Monthly Archives: July 2014

Good morning Vietnam :)

MY THREE WEEKS IN VIETNAM

Hello everybody, I’m Ledina and I’m doing my jobshadowing in Vietnam . I really couldn’t believe to be here! No guide description can compare with the beauty of this country. As I travelled to reach my project from Hanoi to Ha Long city the first thing that drops in my eyes are the rice fields where here and there rises up a traditional headgear of woman, pointed and beige, look like a comforting presence in nature. It has past already one week and this country is giving me so much. I love staying here, becaue is so peacefully and full of smiling people. Life in Italy seems so far away and I really don’t want my days finishing.

My experience started in Mai Hoang Center for disabled people where I share my work with other volunteers from France and with my friend and coordinator, that I met in Spain, Nam. We had to work really hard because we work to build one part of a disable center destroyed during the typhoon season in 2012 and 2013: the center suffered huge damages from heavy rain, storms and strong winds. So now volunteers work to build this center. But our work here is not only building the house, the disable center is lively! It needs the help and the ideas of every volunteer to be creative and suggests new idea, to be open with the disable! Because is a new reality and need the help of everyone who gives a hand! I really like the fact that local people had the opportunity to come and learn English every night teached by volunteers, it’s a very funny way, first to put in contact the local people with the disable center reality and also, for us volunteers, to know more and be more closer with the locals. Another activity that some volunteers do in the morning is also teaching English in Ha long city and also teaching French… you can fell how deep is the French influence here and you can find people who speak very good French!

The days of my first week flowed faster and slowly and makes me learn nuances that I never thought to meet… we finished the week with the visit of the amazing Ha long Bay !! No Vietnam experience is complete without a visit to the stunning Halong Bay. With one of Halong Bay junk boats we go winding round the limestone islands and the ancient caves. This unique bay, with its thousands of islands, forms a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Ha Long literally means descending dragon and is often touted by proud Vietnamese as the world’s eight wonder. We had a two days great weekend!

 Vicolocorto Job Shadowing June 2014 Vietnam

The works keep going and now I’m really well on using chopsticks and eating rice. I want to talk about the preparation of the local activity, it was a cultural exchange between the volunteers from France, me for jobshadowing and an high school in Ha Long City. After the agreements with the Vietnamese public city hall, we started preparing some entertainment songs and me personally I prepared some games and also a presentation about my project . When we arrived at the school everything was well organized and students where all there in time, the activity was prepared to last two hours and it keeps going with some amazing performances of the student and also of the French volunteers. Except some little misunderstandings with Vietnamese organizers which allowed us to make this event possible, everything goes really good! It lasted 2 hours and we were like 200 people, a lot!

Vicolocorto Job Shadowing June 2014 Vietnam

I love children and when thay said to me that they need help for the English school in the morning I was very happy! I put myself fears like  ‘’oh I’m not good on teaching …’’ away and just let myself be open and try to interact with this small children! The energy that these kids give to me make me forget the 6’oclock morning ring bell! I tried to prepare funny lessons with games for active participation of these kids! We had the loudest class of Vietnam!

Vicolocorto Job Shadowing  June 2014 Vietnam

As I really like teaching in the morning I took also the night English lesson here at the disable center. It is one hour class where we teach basic English. So happy to have meet so much local people. This English lesson started for the disabled people but with the time local people joined. Till I’m here I see new people every night! I hope this center will get all the energy that people who work give and continue the work, never close!
I think that the best way to arrive in a new country is with a completely open mind and with the joy to discover a place through the eyes of those who live in it. It’s when you’ve lived with people that you can say that you know a little bit the country…and I try to keep this in my mind and I try to be open with the people…and language some time for the communication doesn’t matter… just smile and try to help them, I try to do my best about communication and for me was enough when I hear some of them call me with my name Ledinà ( with the French accent). To try to be more closer to the people who lives in the disable center boys played a football match (I just take photos!) How to say, when the football brings everybody together without differences! They had a good time together!

Also my birthday was a great occasion to celebrate all together and where to go if in Asia you don’t go to a Karaoke! I had my Karaoke birthday party! With some good music and mixed Vietnamese and English songs we had also a great night together ! But I was a little bit sad because the day after me and all the French volunteers had to leave for moving in Hanoi for my last days … I had to say goodbye to all these fantastic people I met here … !

Hanoi offers the most various distractions and entertainments, I see more vespas motorbikes here than in Italy, I try the thrill to ride a motorbike (no wait it was not me riding the motorbike, I was just sitting and hugging the motor driver with my eyes closed!!!) And what to say about the street food…is delicious!! Street food and small pop up stalls offer a true taste of Vietnam. Cheap and plentiful – sitting on a tiny plastic chair at the side of a busy street and choosing random dishes off a plastic menu is the best fun! Accompanied with a cold beer! Simple delicious Vietnamese cuisine in the street – like the locals do. I loved Hot Pot! I will try to prepare it in Italy! The beer corner was our night appointment and our table every night becomes bigger and bigger with new friends like locals or tourists. The time in Hanoi passed so fast…and my time to say goodbye to all arrived… Vietnam will remain always in my heart! In Vietnam, the scenery is beautiful, but what still remains the most is the smile of people: unconditional, clear and captivating.  I’m sure I will return there!

Hugs to everybody,

Ledina

Zoe Microfestival

FINAL DAY

The final day of Zoe Festival, a nice moment to look back at how the festival overall has been. In my opinion it was very successful. Pesaro is full of young upcoming talent and good local initiatives. In these six days I got a lot of inspiration and new insights. I heard different styles of music and got to learn more about art and the perspective of the artist behind their work. After six days, even though I feel tired, I also feel like I have new energy and I am very content and inspired.

The beauty of the festival was that Zoe managed to combine having fun with noble causes, i.e. to preserve and value our environment and the location of Orti Giulii. This weekend was an example of what Orti Giulii could mean to Pesaro. The location was incredible and contributed so much to the spirited ambiance of the festival. As regards to the environment, everything at Zoe Microfestival, from the food to the equipment, was environment friendly and biological, and by no means did it negatively effect the fun aspect of the festival.

Shawita

Zero Crossing

This last day of Zoe was basically the restitution of Wednesday´s night- the Zero Crossing Night. Mainly were concerts of the students of this school of jazz and modern music– Zero Crossing – spread all over the Orto. Between this performances of rock, pop and jazz we stopped in to see nice jazz performance and managed to get an interview with the members of the band.

Aleph quartet
Starting around 21:30 p.m. in Palco Tempieto we found this quartet – Aleph – playing a nice and hearty jazz repertoire. They played some famous jazz standards as ‘Footprints’ from Wayne Shorter, ‘Evidence’ and ‘Round about Midnight’ from Thelenious Monk and passed through ‘Insensatez’, a bossanova theme from Tom Jobim. In the final stretch Aleph surprised us with two original songs composed by Luca Mancini (the guitarist). Two compositions in a more modern style, with some rockish flavor.

Vicolocorto "Zoe Microfestival" July 2014 Pesaro

Interview
V: How was the concert for you?
A: Good! The place is very nice and we had some audience. Was warm. We made a lot of mistakes, we know that we have a lot of things to improve but even with the mistakes it was a pleasant experience.
V: The name of the band is Aleph quartet. What does it mean?
A: Aleph is the first letter of the Hebraic alphabet. But we also choose this name in reference to a tale of the writer Jorge Luis Borges in which Aleph refers to a point that includes all the points of the universe, therefore representing the infinite.
V: What are the major inspirations you?
A guitarrist: for me, Eric Dolphy and the great guitarist Jim Hall. As inspiration for the new composition a little bit of Aaron Parks.
A bassist: Jaco Pastorius, the best bassist in the world, and the band of progressive rock King Crimson.
A drummer: There are too much. I can´t say a name. I don´t have much jazz background, I came from the rock world. I listen to the jazz classics but in the future I have to learn more of the jazz language.
A saxophist: I like all jazz, but specially hard bop, and jazz from the 50’s in general. But to say a name is very difficult…

V: How did you start playing together?
A: We started two years ago as a duo of guitar and bass. Then, Giovanni (the saxophonist) joined the group and finally, one year later, Davide (the drummer). So, as a quartet we have more or less one year. This year was the necessary time to rehearse and start to do live performances.

V: Future projects? You just have two originals for now, are you planning have  all repertoire of originals?
A: Yes we have two and a new one is coming out. It´s already composed but we have to rehearse. We want to continue to play also the jazz standards. I think the repertoire it will also depend the place we are going to make the concert. If we play at bars or restaurants we will play mostly standards. If we play in festivals etc, we´ll play the originals. We hope one day to play just originals!

A magical and inspiring week – a personal feedback of Zoe
Even if, as Shawita also mentioned, I am feeling really tired, the reward was worth it. In my opinion, like the original meaning of the word in ancient Greek, ZOE was LIFE. Life in the most diverse and creative way. All kinds of arts and innovative projects coexisted harmoniously for six days. A cycle that fed the soul of many people and the heart of the city.
Zoe meant also life to Orti Giulii, that during all the year is half abandoned, but had an opportunity to be useful during this 6 days and, more than useful, a spot for cultural creation and recreation.
A special thanks to the organizers, to all the volunteers working hard and to the Universe for bringing this magic event to me.

Vanessa

Vicolocorto "Zoe Microfestival" July 2014 Pesaro

Zoe Microfestival

DAY FIVE
Yesterday, as there wasn’t any show happening in Zoe apart from a relaxing Dj Set, we  didn´t have much to report. So, in the first place, we decide to visit two of the projects promoted in the stands downstairs. In second the place, we decided to take a walk around and make an evaluation of the festival. Our target was some volunteers and  the public in general.

Vicolocorto "Zoe Microfestival" July 2014 Pesaro
The candles path

Get to know the ‘City of joy’

Even though there were not many artists and stands on this fifth day of Zoe Microfestival, there were some very interesting information stands and workshops. One of them was ‘La Città della Gioia’ which means ‘The city of joy’.

This project was started in 1999 by a small group of people who wanted to help homeless in Pesaro. They rented a house and equipped it with seven beds. Every homeless person can stay for 10 days every four months. During their stay, they are provided with food. Beside that, they can engage with the volunteers and each other, and share their story. This kind of social contact is very important, because the personal stories of the homeless are very tragic. Sharing helps them feel supported and understood.

The house is fully run by volunteers. They make sure that everything is clean, food is prepared and all the expenses are covered. Part of the money comes from donations of private institutions, the other part is raised by the sales of beach towels, agendas, t-shirts and bags with the logo of ‘La Città della Gioia’.

At Zoe Microfestival the volunteers of ‘La Città della Gioia’ also made a doorway where all the guests could pin a piece of paper. Written on the paper was everyone’s personal answer to the question: ‘What can’t be missing in a house in order to make it home for you?’ The answers were very diverse. Some people wrote down words, such as ‘love’ and ‘happiness’. Other people gave a more humorous answers, like ‘nutela’.

Discovering your creativity and fantasy!
After talking to the volunteers of ‘La Città della Gioia’ our eyes got attracted by a line of on-the-spot made paintings. In front of the paintings were some tables where people sat down to paint. This workshop was organized by ‘Alla scoperta delle forme’, which means ‘Discovering forms’. It is an initiative of Gian Marco Balleroni. He wants to stimulate the fantasy and creativity of kids. The new generation is born in the digital age and is mostly playing with iPhones, iPads, Playstations and other computerized games. Other toys, such as wooden cars and teddy bears, that stimulate the fantasy and creativity of children are more and more being forgotten.

With basic geometric forms, like squares, triangles and circles, Gian Marco, playfully teaches children to combine them and make new shapes, such as letters, flowers, trees, bees and smiley faces. Besides that, children can make their own combinations and create their own secret code language. Gian Marco calls the place where they come together a laboratory, because it is all about experimenting and trying out new things.

At Zoe Microfestival, all the guests could experiment with this simple and playful technique of design. With some paint, a paper sheet and wooden forms in front of you, you could just let your imagination go an create anything you wanted.  There were some professional artist who created beautiful paintings, but also amateurs like me were able to make nice paintings, because this form of art is so simple that anyone can do it.

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Also nice to know is that Gian Marco created the flyer of Zoe Microfestival. You can recognize his style by the simplicity and beauty of the shapes he combined.

One word describing Zoe

What do people think about the Zoe of this year ? How they would describe it?

Instead of going to people and asking this general questions, that could lead to pour and repetitive answers, we resolve to ask:

When I tell you ZOE what is the word
that comes to your mind ?

With all the words collected during this “game”, we made a tree of words. The result is this!

Vicolocorto "Zoe Microfestival" July 2014 Pesaro

Thanks everyone!

Shawita and Vanessa