It’s already October which means 

  1. I experienced my first summer living fully abroad (I guess my grandparents’ house next to the border of Lithuania doesn’t fully qualify, hence, this is the first one);
  2. I survived the hot Italian weather which would literally never stop (I buried my long-sleeved pieces already in May);
  3. It’s already more than 50% of my time here done (a sad tear filled with confusion about the concept of time running down the screen).

What have I done so far, except being a huge sponge and trying to absorb as much as possible from my surroundings and being thankful every day for waking up in my sunny room in c-lab and seeing the mountains? Based on the title – observing insects.

Although it’s not one of my many personal projects, insects have been a huge part of our everyday lives. Emeline, the French volunteer for PiGreco, could tell a lot more about it (leave a comment with questions, if any), as people were really worried that she was suffering from domestic abuse, yet actually she was attacked by spiders (!?) at night and mosquitos by day, resulting in horrible bruises. Ouch. But she also survived! (we were all worried)

However, this blog is dedicated to the mosquitos residing in an old monastery in Tredozio – the place where we organized our youth exchanges. Specifically, the last youth exchange project ‘Women’s march’, which took place 19-25 June, 2022.

In case you were wondering (I Googled it for you, as always) –

So, this project was bringing together 25 young people from 5 different countries – Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Hungary (plus the volunteers and facilitators) and all together we were, in fact, learning about each other’s cultures during intercultural nights (every night a different country presenting their culture via traditional food/songs/games/quizzes) and also talking about a common and important topic – gender inequalities, women’s suffrage and gender stereotypes and biases. Have you ever seen gender role reversal theater? What if the topic was traditional Disney fairytales? Let me tell you, it was just one of the amazing activities held within the project.

With a background of having been part of YE (youth exchanges) in the past, I was really happy that they are part of my volunteering activities here – not only learning how to write international projects, but also getting first hand experience as being part of the staff – seeing the behind the scenes, which in this case entailed being the Social Media (taking pictures/videos and posting about the on-going activities) and Cinderella (cleaning/food serving activities). And additional activities, such as living in the tower-part of the old monastery, which we were certain is haunted, and going through the dark and empty corridors of the ground floor several times during the night to deliver bottles from the fridge to the participants.

But now – getting to the point of the article and the rating you didn’t know you needed – 

Top 3 International Insects

(I welcome you to use thumbs up/down to express agreement/disagreement to my rating choices)

(please be gentle though, I’m sensitive)

3rd place

Very European, supports our project, promotes the message, wants to be seen, a bit of an attention… insect.

2nd place

Very cute, aesthetically pleasing, nice composition, appreciate the effort, not only trying to look nice, but also wanting to be part of the activities. At least on paper.

1st place !!

A nice surprise that I found right next to my bed at approximately 3 am. Had never seen one irl, hence, did not know how to kill one. Fortunately, my Nikes are multifunctional, therefore, I only had to watch out for ghosts (and the ghost of the scorpion) that night. And ofc now I have a new fear unlocked, thanks, I’ll add to the traumas.

Oh, but the blog is not over yet, as it is time forrrrr

Participation awards

Yes, just to remind those little annoying creatures that they failed and their best wasn’t good enough (definition taken from Urban dictionary).

Hope you enjoyed this little insight to the life within international projects and stay tuned for more super important news from me.




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