Thursday, 31 January 2019
IT'S GONNA BE OK
My project began in November 2018. Having overcome more than 4000 km, I arrived to a country where I had never been before. The city of Ourense, where I still live, welcomed me with rain, which is not surprising for Galicia. However, my Spanish colleagues warmly greeted me. Cindy, Susana and her car helped me with my heavy suitcase full of clothes and Russian cakes, to get to my new home. The first song I heard in the car (and indeed in Spain) was the popular "It's gonna be OK", which once again set a good vibe for what future would bring.
Then weekdays began when it was necessary to gather documents, get acquainted with the city, get used to the new place of residence and work. The activities of my organization are related to the protection of the environment, and I have to help with its projects. There are three more foreign volunteers participating in it with me. Having only had time to adapt to the new environment, I began to prepare for the educational training organized for newcomers in the country as I was.
About 30 people from all over Europe, but temporarily involved in projects in Spain, gathered in a medieval castle. Our training was based on the principles of non-formal education. The lessons were not boring, instead they were useful and instructive. Even getting to know the participants was organized unusually: we presented ourselves to the group, telling not only our name, but also the story of our name's origin. And all of that happened while having a tour around our castle.
A busy week full of trainings gave us more insight into life in Spain and Europe, local culture, volunteering, the Erasmus program and the conditions of our projects. A nice bonus at the end of the training was a tour around the incredibly beautiful city of Toledo, where the formation was held, but could not enjoy enough because of the eventful schedule. During this time we have met people from different countries and we are now visiting each other, discovering different parts of Spain.
Having collected a lot of useful information, exchanged experience with our peers, we departed for our cities. In addition to work, I began attending Spanish courses and exploring local attractions. I especially want to mention the unique thermal baths in the open air, famous for their healing and relaxing properties, with water coming directly from the ground.
We continued to work in the organization, attending events and organizing our own, working in the office and in the vegetable garden. The city, meanwhile, has transformed in anticipation for Christmas and New Year holidays. I no longer heard the song I spoke about at the beginning, but everything was OK and the positive vibe has not disappeared until now.