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Hi people!

The movie night turned out to be a super cozy evening! In the beginning most of the kids acted a bit shy, but thanks to the food workshop we managed to break the ice: we offered some combinations of ingredients, and then the bravest kids started experimenting - after a while everybody was sharing their "new creations" with the others! After helping each other out to do some cleaning, the kids had the chance to enjoy a skate break: some of them went crazy in the skate hall, while some others just stayed in the cafe playing cards, drawing stickers or chatting. At some point, two kids even came to us volunteers asking if we wanted to play hide and seek with them: in 5 minutes, the cafe was full of youngsters and grown-ups playing together and having fun without feeling any age gap. It was such a nice time! After that, everybody was so tired that we were grateful to be able to crash into the comfy couches we set up in the concert hall, then hide under warm blankets and enjoy the movie (we watched "Jumanji: the next level", a funny but deep meaning family film). When the movie ended, some of the youngsters helped us moving the couches and the tables and tidying up the concert hall, then we said goodnight to eachother with a smile.
During the event we had to face some challenges we didn't predict, and it was nice to be able to go through them with the help of lots of people - both grown ups and youngsters, who happily volunteered as soon as we asked them! This made me truly happy and proud, because it means that the atmosphere we all created was cozy enough to make them feel at ease in just being around us and feeling like they are part of the house :)

Soumia's friends, Lizzie and Francesca, visited her this month, and we had the chance to share some quality moments together. Lizzie even decided to help us during the movie night, while with Francesca we went to Copenhagen and went thrift shopping - also thanks to Tash who guided us to the cutest shops she knows!

On a hot weekend afternoon Christian brought me to pick my own strawberries! He taught me that it's a thing here. The moment of just walking through the field, looking carefully to find the best ones, made me feel really proud: it's such a little thing, but it meant something to me to be able to eat something that I know I picked with my hands :)

As promised, I have little updates about my skateboard learning process: I'm officially trying to ollie. Now, I think I have the right movements of the feet, but I need to jump waaaay higher than I do now hahaha and I can feel that I stopped my dancing lessons, because my muscles are weaker than usual - (talking to myself: yes, you should work out more dear Debbie).

Guna and I worked for two weeks on creating a sign for the new "Genbrugshjørnet" that our colleague Lena built in the Activity Room. We started out trying different layouts for the writing, then marked the outline of every letter with a black Posca marker; since we were working on it in the cafe, we decided to let the kids play around with lots of Posca colours. Now, the ones who were feeling creative can say they have their own design applied to the sign! It was very fun to see how the children wanted to stop at the creative table for a break during their skating afternoon to just be there and decorate. After the letters were done, I went on drawing some different kinds of reusable trash like tin cans, paper boxes, milk cartons, glass jars/bottles - I left them in black and white, to make a contrast with the colorful letters. Also Emma helped us in this project: she is a 20 years old girl from London who is volunteering here at Kulturfabrikken for a while, a very creative and super nice girl!

As I did with Alessandro - with our nights playing boardgames at the library - Soumia and I are creating our little traditions: on Fridays we make pizza or bruschette and we meet with our friends at our favourite spot at the harbour, where we share stories and laughs with a glass of wine or a can of beer - last Friday Emma joined us too! But this time it was raining, so we had to move to our apartment instead - nice choice because we managed to "ruin friendships" by playing UNO :D Tash brought some cake from the place where she works, and that was enough to restore our relationships after the card game. Indeed, her mom has a wonderful traditional English tea shop in the city center: it's called Higgledy Piggledy's, it's right next to Museum Obscurum, and I highly recommend an afternoon snack in that dreamy place! I've been there once and I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland: every little detail is taken care of, from the delightful ceramics cups, to the hundreds of different infusion teas, to the homemade special cakes and sandwiches that Tash and her mom prepare every morning.

Life in the cafe now is very different from the winter time. Sometimes we have very little visitors because kids are on holidays with their families, and teenagers are partying with friends. On other days, we have plenty of new customers who come here because they are on vacation in Denmark, or new kids coming from distant cities all together on the train to experience a different summer afternoon. It's always nice to share cafe shifts with Soumia and Guna, we have lots of fun - even better if we manage to have fun together with the kids too, by playing card games or table tennis or dancing silly to the cafe speakers music :)

Guna and Soumia are working hard for the swap shop that's going to happen in week 31 for our main event of the year: the Minifestival. We already prepared some racks full of clothes that friends and colleagues brought, and now we're welcoming people to come to the cafe and bring their own things. They can get a voucher, based on the weight of their bags, to take some new pieces home during the event. Look at Soumia's happy face when kids bring their clothes too!
Besides the thrifting, plenty of other fun workshops and concerts are planned for August 2nd, 3rd and 4th: it's going to be such a huge success! The project is great and everything is almost ready, and I also got to help out for some practical tasks. The whole festival concerns climate topics, so for me it's even sadder that I'm not going to be here during the event...

... because the summer camp I'm going to attend in Italy is coming - and I am SO READY! It was hard to meet with my friends and colleagues on videocalls to plan the week with our youngsters, but I tried my best to be present and work with creating activities and games, and now it's almost time to see come to life what we've been working on. I really can't wait to be there again with the kids I got to know last year. Recently, I read a few of the short letters some of them gave me during the final bonfire last year (I treasure them in a folder), and my heart simply melted! I really miss them and I'm so happy that we're going to spend some more quality time together soon.

But if the summer camp is coming, this also means I'm almost finishing the ESC project! How did it happen?! I'm not ready to say goodbye to this life! :(
I'll start writing my "Youthpass" in August, and I'm sure that it will be very useful to understand how I've been working in these months, both as a volunteer and as a person. It will also be nice to remind myself what challenges I've been through during my stay here and what I've been achieving.

Enough emotional moments for now - I'll keep my bittersweet goodbyes for the last blog!

- Deb

P.S. this blog is reviewed by Emma, who's studying English Literature, and she said she likes how I write - I think it's the best compliment I've received lately :')