Life at The Hives, Vini – October 2020


My name is Vinicius, however everyone calls me Vini, I guess it’s more simple and by now I get called that even more often. I’m 24 years old and in this little article I’ll tell you about the month of October in this magical place that we call The White Rabbit House that is home of The Hives Project.

Well, they say that time flies when you are having fun… Now, more than ever I can guarantee that this is a universal truth. I’ve been here almost 4 months and time has been running from me as I would run from a car ( very fast, but not enough that it could not catch up).

This month started with a very important premise – To organize the Halloween Day for The Hives Project. – I came here to work with the youth and somehow develop activities that could engage the how community with it. Even though it seems like a big challenge, my biggest one was not the activities itself, but instead the Corona Virus situation. We never really know what we can do or can’t and that disturbs a lot the process of creating activities that involve the one thing that you certainly can’t do during this Global Pandemic, which is gathering people together.

After some days of thinking about how to do it and working on the planning of the day, I finally came up with a plan where the restrictions would be respected and our goals would be achieved. Oh, by the way, while working on it I was spending some days at the office that we opened again after it was closed for some months. A very nice experience to be there at Ormylia and see the people passing by with some curious faces, probably thinking to themselves “ What is that guys that is clearly not from here doing there? What is even that place?”. 

The big Halloween event, that would not be so big after all was finally happening. My biggest excitement wasn’t really about the event itself, but about the opportunity to create it together with my friends from The Hives Project. I felt that we needed something to have as a common goal for all of us and work together to achieve it. So, with the deadline of the 31st of October in mind, we started our work. Matteo and Lorena were in charge of making the garden and the whole outside area ready to receive some guests and so they did! Zuzzi and me (our lovely and friendly, but not so lovely and friendly all the time, supervisor) were working together to understand what we had to do and organize so the plan for the event would go as designed. The event itself would have two different time frames:

  • Morning: During the morning we would involve the kids of Ormylia in a Photo Scavenger Hunt, with the theme of Halloween surrounding it and other fun trivialities. The whole game was designed to make the kids have fun and at the same time think about group work and cooperation between themselves and their friends.
  • Afternoon: The afternoon would be more reserved to close friends since we could not have too many people inside our house and respect the restrictions at the same time. This would also be a time organized for the kids, where we created 4 different stations for them, to inform them about Halloween culture around the world, to have fun with them, and even an improvised with recycling material Scape Room in the Basement.

The following weeks were all surrounded by the preparation for this event, creating the decoration, preparing the other volunteers to do their role, going around trying to find things to buy for the event, learning “Halloween” recipes to cook for us and the kids and much more. However, our time here was not just about work! We had a lot of fun, going on Hiking on Polygiros and swimming on the beach and Nikiti watching a perfect sunset, trying to enjoy our last days of “greek summer”.

By the way, remember that I said that this place is a magical place? Well, the word magic can be changed by crazy at some times! We never really know what we are expecting to happen and to prove that, during this month two new volunteers joined us and one of our friends that went home back to Poland came back to continue this fun adventure. The first to arrive was Niv, a guy from Israel with a long beard and a friendly look. We were not so sure if he could stay with us or not, since the house rules are mostly applied to volunteers and we are not really a hostel however he was ready to join the boat and become one of us. His presence was good for the environment, changing a little bit the dynamics at the house and also he was able to fix a lot of things around the house that were not working properly… Thanks, Niv for fixing the bathroom! Than, Tosia came back from Poland and as usual with her sunshine smile brought back some Polish (not so polish) humour to the house. Finally, on a not so common Holyday that we had on the 28th of October, some days away from the event and actually in need of some help with de decorations, Kris arrived! Sent from heaven, I mean from Denmark she helped us a lot with the decorations and brought a young energy to the house, announcing that right after the Halloween day, we would have to be prepared for a second party on the next week because she would be turning 20!

Well, it was a crazy month, new people arriving, lots of preparation, lots of work and to make it harder a lot of work back in Portugal with some organizations that I’m also a volunteer. However, I would love to relieve this beautiful month again! By the 31st, we had an amazing event, the kids had so much fun, the volunteers had even more fun (especially when the kids were gone) and we all were able to say goodbye to this month with a full moon night, our spirits recharged and a feeling of a job well done. Seriously, what else could I ask more?

Oh right! I almost forgot, when everyone went back to their places and the event was over, we were tired, but not tired enough not to party around the fire, with good music, some beers (maybe more than some) and good friends. Life was good last month and I hope yours was as good as mine, but I seriously doubt it was!

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