Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interactive nature exhibition in Palūšė

Giving new ideas, new inspirations, learning from local people and between each others, and having fun. I guess the main goals of this day were achieved. On the 22nd of october, Edouard, with the great help of some Park's staff members and together with ten volunteers, organised the so-called "interactive nature exhibition". Plenty of workshops were offered for anyone to discover different manual activities.

Paper making with leftovers of eggs boxes...
It was beautiful to see that 60 or 65-year old lady arriving from the neighbourhood and being so playful when it came to make rice-based juggling balls, before kids could try them out. She was very keen as well to learn how to make paper, an activity on which great attention got focused, especially from Edmundas, our work colleague, making it with so much care.

Beside juggling activities, kids as well as adults loved paper boxes and paper wallets workshops, or how to make your own beautiful wallets with simple paper, plastic foil, and thread.

Au menu were :
  • Coloured Eggs
  • Nettle Pancakes
  • French cheese : comte, beaufort, tomme de savoie
  • Drinking suggestion : natural mint syrup
PS : Be aware that mint syrup is not supposed to be flashy green like in the shop, but brown!)
The star of the day : the compost toilet!

After such a great meal, what's best than a beautiful compost toilet? Undeniably, the compost toilet was the masterpiece of the day, and kept four or five volunteers busy for more than half a day. The little extras of it : the sweet pine tree perfume, the water bottle, opening like a tap to wash your hands after doing the job, and the extra chair, just in case someone would have had the idea to support the main actor.

Although more workshops were expected to take place, and despite the slightly messy atmosphere, this day was a success. Only one major regret : a calendar coincidence that made this nature exhibition happen at the same time than an important kids theater festival in Ignalina.

Red cabbage painting : beautiful and tasty!

A very simple toy to make : juggling balls!

You can find online an article about the event :

Gražutė Regional Park : A european-made Youth Path

Sabrina, painting the swing
Let's appreciate the movie of nature!
32 young people, 4 nationalities, 10 days of hard work, and a project that took shape, the shape of a Youth Path. All this happened in the village of Salakas, heart of Gražutė Regional Park, located about 60km north of Palūšė.

The two EVS volunteers of the Park, Sabrina from Germany and Rocio from Spain, organised this event, contacting 32 youngsters from Germany, Spain, Italy and Lithuania (eight of each), who became themselves short-term volunteers for this great achievement.

Some pretty hard work
The idea was born when seeing plenty of local young people spoiling a beautiful area near the largest lake of Gražūtė, ten minutes walk from Salakas itself, by coming and drinking there, sometimes with not much respect for the environment.

There was a need for them to get a place that they would really like and respect, so Sabrina and Rocio thought. They put their ideas into action and built different wooden structures, forming like a path, a way to follow. These constructions are useful, artistic, informative, or even philosophical. The nature cinema, for instance, is a wooden frame without a screen, facing the lake, with big wooden mushrooms to sit on and watch. The movie is definitely a slow-motion one, with, as main actors, some birds flying in a distance, or a unhurried fisherman on his boat. The idea is, in our speed-based society, to take more time to appreciate the beauty of nature and what surrounds us.

Altogether to create a better place...
... with love for well-made work

The Youth Path is here to provide informations about the main issues that local youngsters might find on their way, like alcoholism and unemployment. And by clearly showing that it was all handmade, and on a voluntary basis, by youngsters from different countries including Lithuania, with for most of them no experience whatsoever in this kind of projects, it delivers a strong message of optimism to the local community.

One day off to discover the neighbourhood : Aukštaitija National Park!

Cooking for 32 people is something not so easy to manage. And yet, the four countries took turn to propose a great variety of dishes. And italian food was definitely the most appreciated one.

Lentil soup for a start...
... eggplant parmigiana and...
... a memorable tiramisu to finish