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Archive file

VIP No. 12, 17 February, 1994

Volunteers Information Pakrac
Volunteers accomodation                     Office
Prilaz Baruna Trenka 19                     Strossmajerova 63
(former Partisanski Put)                    7th floor
43550 Pakrac
Phone & Fax: +385(0)4683435
Email: PAKRAC_DA@ZAMIR-ZG.comlink.de

Situation in the Town

This week the "new school" was at last officialy opened, with thanks to the
volunteers who worked there in September. Velijko Djakula was abducted by
Krainian Secret Service after an interview on independent TV Studio B in

Life of the Volunteers

On Saturday, February the fifth, the new volunteers arrived from France,
Scotland and Belgium. Finally one volunteer couldn't see the good sides of
the camp. After app. 100 hours of preparations for coming here, he decided
to leave Pakrac after 14 hours. The crowded living conditions and bad
weather, combined with the total tiredness of all the long-term volunteers
caused a bit of a depression last week. Surprise visits by people who
needed a place to sleep made things worse, but fortunately the energy of
the new volunteers pulled us out of this mess. The Muppets are living with
families in the village of Seovica about 4 km south of Pakrac. It's a long
and steep walk to and from town each day. This week, local speeding
policemen crashed into Tom's 2CV at 100 km p/h letting him take a breath
test. After an expensive visit at the court we reached a gentleman
agreement paying all the costs of the damage, almost twentysix!! DM. Marcus
tried to take back the initiative for Germany by rolling his car over into
a field on the way back from Daruvar. Both driver and car are safe. In
Zagreb Cecilia is breaking the Suncokret rules, being in a hospital heavily
drugged after an operation on her knee. Whereas in Pakrac there's a virus
going round in the overcrowded rooms. Everybody is falling ill one by one.
Result: Last Thursday only three volunteers made it to their working sites.

Volunteers Activities

Working Groups

At the moment their are two working brigades with volunteers. One is based
in Prekopakra, the other in Filipovac. The first brigade is specialised in
making bonfires and drinking rakija while the second one is more into mud
digging. On Valentine's day it started snowing heavily so their was no
work. We anticipate no outdoors work this week except some wood chopping
and perhaps some work with Maria. The Polis helped completing a few minor
tasks at the CARE- Austria warehouse.

Social Activities

English Lessons

Snez , Jimmy, Tom and Cecilia are entertaining four beginners twice a
week., while Jan is teaching the advanced. It's all happening in Papiga.
The mouse is in the house !!! Lynnette runs extra-curricular English
lessons for the fifth through eigth classes in Gavrenica.

Games with Children

Over come by work providing carneval masks, paper mashe, costumes and
pictures for the gallery. Playing with chidren was transformed to become
creative centre for gallery and carneval. From paint spraying flys, tribes
of multicoloured children to the tranquil calm of marta's Gallery it's been
quite a month. The Muppets are playing with children in the primary schools
in Gavrinica and Seovica.

Radio Daruvar

The new volunteers were presented, we were talking about studying, people's
opinion in our home countries about the situation and the war, about the
future of agriculture in West- Slavonia, about our motivation to come to
Pakrac, our experiences here, our activities, carneval and were greeting
our local friends. When we were shopping afterwards in Daruvar and Pakrac
for the carneval people recognized our voices on the radio.

Football !!!

We tied the Unprofor Argentinians for the first time. After a fiercely
fought battle we left the playground still leaving our heads high. (We
should also mention that we were soundly thrashed by "Guitar" Carlos' team
right before. By 5:0.)


On Saturday the twelfth of february the volunteers organised a Carneval in
Pakrac. After only a three days of preparation, the real show started with
a relay race between four volunteers and five Argentinian soldiers. (the
delegation of local policemen didn't show up). The relay race through the
main streets of Pakrac was won by the volunteers! Many children showed up
with our without costume and most accompanied by their parents as the
parade went on through under the eyes of the amazed Pakrac people. The
whole thing was led by a local musical band and cheered up by a western
combo named  "Roy Reagan and the 20 th century cowboys."

The Gallery

Under the supervision of Marta, the Pakrac gallery opened its doors on
Valentine's day. The exposition with paintings of local children drew a lot
of attention, also from journalists. This exhibition is a prototype. Other
exhibitions may follow if there is enough local interest, and if we can
find the energy for it !

More Activities

The Polis have been busy with activities for children and visiting local
families. Near record amounts of rakija and coffee have been consumed by
all in the last few weeks.

Some numbers

Concerning the number of volunteers from each country, the Germans are
leading with 15 followed by Belgium with 11, Great Britain 10, The
Netherlands 9, Italy 8, Spain 7, France 7, USA 6, Switzerland 5, Poland 4,
Australia 2, Canada, Sweden and Croatia 2 and Austria, Denmark, Czech,
Chile and Ireland on the last place with 1. The youngest volunteer was 19,
the oldest 47 years old, 32 female, 63 male.

Ideas and plans

Because of our success we are now looking for another, bigger house in
town, where the Long Term Volunteers can live and work without going crazy.
The plan is to make the little house a place where Short Term Volunteers
and the co-leaders can live together like a big family again, while the
LTV's work on things like the new Youth Club, women's group, the South
Side, spreading the project to other towns, and making sure everything
works! . Speaking of the Youth Club, Jan has been very busy getting the
young people to look for help for themselves, building on Sophie's work,
and today, they got their first donation of stuff from Germany!!!!

Rumours and Gossips

The Volunteers Information won't have any more mistakes. No, reely.


Zoran from ARKzin, Toni and Hrvorje from Feral Tribune came to write
articles. Clemens from Deutsche Welle, Kornelia from ARD (both with their
TV crew) were filming the volunteers at work. Georg and a friend from
Albomonte and two Dutch peace activists passed by for a day.

Thank you

Thanks to Mat for music tapes and letter, Nexus for paperDavid for a fax,
Alessandra for another one, Claire for a christmas card, Teet and Asa for
their fax, Jackie, Dan and Claire for their Email message.

List of Needs
*   books, books, books (books for children, comic books, books for 13-14
    year olds, books with poems and short stories and dictionaries,
    English-only would be okay)
*   tapes for learning English
*   cassette player (working both on electricity and batteries, please send
    batteries with it)
*   D-mark coins (1 and/or 5 mark coins)
*   bikes
*   car
*   text markers
*   board games

Remember, in the sky of your mind, you are the sun.

The Pakrac Volunteers, 17 February 1994

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