Evaluation Seminar 2019

From 18th to 21st of June we have had our Evaluation Seminar, which took place near Malenovice, in the beautiful Beskydy mountains.

The accommodation was very big, built on a spacious area and perfect for our needs. We arrived nearly all together, unpacked our things in our cottages and walked up the hill, to the main building to enjoy the first coffee break of this seminar.

We started the seminar with some team-building activities and continued reflecting our INVY by creating a sculpture about our most intense memories during the year, which really made me start thinking about all my experiences in the Czech Republic.
The first evening we spent together playing board games and talking and it was very nice to get in touch with everybody again, especially because some of us hadn't seen each other in quite a while.

On the next day the reflection continued with activities like finishing the "El Camino" (a path made out of our experiences, which we began to do on our first seminar already) or sharing with each other special events and trips we've done. I realized how full of life the past 10 months have been, how many things I've done and seen and I guess I will miss this things a lot. But it's also important to look forward, so after that we started to focus on our future and talked about our plans for the time after the INVY.
This was a good occasion to think about the coming generation of volunteers, as well, so we designed bookmarks for them, which apparently is some kind of tradition - on our On Arrival Seminar we received some from the former volunteers, too. Furthermore, each of us wrote letters with advice to them. That gave us again the opportunity to reflect our own time here and ask ourselves what has been a great thing to experience and what tips we would've liked to have.

We spent our early evening with preparing a song for our supervisors, who arrived on Thursday, right on time for the coffee break.
With them we went for a trip through the forest to a waterfall. It was really nice to be outside and to have some space for talking casually with our supervisors.
Like we've had prepared the song for them, they surprised us with a PowerPoint presentation consisting of pictures of each volunteer, accompanied by the anthem of the respective home country.

In small groups we evaluated our time at the workplace afterwards, had dinner together and then the supervisors left.
Us volunteers spent our last evening with a little party and BBQ; it was really great to be all together for the last time.

On Friday morning we prepared ourselves for saying goodbye - this seminar was over very fast and it's still hard to realize that it has been the last one already. The first volunteers will leave the country soon, so everything comes to an end now and the time was flying.
But I think I can speak for all of us, saying we've had an amazing year.
At this point I want to thank our amazing coordinators Míša, Terka and Pavla a lot, as well as every supervisor and everyone else who participated in making this possible for us.

We will always enjoy looking back to our time in the Czech Republic!

Marlene Brunschweiger

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