Out of the Box

1.      The day the Dead Walked  (5th March)

As soon as I left the Belgrade Airport, I finally realized that I’m on a trip. No longer that few blinks of imagination, I was already in Amsterdam. A beautiful city with a lot of buildings that look like a view from a dream. A tear clear river that goes around center, thousands of bicycles in streets, and a enormous clock that goes „counter clockwise“ are the first sites. But! As soon as you lay your eyes on people, you may notice two different types. They are either very very happy, either look pretty soulles. That is the outcome of the legal fun. But, however, I managed to find an shop that I called „the movie cemetary“. That was an old movie shop where you can find almost anything. I bought few Jim Jarmoush films. Also I met two realy cool guys from USA that were amazed by the story of little Balcan country named Serbia. Those 8 hours between flights passed quickly, and I found my way back to the airport, waiting for the flightto Trondheim!

2.      Into the wild  (6th March)

Finally Norway!!! J Moon, Forest, Blinding Snow, Mountains, Moose, Oil, Potatoes, Skiing and bloody expensive Beer! First of all, it was interesting to meet 33 people from all around Europe, and even more interesting was remembering their 33 names. For example, who is Arnis, who Andris, and who is Juris? How do you pronounce Giedre and Ragnhildur?? Hehe, from early morning, we started with introduction to the programme, and first workshop: Building the biggest snowman ever! This was an excellent way to start getting to know each other. Later that day, we moved to Langvasheimmen, our home for next 5 days. We got to know local environment that were: woods, snow, icy lake and mountains. Perfect! But, that’s not all. For dinner, we had Salmon fish! Wow.

3.      The clash of cultures (7th March)

Time to start seriously working. NOT! J This is the beauty of this training course. Everything we comprehended and learned was through interaction and game. However, We did work. Sometimes a lot. This day started with „needs, expectations and fears“ workshop, where all of us presented how do we see this youth excange, what do we want to accomplish and what do we want to avoid. After that we started difining our leader in workshop „searching for world’s best leaders – tasks and functions of the group leader“. In Norway lunch lasts from 20min to half an hour top, so we had time to start with our „teambuilding priciples“ through inspiration and motivation. The most interesting part of the day was the Intercultural “taste + smell” evening where all of the participants presented their countries through presentations, films and music, and then through a rich expositure of national food, drinks, sweets and candies.

4.       We’re following the leader…  (8th March)

Today we continued with developing skills of an facilitator, and functions of communication in the team. Very interesting part was finding our creativity using principals of Forum Theatre. As always we were divided in groups and tried to adapt our tasks through a short theatre play. This way we practiced problem solving in team management. Also, later on, we voted for our head leader, and it turned out that was no Super Leader, nor dr. Plato, but Moosolina! J At the end of the day we had our reflection groups where we discussed our previous and future work.

5.      Imaginationland (9th March)

Also known as the most exciting day ever! This was the day we’ve  met real Norway. We went skiing for a whole morning, and afternoon. We passed who knows how much trees, we skied over who knows how much snow, fell who knows how many times, and at one point, we found ourselves on a huge ice lake where we drank water from under the ice and made a camp fire where we boiled water for tea and coffee. This was an priceless experience and every one of us returned home with a big smile on his face and a big wish to do this again. Yet, this wasn’t all of it. Today was the day learn to express yourself through a camera. First, we had an one minute presentation in front of the camera to practice how to formulize our thoughts and send a short but valuable buying cipro online message. After that we had a short brake and it was time to start doing movies! I introduced the participants with fundamental principles of filmmaking such as preproduction (scenario, storyboard), production (working on set), and postproduction (using software to edit the material). All of the participants were thrilled finding out the magic of audiovisual manipulation called movie, and they were more than happy to tryout themselves in making one. So, we had three groups working on stories, scenarios and filming. This was an huge challenge for myself.. What to tell them in an hour, how to coordinate three different groups at the same time, and after all, how to edit all!? I have to admit, all of these groups were interested so much and wanted to give 100% of their effort, I really had only to interfere when necessary. As result we had 3 two minute movies made for less than a day, looking perfect. The titles are: “Till death do us together”, “Expecting Moose”, and “James Moose and the Turkish Mafia”. J

6.      Creating opportunities (10th March)

This was maybe the most important theoretical day of the training. Today, we learned how to create a project! First, we started defining our aims and objectives, then developing our strategy and approach, and finally we learned how to plan activities and how to write a project. At the end of the day we had sauna. And at the very end, we all squeezed in an Indian wooden tent and shared a moment of spiritual bonding. J

7.      Summing it up (11th March)

Today we had our brainstorming and workshop called “101 ideas for breaking out of the box and being a better leader”. The main idea of the workshop was to plan future projects and realize how to improve our  leadership skills. Later today, we went to Namsos (rock city)! At Namsos rock museum we had a little surprise. Our oldest, and the most cool leader, Tor had a gig with his friends and we were there to see him and sing along to the Lava Livet song! J

8.      Bringing the learning home and The End (12th March)

Today we had our final evaluation and feedback for the past seven days. We found out who our secret buddies are, and we had one of the last “take your positions” orders. Today, we had the exclusive premiere of our three movies and it was such a great experience. J When finished with evaluation we moved to our final destination – Trondheim. On our way there, the first ones that had to leave were the Turkish guys. We escorted them to the airport and said goodbye. Trondheim is an beautiful city, like from a Gothic dark tale. Somehow these final words seem to take very long to be written because this was the night we formed our last circle. We were standing looking at each other smiling, but all of us knew that we may never see each other again. And we had our last hugs. Mostly, we returned to the hotel and had fun. Soon, it was time to go…

9.      Bye bye Norway (13th March)

Right after party, a small group of us moved on to the airport. We were so tired that we slept over the flight to Amsterdam. I figured out that I have enough time to go to Amsterdam again with Francesco, Alessia and Elena. And so we started walking towards train station when all of a sudden I saw some familiar faces. It was the Turks!! They were also at the airport waiting for their next flight and so, together we went for our last cruise through Amsterdam. Two hours later, it was time for me to go home, and they all escorted me to the station.

This was an unusual, funny, creative and above all priceless experience. During this exchange every one of us had an opportunity to learn something about other cultures and different people, but also about themselves. Although It always has to end, I believe that we have made an strong  and powerful relationship and very coherent group that, in time, may turn into friendship.Thank you Tor, Giedre, Ragnhildur Francesco, and thank you guys. The end? No, we will have more information about “Out of the Box” workshop thenks to the work of all of you and Nikola Jankovic, MEC, Belgrade, Serbia