16 fevereiro 2015

First days of EVS in Lisbon (Tom Green).

On January 24th 2015 I arrived in Lisbon to start my journey as a new EVS volunteer at Associação Spin. My project commenced properly on February 9th, but my early arrival allowed me to take some time to familiarise myself with my new surroundings before the project started. I instantly noticed the contrasts between my home country of Wales , and my new home that was now Lisbon. I had left my home in its winter state, murky skies and short cold days. Lisbon seemed so different. I didn’t feel like I had travelled only 2h30m on a short EasyJet flight from my local airport of Liverpool. I saw the bright blue skies and was instantly jolted with the nostalgic thought that summer was on the way.
Lisbon so far has been extremely welcoming. I have done many travels in the past, but the folk of Lisbon are so easy to warm to. Since my arrival I have been treated to some of the local culinary delights that Lisbon has to offer. Whether it is a little Bifana from a street cafe or perhaps some homemade Bacalhau, the city has something to offer any taste. Arriving in a new city and country made me realise what I take for granted when I’m at home, simple things like setting up a mobile phone, finding the metro station I need for work and learning the language are some of the challenges that have arisen.

The first day of my placement was a fun greeting session. We met with all the volunteers that are being coordinated by Spin at the office in Bairro Padre Cruz, on the very edge of Lisbon. It was an enjoyable day, with a full explanation of Spin´s origins, current programs and what the future holds. During the lunch hour we all sat outside and ate together in the sunshine. I have always enjoyed meeting people from all over Europe, so this was a great occasion for that. During my first few days at Spin, I was shown around the complex. This gave an insight into the different departments of the organization, from the office, the hostel and our partners. A meeting was conducted which showed us how the tasks where dictated each day, and how we are supposed to log down our progress. The first tasks included familiarising ourselves with the systems in place at Spin, also creating an email account specifically for the job. One of my first tasks was an English language check-over of a recipe book created by a former international exchange held by Spin. It was interesting to read the dishes and find out more about European tastes. I already have some tasks laid out for the coming days at Spin, including a session organized with the local community to converse in English with them. Spin is involved in some exciting projects, and it feels great to be apart of this for the next 9 months. I’m looking forward to my time in Lisbon, and the learn more about what it’s like to be apart of a NGO like Spin. Adeus!

Tom Green

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