Youth club at Miras Moldova, Comrat

6 Apr

The main focuses of the EVS life are both getting involved and involving the locals in activities that might streghten and enrich the community.

Case in point, the team of EVS volunteers organize the Youth Club at Miras Moldova every Tuesday at 3.30pm. The  participants have been approaching the concepts of personal identity, community, society and the relations among the three through lectures, dibates and games.

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Easy and healty Italian pasta sauce

4 Apr

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If you want to cook pasta, but you are running out of ideas for a sauce, here is a quick and easy one for an authentic and healty Italian meal.  Tonight  I had it with a friend in my apartment and we loved it!

Peppers and tomato Italian sauce for any type of pasta

olive oil                                                                                                                                                                               half an onion                                                                                                                                                               one pepper                                                                                                                                                                  plain tomato sauce                                                                                                                                                        salt                                                                                                                                                                               parsley

While past is cooking in a pot of boiling water(salty), chop half an onion very fine and sauté it with a little olive oil in a saucepan. Add a chopped pepper, stir with a wooden spoon, salt, and cook it for few minutes on a high heat till it release some of its juice. At that point pour  the plain tomato sauce in the pan, and after stirring, cover with a lid and turn the heat down. Let it cook for 5/10 minutes, but remember to stir every now and then.

When the pasta is ready, pour it in the saucepan and briefly turn the heat up, so then the sauce will blend fine with the pasta. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top, and enjoy!

Teaching Italian language in Comrat

4 Apr

Smiling nervously across the room, I skimmed over my audience’s attentive faces and I started the Italian national song on my computer at 3.32pm last Thursday, at Miras Moldova centre, Comrat: the first Italian club meeting has just begun and it was on me, as the leader of the activity, to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.

The week before I had put immediately my name on the table when the vice-coordinator of Miras Moldova had suggested us EVS volunteers to organize an Italian language course for the youth in Comrat. What an amazing opportunity to share my identity and my native language, I thought.

First of all, I wanted to show ‘my students’ that Italy is something more than the pizza-and-mafia country we are usually depicted nowadays. Besides giving them the basis for Italian language, I was eager from the very beginning to make the youngsters understand the Italian cultural richness by looking to the history and peculiarities of each region, so I decided to go sightseeing on a with my students all through the peninsula. Power point is the tool I will use for this virtual journey: every session will include a brief yet meaningful presentation of a region, and  by the end the students might feel almost like they have been all around Italy.

Here is a general view of Italy we went through in the first meeting of the Italian club, as an introduction of our ‘Trip through the peninsula’.

Italy

My second target for the Italian club is to provide an intensive course about the basis of Italian language.  As I love to see people having fun while they learn, I’ve realized the best way to teach is by interchanging the sit-and-listen-carefully parts with learning activities that require the student to shake their numb back a little too.

The grammar topics we approached in the first meeting last Thursday were the Latin alphabet, subject pronouns (IO, TU, LUI, LEI, ESSO, NOI, VOI, LORO), the conjugation of the verb to be (SONO, SEI, E’, SIAMO, SIETE, SONO), the concept of missing the subject because unnecessary in Italian and the courtesy form for address people formally (pronoun LEI and verb in 3′ person sing). The theory, then, was alternated with simple games: for instance, after going over the pronouns, we practiced them through the energizer ‘Pronouns’ Salad’ (a slightly variation of ‘Fruit Salad’).

After this, we started with some Italian phases for introducing our self. That day we focused just on the most common greeting ‘A: Ciao, come stai? B:Tutto bene, e tu? A: Bene, grazie.’ , and by the end I was so pleased I noticed the excitement in my students’ eyes.

By saying those few words, the youngsters were already feeling  a little Italian.

 

April fooled us today

1 Apr

April Fool’s day – Today the weather here in Cormat is completely nuts.

8 am – windy, and overcast. 5°c

13 pm – tiny flakes of snow flow from a very dull sky

17 pm – the sun shines. 12°c

I swear this is the most original April Folls’ day I’ve ever had;)

Is EVS just for fun?

28 Mar

To anybody who may be suspicious about my job here in Moldova, I would answer that it’s true that we Evs volunteers enjoy our time abroad, but we also do concretely work and help our host community. But let’s go into detail.

I’m working for a no-profit organization based in Comrat city, Gagauzia; the organization is  called MirasMoldova and it aims to promote Gagauzian identity and selfawareness, especially among youngsters. I’m personally in charge with the thematic area of journalism and social media, together with another volunteer from Italy.

Therefore, our time is devoted to interviews, reportages, videotaping and photo galleries concerning the Gagauzian ethic minority. Every week we meet different interesting people, who are known in the local community for their peculiar skills or experiences, as they are painters, musicians, singers, teachers, or even youngsters that got special awards. Thanks to this task of ours, we have the change to spend a lot of time in contact with the local community and to interact, if not start our integration, with people in Comrat.

After the videotaping time, the next steps are gathering all the materials and making montages or writing articles about the topic selected. The videos are always provided with English subtitles, while the writing pieces are often  followed by photo galleries. Once completed, these reportages are meant to be broadcasted on the local Tv channel, and/or published online. As a matter of fact, we are in charge with the MirasMoldova’s facebook page and two websites, that are both in English: www.miras.md  that is our organization’s official webpage, and www.gagauzia.info.md, the website that collects all Evs volunteers’ activities and projects of the last years.

Besides our duties strictly related with journalistic projects, we’ve been asked to help and cooperate with the volunteers of the care and social-service field. These are two girls that take care of kids in a couple of different orphanages in the area and they also work in a centre for disable children. Regardless specific thematic areas each of us focuses in, our group of volunteers come together for the two meetings we have been organizing for the local youth in Miras Moldova’s office. The Youth Club, on Mondays, is about nowadays socio-cultural issues, like self identification and how this is related with macro-topic such as community and society, while on Fridays the English Club, conducted by my American room-mate, give the youngsters a chance to practice English.

Moreover,a new club is about to start! The italian Club, on Thursday afternoons at 3.30. I’m so proud to be the one who is going to lead what will be a window for Moldovian youth into Italian culture and language.

As you can see, Evs volunteers in Comrat are a team with a high goal-directed schedule. The fact that we put a lot of effort in ‘socialization’ and ‘drinking-cultural workshops’ is just meant to strengthen our collaboration and bond relationship in order to maximize successful  team projects.

 

 

Montages about Gagauzia

24 Mar

Gagauzian artworks made out of seeds

Miss Comrat 2012

-click CC icon on the bottom of the videos for English subtitles

Dmitri Savastin opened up to EVS volunteers of Miras Moldova

24 Mar

Interview with Gagauzian famous painter

-click on CC icon on the bottom for English subtitles