After exactly 200 days in Greece I took part to my mid-term seminar. Usually, these seminars were organized in Athens but for the first time the type of accomodation changed. Instead of a 5 stars hotel in the city we were accomodated into a refuge.
The place is located in the National Park of Mount Parnitha at an altitude of 1161m. A wonderful place to breath fresh air and be close to the nature at only one hour from the center of Athens!
More information on their website.
|View of Athens from the road to Bafi|
We were 29 volunteers from differents places (the south parts of Greece): Lefkada, Livadia, Athens, Chios, Korinthos and Kalamata. The north parts of Greece will have their seminar in Thessaloniki in a month. The seminar lasted 3 all days plus one evening and one morning.
We attended a short meeting just after our arrival, into the seminar room with a fire place! During this time we met our 2 trainors and the mountain guide who explained how the life into a refuge is working (saving water, no waiters, dormitory...). For the first time, the head of the National Agency was there as well. She explained us that the National Agency decided to be closer to the voluntary spirit by organisizing seminars into a refuge instead of 5 stars hotels. After the meeting and before the diner (with only home made food!) we visited the refuge.
|Room where we eat the first evening|
|the seminar room|
I will not describe in details what we did during these 3 days because it is better to experience it than to read about the content of the seminars. However I will briefly describe the main topics. We spoked about our hosting organization, sending organization, mentors, projects. We shared our experiences as EVS, we had team building activities, we thought about our non formal learning, we shared our will about the life after EVS, we were invited to make our EVS book...and so much more! This seminar was an opportunity to step back from the daily routine inside the EVS, to think about the last past months as EVS and to become more aware of all our achievment. It was also an opportunity to meet others volunteers, from others organisations and from others places in Greece ! I really enjoy this time to stop and to think about my EVS adventure. I also appreciate to be able to share my experience and to listen to others'.
The National Agency and the Refuge prepared a surprise for us: we went on a 3 hours hike the second of the seminar. Being in the middle of the forest without noises, cars, pollution but only nature, peace and fascinating information from the mountain guide was a delight!
Personaly, every morning I went for a walk into the nature, the best way to find my energy back. The last morning I even saw a deer during my hike! It was magical! The last morning, I took the opportunity to enjoy the buble of peace offered by the place and its localisation by eating my breakfast outside.
Before to split and go back to our different cities, we enjoyed one last activites together. Instead of taking the road to go down we took the cable car. We had fun and a beautiful view of Athens!
Then, we took the bus again to reach the meeting point at Metaxourgeio* metro station. There, it was time to say goodbye. For sure not the best part of the seminar... Hopefully we will see each other again around Greece and/or Europe!
[I didn't know because nobody told me before but I learnt it in the hard way: Metaxourgeio is not the safest area of Athens ! There, watch out for your belongings and keep them with you all the time]
I made the choice to publish only the picture of nature. The first reason is I do not want to publish picture of person without permission, the second is because I felt in love with the nature, the calm, the peaceful atmosphere of the place so I wanted to share it with you.