2018 - Croatia

The Final Chapter

We arrived in Croatia after arguably our best journey so far of the ten weeks, at the early time of half past 4 on the Saturday.  This gave us plenty of time to settle in and relax before what expected to be a fun filled emotional last week.

On the Monday, we began our final block of sessions with Dom Vladimir Nazor and Dom za Odgoj.  The staff were extremely welcoming and the whole team were looking forward to working with both organisations.  We were pleasantly surprised by the children’s knowledge of World At Play games and their enthusiasm towards each game.

The children at Dom Vladimir Nazor especially loved playing ‘Cutey Cat’ (Otherwise known as ‘Honey I love you’) especially targeting Rena who could not keep a straight face.  They also thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of trying to make Luuk and Gard laugh which was not quite so easy, they can be stony faced human beings!

Other games which the kids loved included Merkball, however some of our teams over enthusiasm, notably Joe’s, led to some change in the flower arrangements, mainly the loss of all their petals.  Chuck the Chicken as always went down very well, despite it being played with a soft shark hat, whilst shouting ‘DINOSAUR’.  This again led to some competitiveness amongst everyone, with some of the rules being bent to suit some of the team (aka Luuk and Joe).

At Dom za Odgoj, the team thoroughly enjoyed having a three course Michelin star level lunch each day.  The children thrived during the competitive sports, particularly Ultimate Frisbee and giving the team high fives, which they returned with ‘dabs’.  After finishing one game they would beg us for a small break as we had worn them out.  Despite the kids knowing that we were there for only two days, they kept asking us for more sessions, one boy repeatedly said ‘ne finish’ and did not want us to leave.

Through Dom za Odgoj, we worked with a school for two days.  Before we even began the first session, they sat us down and thanked us for being there to play sports with them.  After, a rather intense game of hockey, they insisted that we leave the room for a moment and when we returned we were asked to pick a child.  It was clear that this would be difficult as we could not remember everyone’s name.  Beth and Gard passed the opportunity to pick a name to each other like playing tennis.  Lucky for us the result of this was being given a little gift from them!

On our final day there we were given smoothies packed with protein after what had been an amazing game of handball.  Two girls were especially brilliant and competitive, and gave the team a run for their money!

Working with three wonderful groups in the beautiful town of Karlovac was an incredible way to end our incredible journey across the Balkans.  We will miss the fun and games we had with each person who was involved.  This is us, signing out, World At Play 2018.

By Joe & Siobhan.

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