Between apples and dust – 3 days in Czasoprzestrzen

It’s Friday evening and I am in Berlin with a friend. We could go out and party. We could. Theoretically. But unfortunately, my whole body hurts. My arms hurt, my legs hurt and I really can’t move.
Non the less, I am happy and I am smiling so wide by the thought of the last days, it’s ridiculous.
So… how did it come to this situation? What happened in the last days?

I think it all started two weeks ago…
We had a meeting and our coordinator told us about this place. Czasoprzestrzen.
Fun fact: If someone should ever ask you why Polish is such a hard language to learn, just make them trying to say this word – no more questions will be asked, promised.
Anyway, because it’s so hard to say, we simply call the place Czaso when we name it.
How can I explain what Czaso is? Let me just quote how we got it explained: “Czasoprzestrzen was the place where Trams went to sleep at night”. I simply love that description. Yeah, that describes what Czaso was some time ago. Nowadays it is an event space, and a space for the local community to get together.
During the meeting, we’ve been told that the volunteers from there are starting to renovate this place and we can help them for three days (and maybe more in the future).
Not even five minutes later it was set. From Wednesday until Friday we were going to help to renovate Czaso!

On Wednesday morning at 10, we met the other volunteers for the first time. And as always when you meet new people everyone was a bit shy at first, but that was about to change very soon because we started with our first task together immediately.

The first thing we did was going into their garden to pick up apples from their three apple trees. I didn’t know it until then, but picking up apples is a great teambuilding task. We started talking about gardening, volunteering, Wroclaw and much more and soon it felt like we already knew each other for way longer than just a few hours.

After the first apple picking session, we had a meeting all together and we divided the big group into three smaller groups

  1. Cleaning and preparing the performance hall-team
  2. Cleaning and cooking-team
  3. Gardening-team

So we started working in these groups. It was quite a productive morning of sweeping, cooking apple compote and picking and peeling apples. Seriously, I peeled so many apples, I didn’t get the apple smell off my hands for three days!
After the Lunchbreak, that we all spent together, we continued with our tasks.
The time was seriously flying and suddenly we’ve all been called.

Called for what you might ask. Called for a super amazing barbeque is the answer! That is how we spent the afternoon and early evening – eating, chatting and integrating. It was great to reward ourselves with a dinner like this after a really hard day of work.

On the next day, we continued what we started on Wednesday which basically means we continued picking and peeling apples, cooking compote and cleaned.
But then, after the Lunchbreak, a new, very interesting task came up.
Lots of wood needed to be cut with the cutting machine. Surprisingly the guys immediately took the lead in this and cut one piece of wood after the other. And us girls? Well, we put away the wood they cut.
Suddenly, the guys asked us if we want to cut wood too. How could have we said no to this offer?! It was the perfect opportunity to prove once more that we’re not perfect princesses (just like we showed all day long already). And seriously, you can’t imagine how professional we did this job! Really, it was like we were born for it.
Okay, maybe we weren’t that confident while cutting, but looking back, I think we did it like pros!

Just as we wanted to take a break from all the cutting and cleaning it started to rain.
Imagine, it’s starting to rain. A warm and cozy room is half a meter away from the point you’re standing. Would you just go inside? Like every normal person would do?

Well, in that case, you would do exactly the opposite of what we did. We stayed and danced in the rain. We simply had fun. Going inside would have been the normal thing to do. But normal is boring. That is why we chose the other way around and made our inner child’s proud.
I have to say, when I was home that day, I really felt the work of two days in my body. That basically means that I was so exhausted that I actually went to sleep at 6 pm.

After a long, well-deserved sleep, it was Friday morning.
How to describe the Friday in Czaso? Let’s give it the caption ‘cooking, cooking, cooking’. On Friday, we used looots of the apples, we picked up the days before, in a cooking workshop.

We focused on two things: deep fried apples and apple pie – yes, we chose on purpose to do just healthy stuff.
Sure, the cooking/backing was fun, but what is ALWAYS the best thing about preparing food? Right! Eating it in the end! We couldn’t agree more on that.
This Friday really was a nice last day because after two really hard days, it was a bit more relaxed and we just enjoyed sharing and trying new recipes.

So… This is the story of how I got to the point where I am right now. Not able to move but freakingly happy about this first edition of the Semper Avanti – Tratwa collaboration.
Oh, the doorbell just rang, this must be our food. Instead of partying in Berlin, we will spend the evening with ordered food and a good movie. Actually, it’s the perfect end for the last three days. A great three days with a super cool group of people.
I honestly can’t wait for the second edition!


Author: Jasmin