It is around a month I have just came back to Italy after 6 months of the most beautiful adventure of my life till now. My name is Francesca, I’m 25 and I have been a European volunteer in Portugal.
My project was divided into two parts: taking part in activities with elderly in a diurnal center in the morning while with children and guys in the afternoon. Sometimes I’m worked together with the local food bank and once a week with my hosting organisation’s office job.
It has been a continuous fun: despite my inexperience with elderly I found in all of them grandparents! More than me to them, they have given to me, just sharing with me even only a look, full of experience and hitories which I started understanding step by step, as time goes by.
Furthermore they taught me sewing, that’s an impossible thing to do for me till now. Together we tried to sew the greatest cover of the world. Every day we were committed to unite in lines of 9 wool squares from all parts of Portugal… The day of the cover exposition has been a magnificent party.
With children and guys, despite my initial difficulty with the language, it has been a bit easier, given my experience as volunteer in a centre of my city. I supported them doing homeworks after school, playing, visiting museums, taking a bath in the frozen ocean and spending days at the park. These are some of the activities happened in these 6 months together. And then, they have been the best masters: their patience into explaining each new word for me, I’ll remember every time I’m losing my temper.
And then there is the best part: knowing a lot of people from each part of the world.
Living in a house with boys and girls never seen before, with a different culture than yours (in particular from Togo, Poland, Turkey and Uruguay) and learning to get to know them day by day; the managers and the volunteers of the centres; elderly the same and guys, everyone with different stories.
Therefore, EVS is also building relationships which will last for the whole life. Yes because during that months they aren’t shared only spaces but they have been shared emotions, experiences, habits, moments of loneliness and moments of pure happiness, travels, parties, drunks after parties, concerts, evening thè, movies and recipes; moments that will stay indelible in the memory.
In conclusion, they have been six months of continue growth and discvery of my self. An experience that I would repeat other thousand times.
EVS volunteer within the Erasmus + project “Many Opportunities Real Equality”
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