Monday, October 26, 2009

Solta Solar Academy, Croatia - Summer 2005

The voluntary experience was truly amazing, I coudn't say it lived up to my expectations, as I had no initial expectations. Being with people from all over the wolrd, united due to common beliefs and ways of thinking creates th is amazing energy which can't be described in words.

I wasn’t the luckiest out on Solta, a small island off Croatia. I caught an eye infection and had to go onto mainland to the hospital where I was given steroids to clear the infection; I wasn’t told they were steroids just that they “could help”. The hospital had signs that no guns were allowed; however the waiting room was more than appropriate to have a gun. Strange how different politics are outside of Europe.

It was a renovation workcamp in the old army barracks on Vela Straza, a mountain 204m above sea level, which did mean we had to climb this everyday to go to the beach or the local village. The camp was full of little surprises; no warm water, showering out of a hose, a few snakes, the van arriving late meaning we walked everywhere for the first week. But these small events made the camp the experience it was. And knowing this wasn’t going unnoticed, all the renovation work we were doing was for a cause, kept us going, even me with my swollen eyes.

Then there was the wound on my leg and my bruised ribs, gained through slipping while carrying logs down a hill! The life of a volunteer!!

For those considering doing a work camp, all I can say is why not? Now reflecting back I think about sitting on the edge of Vela Straza cliff, watching the sunrised at 05:30,, or standing in the rain with two fellow volunteers watching the most magical and energetic sortm I've ever witness in my entire life. Just take a chance and volunteer. Only good things come out of it.

Janica Dennison.

Click here for pictures of projects in Croatia
Click here for a country profile of Croatia

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