My Croatian odyssey

From  the evening 27 th of April 2017 till the afternoon 3rd May 2017 I had  the longest journey during my EVS (for now).

I crossed the Hungarian-Croatian border near Donji Miholjac by bike. Thanks to the kindness of Sasa from Donji Miholjac I could leave my bike there safe and sound and explore Croatia using different means of transportation.

If to count all the ways I used to move, It would be:



Kemes- Donji Miholjac- Osijek- Zagreb-Dubrovnik-Zagreb-Osijek-Donji Miholjac-Kemes.

To describe it shortly  I visited Zagreb, the beautiful capital of Croatia and Dubrovnik, which surprised with its unique atmosphere and architecture. This time I stopped  in Osijek  for a while, just to continue my journey, but I’ve visited this intriguing city before.

Zagreb is colorful and full of life. I love the flower market just by the main train station and it sounds, sounds of a big city: shouts of  women presenting  their products on a market, cars, voices of tourists, trams…

The city center is divided into two parts:

elegant, neo-classical Lower Town with the botanical garden and edifices of many museums.

Climatic, medieval originating Upper Town, with narrow streets and the symbol of the city: St Mark’s Church.

Unhappily, when I was visiting all these places, was rainy.  But it didn’t stop me from enjoying the atmosphere of the city.

What’s even more interesting about Zagreb, is that the city is situated  near the Medvednica mountain. The highest peak, Sljeme, is around 1035 meters height, with the TV tower on the top. I climbed there through the wild forests of beeches  and spruces, but the peak can be also reached by bus or a cable car. For me the wide, sunny , mountain landscape was the perfect prize after being in the forest.

First impressions from Dubrovnik were also pretty strong. The landscape of Southern  Croatian coast is unique, full of small bays, rocks and islands.  In Dubrovnik I spent 3 days:  Together with my cousin and the best guide at the same time, I’ve been visiting multiple churches and museums, admiring the architecture of the old city and landscapes, eating ice-cream,  seafood and swimming in the cold and salty water of the Adriatic Sea. It was an amazing experience.

My overall journey to Croatia was intense, full of small adventures and discoveries. I hope I will visit all that places again;)

By Natalia

My dream finally came true – I have started my international volunteer experience. My journey started 9 th May at 4.00 pm. I was going by car from Warsaw – the capital of Poland to Kemes. I spent one night in hotel in Pecs to get some rest and to know a little bit this beatiful city. I came to Kemes 10 th May about 2 pm.. It was very long journey, but the sun and lovely weather was a great prize. The weather in Warsaw was terrible: about +5, the strong wind and rain. It was almost like a winter in Warsaw and in the same time in Pecs roses were blooming. Amazing;) I really enjoyed this travel because of beatiful hungarian landscape, weavy, extremely green, covered with forest. I used to live in a city center so my first impression in Kemes was – what a silence. I can hear bees, birds, all these amazing sounds of nature. I also realised how fresh the air is. Everyday contact with nature is one of the main reasons why I decided to come to Kemes. I think this will be great 10 months.



By. Milena



Last week came to Kémes Budapest Tomy and we waited for an intense week, full of visits and recordings. Of course, we started with the talisman of the organization, Ibolya Néni, who welcomed us with delicious Pogácsa that there was no way to stop eating.

After the necessary preparations, the chef began to cook a fish soup and we were recording and taking photos, documenting all the steps for that cookbook that will leave a hallucination to the gastronomic world in general.


The hours passed quickly in the cozy garden of Ibolya and soon the soup was prepared and then I arrived my favorite moment, EAT !!! Fish does not like people, but I love it, so I was eager to start tasting. The first spoonful and I could not believe it, like my old woman’s, if I closed my eyes I thought I was in my village. Do not cry with emotion because one has a reputation for maintaining … but it was definitely a pleasure. Logically, when I talked to my mother and told her the soup story, I told her that her soup was much better …..


Anyway, once again, thank you very much Ibolya néni for your kindness and effort … as my grandmother said, GOD PAYS YOU !!



Mikel Díez

Múlthéten Budapestről jött le Tomi Kémesre, és vártuk az intenzív hetet, sok látogatással és felvétellel. Természetesen a szervezet talizmánjával kezdtük Ibolya nénivel, aki finom pogácsával üdvözölt minket, és nem tudtuk abbahagyni az evést.

A szükséges előkészületek után, a szakács elkezdte főzni a halászlevet  és közben felvételt képeket készítettünk, minden egyes lépést dokumentáltunk, hogy majd a szakácskönyvünk nagy hatást keltsen a gasztronómia világában.

Az órák gyorsan teltek  Ibolya néni kényelmes udvarában és hamar kész lett a leves, majd a kedvenc  momentumomhoz érkeztünk , Evés!!! A hal nem szereti az  embereket, de én nagyon szeretem a halat,  nagyon buzgó voltam, hogy megkóstoljam. Az első kanálnyi, olyan hihetetlen volt, mint az édesanyám , ha lecsuktam a szemem , olyan volt mintha a falumban lennék.  nem szabad sírni érzelmesen  , mert jó hírnévnek örvend, de  megtisztelő volt.  Mikor beszéltem anyukámmal , meséltem neki a levesről, és mondtam neki, hogy az Ő levese sokkal jobb…

Még egyszer nagyon szépen köszönöm Ibolya néni a kedvességéért és az erőfeszítésért , ahogy a nagymamám mondaná , Isten megfizet Magának!

Mikel Díez


Easter in Poland





For the Easter time I went home, to Poland. I live in Gdańsk but I usually spend Easter in my grandparents’ house with the whole family, in a little village in the Masuria Region called Lesiska.


In general Polish Easter traditions are similar to Hungarian ones.  Before Easter we paint eggs : there are a few traditional techniques but the most popular is paining eggs with a wax. Then  we bless colorful eggs and some other types of food like a sausage, salt and a horseradish with the holy water.  All  these products have a symbolic meaning and after blessing they are ready to eat during a celebratory , family breakfast in the Easter Sunday morning.

Általánosságban a lengyel Húsvét hasonló a magyarokéhoz. Húsvét előtt tojásokat festünk: van néhány hagyományos technika , de a legelterjedtebb a viasszal való festés. Majd megáldjuk a színes tojásokat és a különböző ételeket, mint kolbász, só és retek szent vízzel.

In my family we usually have  the “Easter egg  fighting” which means that everybody chooses one egg and then we bump each others eggs. The egg ,which is the least crushed in the end, wins.

In Lesiska my family usually make a campfire on the hill just by our house. The view  is really beautiful.

We made a fire on Easter Monday. The Polish tradition says that people should water each other that day, similar like in Hungary.  Sometimes people of both genders start a real water battle! Unfortunately the day was really cold.

When I came back to Hungary what welcomed me in Budapest  was snow. When I came to Kemes a snow already disappeared, but was still cold and rainy. That’s not what I expected from the South of Hungary;)

By Natalia


Húsvétkor hazamentem Lengyelországba. Gdanskban lakom, néha a nagyszüleim házában töltöm a Húsvétot az egész családdal egy kicsi faluban Masuria régióban Lesiska faluban.




Wednesday morning in Kémes and the cold was noticeable. We started the morning making a small change in the idea of ​​recycling in the office and soon we headed towards the museum of Jenő Bácsi. I was curious to see what the clothes and the interior of a typical house in Ormánság were and to see if it resembled what I know of my region or not.


Jenő Bácsi welcomed us smiling and invited us to visit his beloved museum. After the interview for the cookbook we were able to converse with the most relaxed and we could observe the typical dresses of the area, the structure of a typical bedroom, the old sewing machine made of wood and what I liked the most, the tablecloths with Numerous details that Jenő Bácsi himself sews. We are told that sewing is his great passion and that even sometimes teaches, maybe if in the future the teacher has time his next students are us.


He told us that since he was a small boy he collected things and that he was able to translate it into this museum. So, a whole life was embodied in those two rooms. They say that the face is the mirror of the soul and in that man could glimpse passion when talking about his esteemed museum. A pleasure Jeno Bácsi.


Mikel Díez

Parents in kemes n croatia n easter n stuff


Last week was quite surreal. For many reasons, it might have been the 22 degree summery breeze, prophesying a long waited yet unreliable spring, the lack of polish people, the shorter work days marked by religious holidays and festive Eastery cheer and decorations.


But most uncanny of all was my parents visit to the Ormansag. Looking back for a middle aged western European couple, speaking limited (yet highly effective) English, coming for over a week to such a distant and unique land was quite adventurous and remarkable. Plus they brought me food, love and acceptance, and for that I will forever be grateful.


Their trip and tribulations started when arriving to Budapest airport on a Friday past midnight. The bus connection had finished, and after summoning some Latin help, missing and swapping a few buses, and almost getting separated, they finally managed to get a cab which took them to their previously booked hotel.


They spent a few days visiting Budapest and then they decided for the smartest most practical means of transportation to head down south, they rented a car. And south they came. After a short (and clueless) pass through Pecs we finally met up in Harkany. Through my very limited Hungarian and my moms half pretend German we finally managed to check into their cute little flat at Mediterranean apartments (how fitting). The owners even graced them with the very typical, very alcoholic, Palinka reception. Being the alcohol limit in Hungary 0.0%, the car was now in my very capable driving hands.


We had dinner in Pecs, city they got to thoroughly visit, and love, and the rest of the week was spent going back and forth from there to Harkany and Kemes, depending on my work times. Friday was a holiday, and following the lead of the Spanish and Polish people, I took Thursday off, and early that morning we sat sail to Croatia, in order to visit the great Zarco Sindija down in Zagreb, an old family friend.


We spent the weekend there, visiting, eating surprisingly remarkably good home cooked meals, and drinking. They did drink a lot. But being the alcohol limit 0.5% they were more at ease to proceed with their drunken agenda. I did a bit of drinking myself, but mostly during the evenings. Zagrebs night is ok, but not nearly as good as Pecs, or Budapest for all that matters.


We were back by late Saturday, and on Monday the flew back to warm sunny Lisbon, but they did leave me with some presunto, Portuguese and Croatian produce, lighter summer cloths (for now rendered useless due to the rain) and a handful of great memories and new experiences.


I thank thee both, and you’re welcomed back anytime.


Rui Coelho, 20th of April of 2017

Mentor meeting and churros cooking

Yesterday was the 19th of April, the first Wednesday after the Easter holldays.

It was a really cold day when even the snow showed up a little, so that made us sleepier than we where already.

So in the evening we had mentor’s meeting with Éva Király where she had the chance to check how our evs is going and how we are felling daily.

But a meeting is not a meeting if you dont have something to eat or drink; so we decided to make a tradictional Spanish bakery: churros.

The origin of this receipe is unclear: some people said it was brough by the Portuguese from China, but as an Spanish person I am going to keep on the theory that the churro was made by Spanish shepherds to substitute for fresh bakery goods.

Whatever is the origin we disregard it completely, because we try to made them using the ingredients we had at hand instead of the ones named on the recipe.

However,  the result was not a complety  disaster because almost, no one of the people that eated them had tasted churros before so they had nothing to compare with.

Mental nothe: Next time we should follow the receip completely.


By: Juan Antonio Varela