Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas tree in JACis :)))

Good news!! The  JACis's Christmas tree was the winner on the competition which it was organized by Damien Salomon, EVS volunteer in Staļģene (Latvia). You can visit his project's blog to now more about his activities. JACis is going to receive a prize :))) . We will show you in the next posts. Thank you! 
And here the facebook's group about the Christmas tree competition :)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas postcards handmade by JACis

Durante las últimas semanas, en JACis estuvimos realizando unas postales navideñas con hilo y cartón. Calcamos las plantillas de copos de nieve y luego las bordamos en las cartulinas. Los niños disfrutaron con la actividad y fueron realmente creativos :)))
Estas postales fueron creadas para donarlas al mercado solidario que tuvo lugar el día 22nd de Diciembre, organizado por la Iglesia Ortodoxa. 

During the last weeks,  we were making some Christmas postcards with thread and cardboard. We copied snowflakes templates and then we embroidered them on the cardboard. Children enjoyed with the activity and the were really creatives :)))
These postcards were created to give to the charity market which took place on 22nd December in Rezekne, it was organized by the Orthodox Church.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas in "JACis" (16th - 21st. December)

In Latvia, people love december because of Christmas holiday. People are preparing for this day within almost a month. On December 16, A group of dancers from Malta Youth Center arrived Rezekne and they visited us in JAC.
We did the Christmas decorations and baked traditional Christmas cake.  Finally, we played board game  “Saboteur” 

Tania taught us a very nice gifts from ordinary  socks, for which I want to thank her.
Prokop and me brought the Christmas tree and then, everyone did Christmas tree decorations. We wrote greeting card for each other.

On Friday 20th of December we organized a Christmas/ New Year Eve evening in JACis, where we gave christmas gifts to each other. Also, nother Youth Centre leader attended our ceremony

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Traditional Spanish Christmas sweet - Polvorones -

El polvorón es una torta, comúnmente pequeña, de harina, manteca y azúcar glass, que se deshace en polvo al comerla. También se le puede añadir vino blanco, anís, frutos secos y ralladura de limón o naranja. Es un dulce típico de Navidad en España. 

A polvorón is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly Spanish shortbread, usually small, made of flour, lard and powdered sugar. Also, you can add others ingredients like white wine, anise, nuts and grated rind of lemon or orange. It is a typical sweet of Christmas in Spain.

Yo cociné polvorones el otro día. Aquí algunas imágenes del proceso de elaboración y del resultado final.
I was cooking polvorones the other day. Here some pictures of the preparation process and the result.
Receta para 20-25 polvorones (Nevaditos)
400 gr harina
200 gr manteca de cerdo
100 ml vino blanco
Almendra picada
Azúcar glass
Primero, extender la harina en la bandeja de horno y tostar durante 7-10 minutos aproximadamente a 170 °C.
Cuando la harina este ligeramente tostada, tamizarla con un colador en un bol y luego anadir el vino y remover. (También se le puede añadir una pizca de sal y azúcar)
Anadir la manteca de cerdo, previamente derretida en una cazuela a fuego lento, a la mezcla de harina y vino blanco. Remover con una cuchara y añadir las almendras picadas. Si no queda una masa lista para amasar, añadir un poco más de harina hasta que no quede pegajosa.
En una mesa, extendemos un poco de harina y amasamos la masa hasta que los ingredientes estén bien integrados. Con un bote o con moldes circulares, hacer círculos y colocarlos en la bandeja de horno. Hornear a 175 ° C durante 25-30 minutos. Cuando los polvorones estén listos, dejarlos enfriar y añadir el azúcar glass por encima. Ten cuidado porque los polvorones son delicados y se pueden romper con facilidad :)))

Recipe for 20-25 polvorones (Nevaditos)
400 gr flour
200 gr pork lard
100 ml white wine
Chopped almonds
Powdered sugar

Firstly, extending the flour on the baking sheet and toasting for about 7-10 minutes at 170 ° C.
When the flour is lightly toasted, sieving it with a sieve in a bowl and then adding the white wine and stiring. (Also, if you want, you can add a pinch of salt and sugar)

Adding the pork lard, previously melted in a casserole over low heat, to the flour and white wine mixture. Stiring  with a spoon and adding the chopped almonds. If you see that the dough is sticky, you can add a little more of flour and mix.

On a table, extending a little of flour and kneading the dough until the ingredients are well combined.
Making circles in the dough and put on the baking sheet. Baking at 175 ° C for 25-30 minutes.
When the polvorones are ready, let them cool and to add the powdered sugar on top. Be careful because polvorones are soft and can break easily :)))

Hoy en Rezekne hay un pequeño mercado solidario y yo voy a contribuir aportando estos paquetes de polvorones para que los vendan. ¡Espero que a la gente les gusten y que se vendan todos!

Today there is a small charity market in Rezekne and I am going to contribute with these polvoron packages. I hope people like them!!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Come to the Christmas and New Year celebration in JACis!!

You are invited to come to JACis tomorrow 20th December, 2013!! Christmas and New Year celebration are waiting for you!! Fun, singing, dancing and..... Can you guess who is going to be Santa Claus?? Come to JAcis and you will see!! :))))

Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas is coming (9th - 14th. December)

Two weeks until Christmas and though it’s not even cold outside we already started with the Christmas decorations. It was of course all hand-maded – from the volunteers and from the JACis kids.

Prokop particularly organized  a competition  for the longest garlands. And even if there was no prize for the first place with no doubt all the garlands were equally pretty. What do you think?

During this week were also the first official activities of Lyudmila – the last volunteer to come to JACis from Bulgaria. She and the kids had some ice-braking games, talked, played and all in all get to know each other better. Even if she was a little scared at first she quickly came to love the cozy atmosphere in the center.

Preparing for the holidays we in JACis started thinking of our own contribution to the charity Christmas market in front of the orthodox church which will be on 22nd of December. Pilar finally came with the wonderful idea of making our own postcards from carton and crewels. Of course everybody took part in it and in two a week (from Friday to Friday) more than twenty postcards were made. How do you think they turned out?

Saturday  the 14th was a working day for us even though it didn’t really feel like it. We atended the First youth forum in the youth center Zeimuls, where different organizations and volunteers presented their projects from the past year. The whole event was very interesting  and educational for us as EVS volunteers, even if it was all in Latvian.

There was one big happy surprisse. JACis won „Rēzeknes pilsētas jauniešu virzītājspēks”. Of course after that we come back to the JACis’s building to party. It surely was a memorable evening.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The week of arrivals (2-8th of December)

The first post- Popiela week was kind of special as it marked three big arrivals- the arrival of winter, first snow and finally arrival of the last piece to complete our international EVS puzzle, Lyudmila from Bulgaria.

She arrived to Latvia on Monday, but only came to Rezekne on Tuesday. In order to welcome her properly, all of us met in her future home where Vija and Katja together cooked lunch and Pilar prepared a delicious cake to greet her new flatmate. Welcome to Rezekne Lyudmila! =.)

Wednesday was a big day for our partner youth centre  Draugu Centrs as they celebrated their fifth birthday and we were also invited. The party began at four and upon our arrival there we all wished Draugu Centrs happy birthday in our mother tongues and then joined local youth in making birthday postcards. Later we were all invited to taste a birthday cake and other snacks as well as we played a little game of questions and answers about Latvia. To my shame, I did not know when Latvian celebrate their birthday. But since I am staying in Rezekne for Christmas, I soon hope to find out first hand. Later that day we went to GORS to see the Peter pan performance which was a combination of hip-hop and modern dance and it was amazing.

Thursday 5th of December as every true volunteer knows, was an International Day of Volunteers. On this occasion we have decided to throw a little party in JACis, where each of us would not only cook some traditional food but also prepare program for our guests. Other than that this became a perfect cover for organizing a Welcome Party of Lyudmila at the same time, she really did not have a clue. Finally around 20 volunteers arrived, both local and international. And despite slight problems throughout the evening, it was a very nice event.

One might say that this week could not get any better. Well let me assure you, the best was yet to happen. Because we spent all Friday in Daugavpils, attending a local equivalent of Pop Iela festival. Just that Pop Clip is 7 years older and twice that big.

Upon arrival to we joined the winning crew from Pop Iela in Daugavpils ice rink for an hour of free ice-skating. As you can imagine it was very funny, especially for those who have never tried ice-skating before. Later we went for a private tour by father Alexi to local orthodox church, a second biggest of its kind in Latvia. Meanwhile our crew Coco Jambo went to the location of festival to prepare for thei opening performance.

This year there were a total of 17 crews divided into two categories, each crew with a maximum of 3
 members and the top length of performance was 5 minutes. The festival as such had a really high quality, although it was slightly different from the one in Rezekne. As the name suggests, Pop Clip was mainly about music and dancing, with minimum acting and storyline involved. Yet performances of vast majority of crews were on very high level, with some having outstanding choreographies.

We only returned back to Rezekne in the late evening, tired but full of excitement. Lets see what next week brings us!

Friday, 6 December 2013

A great week to remember ! Festival Pop iela 8 Rezekne (25-29th of November)

Fue una semana de mucho trabajo para preparar el festival Pop iela 8.  ¿Qué????  ¿Todavía no conoces este festival? No te preocupes, haz click aquí para conocer mas detalles sobre el mismo o visita su facebook.
Ahora que ya conoces en que consiste este festival, te puedes hacer una idea del trabajo que conlleva la preparación del mismo.

It was a busy week to prepare the festival Pop iela 8. What???? Don't you know about this festival yet? Don't worry, click here for more details or to visit facebook.
Now, you know more about it and you can get an idea about the work involved the preparation.

Gracias al genial trabajo tanto de JACis como de Teatris-Studija Jorik, todo salió perfecto.
Thanks to the great work of JACis and Tetris-Studija Jorik, everything was perfect.

Durante toda la semana nuestro equipo "The International 8" estuvo trabajando muy duro ultimando los detalles de la música, actuación, vestuario, reuniones con Andris (Director del teatro), etc. ¡¡Tuvimos que trabajar a contrareloj!! Debido a que cinco de los voluntarios EVS tuvieron su "training a la llegada" del 22 al 26 de Noviembre.

All week our team "The International 8" was working hard finalizing music, acting, costumes details, meetings with Andris (Director of the Theatre), etc. We had to work against time! Because of five of the EVS volunteers had their "On-arrival training" from 22nd to 26th November!

Y.... ¡¡Por fin llegó el gran día, Pop iela 8 Rezekne!! El 29 de Noviembre por la mañana, los "Rezeknianos" se despiertan con una gran sonrisa. Todo el mundo esta alegre con ganas de actuar y bailar, fuera los nervios y el estres... ¡Hoy hay que disfrutar!
Cada año jóvenes estudiantes trabajan duro para dar lo mejor de ellos en sus actuaciones. Este año, habia nueve grupos en la competición y además hubo otras actuaciones durante el festival.
(Click aqui para ver todas las fotos)

And... The Big day has finally came, Pop iela 8 Rezekne!! It is 29th November morning and people in Rezekne wake up with a big smile. Everyone is happy and the participants are looking forward to act and dance, without nerves... Today we have to enjoy!!
Each year young students work hard to give the best of them in their performances. This year, there were nine groups on the competition and other performances during the festival.
(Click here to see all pictures)

Initially I was thinking that I will be just a help with costumes and set decoration and I was really pleased to participate. But after a while it turned out that we all had to play and actively participate in the performance and I was afraid that I won’t be able to do it. For getting free from this fear and insecurity I owe it to professional director who was helping us. 

Preparation for “Pop iela” went like any other creative work and was changing all the time, till the very last moment. Personally, I was very interested in cooperation and interaction with other team members and get some new competences and of course get some new experience. 
Each activity has its own influence on every person’s self development and for me this was a great experience that gave me a chance to build up some new skills that I didn’t have before and I’m truly grateful to all my team members and I’m really happy that I shared this experience with those amazing people.

I was very happy, because this would be my first participate in Popiela.
EVS Volunteer were meeting each other during a month in JACis. We were working and inventing new ideas.

In the first part, I presented the old man, then I was a bad student, and in the third part I was an American football player.
My participation in Pop iela was a great experience for me!!

I thought that it would be great to take part of the event, it was new for me and the posibility to stay on the Jorik's stage it was amazing and unique experience.
It wasn't easy the performance's preparation, because we didn't have much time to meet each other and even I thought that we weren't able to preparer the performance, but finally with the great motivation of Prokop and thanks to the incorporation of Julia and Marco to the team, the idea appeared and then it was dificult but funny to rehearse many times in a record time.
I realized that as a group we were able to share ideas and work as a team, I have been able to do a small role on a stage in a fantastic event and I proud to be the first International team in Popiela :)

From the beginning I thought I will be part of Pop iela. Because it sounds really interesting. And also the videos we looked with Prokop seemed really good.
Our preparation of the Performance was really short, we had someting about 3 weeks to plan the Performance since I joy in. But it was ok! And our Performance shows that we were a skillful group.
For me it meant a lot. Staying on stage is not usual for me. But I enjoyed it!! The audience was great. And my team also. So I will keep good memories when I think about Pop iela.

It was a really great experience to remember our participation in Popiela!
At the beggining it was amazing think that an international people's group would be part in Popiela for the first time!! So, I was exciting and the same time thinking about it all time... because we were watching videos about performances of previous years and it was amazing how young people is able to create a story and then to tell that story throught music...

The preparation wasn't easy... Do you know that feeling when you don't have great and interesting ideas? Fortunately, the inspiration arrived thanks to Prokop, and then thanks to Julia and Marco :)))
We went a great team and I think we did a good work. I enjoyed it and for me it was an excellent opportunity to gain new competences. 
My participation in Popiela will be in my mind for ever!! ^-^

For me, it was a very nice experience to be a part of our group for Popiela ! 
It was the first time that I stand on stage! I was really nervous, but we all together had such a nice time and fun together! We train for Popiela only a few days -not like the other for more month- but I think we did a good work! 

I want to say thx -because I ever remember me to be a part of Popiela!
It was a really nice day! I will remember me for a long long time! Thank you too JACis that I was a part of polpiela!!!

When Katja first mentioned us a possibility to perform at Pop Iela, I immediately found it an amazing idea, as it would be something totally different and cool, something I have not done in a long time and possibly better than my previous acting experience. 

The preparation for Pop Iela? That was when I felt the hard reality, as I realised this thing was not going to do itself, it would not be a piece of cake, it would be a hard work and above all, motivating others to be as excited as I was about it. Problem was that we lost quite a lot of time for preparation simply because we did not have a clear idea what to do but once that happened, things moved in the right direction. Very important was involvement of Marco and Julia, without whom it would probably be impossible to do it, especially Marco was a big help as he was also really excited about the idea of acting, just like me. 

Participating in pop Iela meant a lot to me. Not only could I act on stage in front of audience which was both challenging and exciting at the same time, I learned, how to mix different audio tracks which I am sure to use later at some point of my EVS. I actually take it as a first step on my way to being able to create videos which I always wanted to learn, but actually never did, not yet.
But above all, I was really happy that all international volunteers in Rezekne kinda got together and worked on a common project and we were finally able to show it to others and make this Pop Iela special, not only for us but also for JACis, and I am sure in the end everyone enjoyed it =.)