segunda-feira, dezembro 09, 2013

Diário de Bordo: Passaporte do Voluntário


Nome: Giovanni Beninato, 26 anos
Origem: Itália

Healthy in body and spirit.

Currently working as an EVS volunteer under literacy promotion organization ALEM, with the collaboration of Rota Jovem (PT) and Xena (ITA).

I write after roughly one month and half stay in Lisbon, the city where both our domicile and area of work are located. Currently, I am involved in a number of projects involving (in order of target age): art workshops with preschool kids, general education, class support and afterschool help for primary schoolers, a human rights research and journal/blog redaction project in a secondary school, plus four hours weekly of general assistance to people with special needs and seniors, and, finally, the development of lessons for third age university students. As of now, most of the projects have started, after a comprehensive series of instructions and timetable changes, hopefully now finalized. I’m looking forward to work at the best of my abilities on every single project, with the prospect of a gradually bigger involvement as time passes and the professional relationship with educators and coordinators grows. In any case, personal initiative is the key.

I will now add some simple considerations about my daily life here: Lisbon is a city I have started to discover slowly, helped by the alleged length of my service and stay. Early visits have opened my view on the geography, the architectural style, the social consideration the city and its various sites display, and I largely appreciate what I’ve been given the possibility to discover. Praça do comercio, Belèm, Avenida da Liberdade, Alfama and Mouraria, os Miradouros de Santa Caterina e Luzia, o Jardim de Estrela, and some lesser known (but equally as charming) sites such as Tapada Das Necessidades, Jardim de Torel, Jardim Botànico de Ajuda, Largo de Intendente….the list will be very long by the end, not to mention that a tourist won’t be able to find one fifth of them…

Life at the new home is interesting. Not only because of my luck in living in what looks like an apartment worthy of legends, home of generations of volunteers present and past, but also because it allows for a fun and exciting “family” life with a lot of people from everywhere in the world. I reckon you don’t enjoy very often italian meals, turkish sweets, spanish music, belgian chats, hungarian stories, latvian movies and portuguese wines in the same evening.         

So that’s what going on in this crazy, fascinating and perfectly normal daily life of an international volunteer, in a nutshell. As long as you don’t expect vacations or Erasmus levels of sweet doing nothing (and you should not be wanting them anyway), you’re dead set on a mighty fine experience.       

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