The stay for our two amazing Erasmus+ volunteers Pip and Justyna has come to and end. The Alumni organisation has been enormously happy with the the volunteers and the time they spent at IPC this Spring and we are looking forward to host the next volunteers in Spring 2018. Pip is coming back for the Alumni Summer Camp, so he’s not ready to let go just yet (neither are we) and hopefully Justyna is able to come for a visit sooner rather than later! While we wait for her return, she has written about her experiences during her last time at IPC. Read on here:

“Today I’m writing the last post from home. I’m awaiting an arrival of three IPC students to my city. It is almost two weeks since I left the school. For a long time I was not ready to leave the place, but just after my arrival to Poland, I felt happy about being back – we had so many goodbyes that I felt really emotionally exhausted 🙂 and then accepted the fact that this experience ended. Right now I feel a lot of nostalgy, especially in moments when I’m trying to tell a story about this six months to my friends. Luckily, some of them visited me so they could catch a glimpse of this place so they partly understand what am I taking about. Actually in second trimester, I broke record of visitors having someone coming every two weeks. For one longer weekend we were hosting other EVS volunteers with Pip that we got to know on EVS training. We showed them around and they could participate in some of the school activities. They were really impressed about the food – apart from the usual meals, it was the weekend when students were full of initiatives in the kitchen – we had Korean dinner and the next day European lunch. Also one of my friends stayed for one week from Erasmus + Staff Mobility Program as she works at University of Warsaw. During her stay she gave a Polish language lesson at Human Rights Café and made a presentation on morning fellowship about possibilities for foreigners to study at her university and in Poland in general.

During last two months, I did as much travelling as I could fit into our school program. I went for shorts trips in our region: Frederiksborg in Hillerød, by bike to cloister close to Esrum lake and beaches nearby, Klampenborg with deer park and Bakken amusement park. I joined school trip with a small boat cruise around Copenhagen. For one of extended weekends I went with a Korean friend to a trip to the north of Jutland. It took us ten hours to reach Skagen by two buses and four trains, but it was definitely worth it! Not only we have seen the border between Northern and Baltic sea, but also at Grenen there were two seals sunbathing on a beach. We went on bike around Skagen and to Sand-Covered Church. We tried beers from local brewery and fresh fish in the port. We visited Art Museum where apart from famous pieces of art, we watched an art installation about the family meal – each person saw a movie from a point of view of different family member. We spent last two days in Aarhus where we visited the city center, AROS Art Museum and Marselisborg – summer residence of the queen. On our last weekend in IPC, Alumni took us for a day trip to Copenhagen that started with a visit in botanic garden, lunch, boat trip and the culmination was a visit in the oldest patisserie in Copenhagen – it was an amazing day!

Human Rights Café has been a really busy place during that time. We were serving variety of cookies, cakes, famous hot chocolate and lemonade. Mathilde from Belgian was so kind that she baked for us speculoos cookies. We carried on showing documentary movies weekly, but also at some point we started watching with students Game of Thrones and organised a marathon during one of the bank holidays. Pip continued sharing his knowledge about photography, editing programs, different types of cameras and the darkroom. I organized a tresure hunt game related to the Slavic midsummer night with Polish food tasting. We also had some activities organized from students initiative – one of them was Japanese caligraphy lesson.

During this two months, we could participate in plenty of the activities organized or taking place at school related to classes and additional ones. The school hosted a meeting with Albin who decided to walk until there is peace in the world – very enthusiastic person. We got closer to some staff members and we were invited to their houses for evening drinks or meals. As a part of Exploring Denmark class, I had an opportunity to visit Danish nursery and to meet with an organization Venligboerne helping refugees to settle down in Denmark. I went to two events in Copenhagen: on the first one organized by ngo Africa Kontakt, I could meet people from Mozambique and other African countries and the other was related to the genocide in Rwanda. I visited with Environmental Studies Class small permaculture gardens run by volunteers. I also joined a group that took part in a concert played by Lars who works as a caretaker in IPC, but in his free time, he plays in four bands. Instead of one of morning fellowship, we heard professional storytellers who came to Elsinore for a festival. Last big and really impressive event was Speak Out IPC – an event organized by students where during Saturday afternoon they held plenty of workshops, gave presentations about their talents, shared life stories and how they overcame some obstacles in their lives.

Last weeks were also very important for me. I had my „bucket list” of things to do before leaving IPC. One of them was having a tatoo – I did it – I have a very artistic and optimistic sausage dog above my ankle. I also wanted to take part in Nikolaj’s Reiki healing session – he found time for me among plenty of activities that were taking place in last days. We had amazing farewell dinner with students and yearly staff party in cowboy style.

I’m really grateful that I could be there and I recommend it to everyone!:)”