quarta-feira, dezembro 13, 2017

34.774,3 ideas per hour

Ileana left Bucharest in October to join the EVS project "Strengthen the bond of inclusion". She will stay until June 2018 and she will apply in ALEM all her knowledge and skills as an actress through theatre workshops and other activities with the kids. A lot of ideas are crossing her mind in this first period in Portugal so spontaneity and creativity are guaranteed in the next months!

I am in Lisbon for two months and I feel like I`ve been here for ages. I have a poor communication with my friends because when they ask me about my life here, I find it hard and limitative to use only words. Even if you add images, it`s not enough, that is why i rarely take pictures, because they cannot grasp the actual feeling of being here. I am fascinated by everything, of course, because everything is new to me and it is a change of environment and also because i feel the particularity of such a special place as Lisbon. The light, the colors, the rythm all around, the river, the planes, the boats the air in which you can see small particles of water, at sunset, the up and downs allthroughouth the city, hidden beautiful places with amazing views, the food (oh my God, the food!) make Lisbon a unique place.

For some days I can actually sit relaxed in a random coffee place and just relax without needing to walk more or know more about the city. I think I am beginning to accommodate. My first month was very intense, here, I had such a hunger for life and for exploring, I could barely sleep.
The apartment in which I live is amazing, in the center of the city. For the past months, I have been waking up early, climbed down the street filled with tourists waiting for a ride with the funiculaire and went to various places in the city in order to take Portuguese classes, in the morning, and accomodate with the institutions in which my European Voluntary Service project will develop.

I am more than satisfied with the places and with the type of activity that I am going to do, also the people in ALEM are amazing, incredibly careful of about all the aspects of our work here and also very kind and understanding and open-minded. That makes my mind very excited about all the possibilites of projects that can be developed. I will be working generally with minorities of many kinds (children and women from gipsy families, children that come from less developed environments, generally, who are not supported by their communities to follow education, person with disabilities, older persons), using theatre as an alternative educational method that has to fulfil the purpose of making studying/education/going to school more attractive. One school I will be working in, A.P.I.A. has already an alternative educational system,  that I had seen applied and I would further like to read about and integrate it in my way of holding workshops, or teaching, too.
There is such a flux of new things, all the time, meeting new and variate people, like the people we meet at Rota Jovem, that were here for a training course regarding refugee integration, and were from different countries all over the world, sharing their stories and discussing solutions for their countries problems and not only.
We are constantly changing the spaces, the dynamics of our existence here, moving from schools to museums, to workshops, to concerts, to dancing, to chilling at home, talking about how should we apply what we have in our minds, filled with energy and with excitement and hope for positive change.
I am amazed and happy to be able to work in an environment in which to be different is not something to blame, in which values like equality of rights for all people disregarding sex religion nationality or race are being promoted and an environment that puts emphasis so much on literature and art. I have had 34774,3 ideas per hour while being in the places in which I am starting to work, now I just need to focus on few of them and make them happen.

I feel Lisbon is the place in which you can do, it has this sort of vibe that supports you in whatever you want. So, let`s!

quarta-feira, dezembro 06, 2017

An EVS as an experience for Nadejda's life!

Nadejda is 19 years old and she is from Bulgaria. As part of a gap year before starting her studies in the university, she decided to make the difference and start an EVS project in Portugal. From October she is working in ALEM, teaching French and sharing a lot about her culture. Keep reading to discover how the European Voluntary Service can change your life!

Here I am in Lisbon, the city that everyone dreams of. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say and I feel like I am part of a theatrical play. I learn, I grow and I fall in love with this place every everyday!

My EVS experience is just the most beautiful ending of the adventurous year of 2017. After 5 months of intensive travelling , dancing salsa, walking on the streets of Amsterdam, eating mamaliga and camping in the forest of Germany I could say that I got out from my comfort zone  many many  times. The people I met, the places I visited, the music I fell in love with, all of this was a life I never even dreamed on.

Portugal is the 6th country I visited since I turned 19. As I got on the plane and heard Portuguese speech for the first time in my life I knew this is going to be an experience for life. Before coming here I didn’t know anything about Lisbon  and I could only say hello in Portuguese but I knew that this was going to be the best part. Despite of  my full unknowledge about the place where I was going to spend the next 9 months of my  life I was introduced to the details of my project which was really inspiring from the moment I was selected to participate. I was lucky enough to be hosted by Rota Jovem who treats me more like a friend rather than just a volunteer. My mentor is the best and she is full of ideas about going to places I never heard of.
The voluntary work is about helping and about exchanging experiences, it is about learning about the others but also about yourself. Even with the fact that I still don’t know all the names of the people in the places I work I feel I will have amazing time working with them  and I hope they would be happy to work with me. I feel I am growing up every day. I love the moments when children laugh at my Portuguese pronunciation and their enthusiasm to teach me how to say the colours of their drawings and the shapes in them. I also love their interest about learning and the energy of the old people dancing. I think they all inspire me and make me feel like I took the best decision coming here.

Maybe  I am ‘’only 19’’ and  I don’t have any experience and maybe sometimes all I can say is <<Tudo bem>>. Maybe I have days in which I feel exhausted of working and long evening walks and  days I am totally confused because of the language barrier I faced but  I am glad I am here. I am glad I am working with this people,  I am glad I am living with my  crazy roommates which sometimes make too much noise but I still love them and I am glad my family has always given me the freedom to choose my own way. This 9 months for me would be a lot more than just a voluntary work, I already started rediscovering myself, I met a lot of people and I am receiving support from my organization.  I feel I also got more dedicated on the studies I am going to take next year. I really hope that the time would not pass that fast because I want to live every moment!