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Softmate - training course in Greece

What do we imagine when it comes to the term "soft skills," and how can we apply these daily? These were the questions our five-member Slovak crew answered during a sunny week in May near the town of Litochoro in Greece. The training course, which focused on enriching our communication abilities and knowledge in team work, also taught us a lot about self-reflection. After all, surrounded by the slow Greek way of life "siga, siga," the history of classical philosophers, and good food, we had the opportunity to realize how grateful we are for our skills and for each other.

Litochoro did not become a week-long paradise for us just because of its location between Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea. Nor the three-course lunches and dinners full of olives, feta cheese, and well-cooked meat and seafood, were fully responsible for making the experience so unforgettable. The strongest factor was, in fact, the bonds formed between us and the other course participants. Together we represented eight countries, geographically spreading from southwestern Portugal and Spain to northeastern Latvia. We were united by shared afternoons on the beach, where we tried to swim through the waves and catch a summer tan, as well as dancing Karička, taught to everyone by our dear friends from eastern Slovakia. Our love for music played together on the guitar brought us together along with the training course activities, which encouraged us to open up to each other.

One of the most powerful moments of teamwork, which showed us how to share our knowledge while also seeking compromise, was the card game Climate Fresk, where we tried to find connections between the causes and effects of climate change. Physical activities, where we had to lead each other with blindfolds, deepened our trust, allowing us to have profound discussions about our feelings. The biggest experience, however, was the hike into the hills surrounding Mount Olympus. One of the Slovak warriors embarked on this journey at 8 in the morning and others followed. Being in nature made us reflect even more profoundly about how we could more effectively incorporate these experiences into our work and lives back home.

So, after a week spent with new friends, acquired skills, and shared memories, we packed our bags. With smiles on our faces and a few tears rolling down our cheeks, we promised each other that we would not easily forget this Greek adventure.

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