeoffice day. Something which has become really rare, actually. Lockdown allowed us to enjoy the city almost at its fullest, so everything bursted back into life: trams are crowded again, bars are open and people fill their terraces with drinks and laughs until not-so-late, picnics at the river during the day, 80s parties in the night… And online seminars and meetings are now vague winter memories that we comment while we see each other in person, have lunch together and prepare our next projects in LidiceHaus and ServiceBureau!
I’m working until the afternoon today. There are so many things going on that my attention span is altered and I need to take advantage of these energy and productivity peaks. Let me share my to do list for today:
⁃ Prepare and post flyer for the next YourVOICEland
⁃ Edit video of the last YourVOICEland
⁃ Plan and schedule activities for one of the youth exchanges in August
Probably most of you have never heard of YourVOICEland, so I will summarize it in a few lines: it’s a 5-days-seminar around topics such as racism, empowerment, discrimination, etc… approached from non-formal education, creativity and team-work. I felt so happy when Sarah, my work colleague, asked me to take part in it. Last edition had the topic of “Das macht mich stark!” (transl. “That makes me strong!”) and we worked with theater and improvisation with 15 different youngsters. My tasks there included photo documenting the activities and having a workshop about Zines, my passion.
Ah, and I should not forget about this one too:
⁃ Prepare next seminar about Decolonialism in Bremen
Definitely one of the most interesting projects this year! With a group of young people, we are developing a map of places in Bremen with a Colonial background, from a critical and Decolonial perspectives. This also includes videos, photos and texts. And being in a German school makes me realize how similar — and different at the same time— is the education system in Germany!
Finishing my to do’s doesn’t mean my plans are done. Summer days are incredibly long here, so we have light until past 22h. And to be fair, that has made us explore the city and do a toooon of things! What should we do today? I’m texting the Whatsapp group we have with the other volunteers! And speaking about volunteers, we have two new faces in our group! Marina from Russia and Ernesto from Spain have joined different volunteering projects in the city and live together with me and Rita. However, I’m gonna let them tell you more about their experiences
I have realized how fast time goes as I was seeing two of the older volunteers, Kathy and Andrea —who I really miss— leave. Also my project is on its last steps although it felt like yesterday when I arrived to Bremen! However, this is making me learn how important is to enjoy every moment, every day and every possibility to do something together (such a cliché!). Picnic by the river? Café at Kukoon? Bars in the young nightlife neighbourhood, Viertel? Bike ride to Unisee with a quick bath as a reward? Kunsthalle artsy visit? Some local concert in front of Goethe Theater? So many options to choose! And wait for the weekend, when you’ll probably find us partying at Wohnzimmer, our house or any new bar we find around every corner in Viertel!
Meanwhile the group decides, I will take a nap. Those who know me, are aware this is one of my beloved Mediterranean hobbies, and as the sun goes down opening a new episode for tonight, I fall asleep thinking about the fact that I’m leaving next week to Barcelona and Romania to visit my family and friends for a couple of weeks. So excited! And yes, volunteers have free days too!
Talk to you soon! By that time it will mean that my volunteering project has ended and I’ll probably be wrapped up in nostalgia, goodbyes and the start of new adventures.