An EVS Volunteer from Spain told about his life in Samara

A day in samara within the project first of all means waking early, still in a snowy darkness and get ready for the running up the slippery Street to get some lucky and fetch the bus wich still now, already in my forth month, i can´t tell wich timetable is attached to.

in the Project, by the contrary, everything is strictly ruled by an unquestionable precise timetable and rutine.

A day in the kindergarten starts at 8:30, kids arrive, so i do, and together with the teachers, after carefully washing our hands, we sit in a circle sorrounding the fire of a Little candle and start our morning exercises, meaning making the kids count how many of us we are, guess who´s missing, play some games and singing some morning songs also referred to the season of the year in which we are, the day of the week, or any particular festivity like for example christmas carols, birthday songs and so on.

Then, ‘the Golden gates’ open, and carefully we sit at the table, hold our hands and sing aswell for the shake of a nice breakfast. Singing as you´d notice is as basic as essential and related to almost every kind of activity done in the kindergarten.

Usually, after the meal kids go directly to the upper floor and enjoy playing with their toys, among them or organizing their own small theaters, for about an hour or a bit more.On Tuesdays and Thursdays we count with the visit and activities organized by two other teachers wich prepare dinamic storytelling and dances with the help of some music or singing, and in the same time with the aim of making the kids achieve some skills through imitaton practices.

I am in charge of washing the dishes and cleaning a bit around just after every meal so i join them a bit later, play with them  and sometimes enjoy participating in some workshops organized by the teachers. Sometimes, too, i try to show and encourage them to make some activities like drawing, papercraft..

After tiding up and checking up around that everything is left like it was before, we walk down together to the kitchen again, have a piece of fruit or vegetable, and get ready for spending some time out of the kindergarten. They are supposed to wear themselves their clothes and and i just help them if someone asks so, wich is usually the case of the smaller ones. Then after half an hour or so, depending on the weather, we all come back, undress, sit once more in circle around the candle, and listen to the story of the day prepared by the teachers. Once finished, its time for the lunch, and after it everyone goes  to sleep while i stay cleaning around before leaving back home.

There are plenty of details and particularities of the waldorf sistem that would take me long to describe and it doesn´t seems to be the place to, but just to say that one of the aims is basically to give them the chance and responsibility to help in most of the activities realized during the day, including the maintenance, cleaning, organizig the comon space we share,try look after themselves and keep a good and close relation among us all. We play a lot together, but we also clean together, we eat together and often some of the kids will give you a hand  washing the dishes too.

a very remarkable and worth saying aspect of it is the very welcoming and open atmosphere i find in the kindergarten, and the beautiful work made by the teachers is always inspiring.

I do try to get to understand, help and collaborate in the developing of this kind of pedagogical sistem. Sometimes, in the other hand, no big spaces of time or possibility i find to do it so, and due to the measured and scheduled way the things work there it is difficult to find the gap for a personal proposal. There´s also the feeling that no really much help is needed, and cleaning and washing seems to be the major goals of my contribution. Sometimes, is true, a shared day with the marvellous shine of those kids is enough for a wonderful achievement.

It depends of the day of course, and i enjoy seeing in all this rutinized experience, something growing, taking form, blossoming in all those kids and being part of it makes it great too.

Gorka Gonzalez