Ten months ago, when I first came here, it was autumn and lots of people told me on a daily basis “Just wait for summer! It will be amazing and the city will be even more wonderful than now. In summer, we can go Wyspa Slodowa after work. Oh, just wait for summer! I bet we will have another Semper Avanti BBQ then!”
So I waited and waited and waited a little bit more. Finally, there was the invitation to the BBQ and we were all looking forward to it.
Wednesday, 27th of June 2018: It’s raining. It’s raining the whole day. How is that possible?! It’s supposed to be summer. I just wanted to attend one nice Semper BBQ too. But of course it got cancelled, okay no, postponed. Postponed always sounds nicer.
Thursday, 5th of July 2018: Fingers crossed! It’s morning and the sky is shining blue. If it stays like this, we will actually have our Semper BBQ today.
It’s noon now and the sun is still shining, hopes are really high right now.
Yes! We’re doing it. The sky is shining blue and it’s still super warm outside. We are preparing now the last things in the office before going to Wyspa.
And what is the most important thing to prepare in advance? Easy: garlic sauce! No meal in Poland without garlic sauce!
Just a few minutes later we had everything packed and we were on our way to Wyspa to set up the grill and wait for the others.
Nothing looks as wonderful as a grill with the first coals gleaming. The smoke that comes from it that promises here will be a BBQ, here will be food. The fire that’s starting. The heat that is coming up. Everything about doing a BBQ has something so settled, so simple.
While some people of our group were laying in front of the grill, blowing air into the coals to start the fire, the rest of us sat or stood together and started chatting.
I love Semper meetings like this because you are able to see everyone related to Semper. We are barely all in the office most of the days because of presentations, workshops etc. That’s why it’s nice to have these kind of get-togethers to catch up, not just with employees and volunteers, but also with interns and former volunteers. A Chinese, a Rumanian, and a German standing together and talking. A Turkish and a Spanish grilling food for everyone and a Maltese, an Italian and a Polish talking and learning about the difference between Malta and Italy.
And that’s is how integration and cultural development goes. Every time I see so many cultures talking and laughing together I am thinking how easy cultural integration is. We, in Semper Avanti are proving it every day. It’s so easy to just talk with each other. It’s so easy to understand other cultures better. You just have to be open for it. Every day here, I am learning more about different European cultures, I am learning more about the difference of people. And of course we are also seeing here the cultural difficulties between each other but it actually is quite easy to overcome them, just by talking, listening and caring about one another.
And so the evening went on, groups were changing, topics were changing. But two things weren’t changing: the good food and the amazing atmosphere. It was such a joyful and relaxed atmosphere. People were smiling all the time and it was visible how much of a good time everyone had. It wasn’t forced at all; the atmosphere came naturally. Just like it always comes naturally when we meet with a bunch of Semper Avanti related people for a new cultural activity.
I can’t wait for the next one because I already know that it will be interesting, funny and simply wonderful. Just like always.