quarta-feira, dezembro 04, 2013

Diário de Bordo: Passaporte da Voluntária


Agnese Paulina

Origem: Letónia

First month report from blondie Agnese

Ola, to all the readers!
Time here is running totally different then at home, be ready for that! Always, when I am looking back to the things I have done in Portugal, I still can say that time is flying, not going or lingering. Some of you may think that 1, 5 months are enough to get use to the new place, new living conditions, language etc, but this is not my case :) Still now, when I am going to the new restaurant, or passing coffee places, my eyes stays wide open asking myself -why they are putting rice together with French fries, meat and fried eggs on one plate? How it is possible to stay fit and eat so fatty food? Why they drink 8 cups of coffee per day and not complaining about heart disease? Meeting stereotypes and try to break them, meet new ones and somehow put yourself in to all this, face your fears and overcome them, find new challenges and don’t stop to the reached point - this is volunteer’s life! In the middle of all that, be ready to get lost time to time and find yourself in the middle of wild city’s jungle without language skills and dog’s poops all over the street.

First month for me and other volunteers with whom I am living in the heart of Lisbon, was warming up. A lot of free time, when the most important is to manage it, sometimes going by stream also helps, but, as said “surf days” teacher Flo, “don’t waste your time taking every wave, take your time to choose really good one”. It is not about quantity, but about quality. Sometimes every month film festivals, music concerts and new expositions are making me dizzy and confused, but that is cities life and it comes to choices. A lot of amazing places we have seen like Sintra, Cabo de Roca (Europe's westernmost point, "where the land ends and the sea begins"), but still there are lot of abandoned and charming houses in our neighborhood, yet unknown yards with coffees and galleries straight here, in Lisbon.

When somebody asks me how I get in Rota Jovem (because it is the coolest youth association in Portugal), I am saying (by half true, by half laughing) that I have good karma. My colleagues and now also friends in Rota Jovem have experienced a lot, they now what kind of mess volunteers can do, how to manage it and the main thing- how to cheer us, when we are lost. Sometimes, when it feels that I am not doing enough, I am looking back on the done things- intelligent, unordinary intercultural party, taking a part of Imigrarte festival (working in the food zone) helped to sense and survive the city and understand the locals. Actually, that is the main thing through which to grow out from tourist position and see the real colors of the city and country as a whole.

As my responsibilities in Rota Jovem are connected with activities (workshops, participating street actions and Rota Jovem representing), I took a part in Surf Day organization and it turned a lot of fun. Laughter and trembles, satisfaction about challenging ourselves with weather and waves are the best reaction which we could get from participants. Christmas party organization and Saturday workshops are in the nearest future for me.

 Being a volunteer is a huge plus also because a can enjoy all the workshops which are organized by rest volunteers- knitting workshop, graphic design, German language and the theatre sport). In next month my responsibilities will grow, as some volunteers will finish their work here. Go, go, go girl!

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