28 maio 2019

O testemunho da Magda

There are thousand reasons to do EVS, and I do believe all of them are important. Each volunteer starts project with his own story. Questions about why now, why this country, why this project, why EVS are frequently heard questions. You may ask, why I left my dog, family and friends, stable job and cool apartment to start everything from the scratch in a foreign country? I have only one answer: Porque não? 

Now, after few years of dreaming, I'm writing to you from sunny Lisbon, a place where winter is only in your room, a place where you have to go out in order to get warmer. Lisbon - a city of thousands view points, from which every next sunset is more beautiful than the one yesterday. Yes, I could complain about countless amount of hills and stairs that are always on your way. Nothing is going to destroy the feeling of being in the right place in the right time, even the 76 stairs that I have to climb few times per day in order to reach my house. 

I could talk about Lisbon day and night, but EVS in not only about the place. If I should describe my typical day of work I would be in serious trouble, such day does not exist. I moved here 9 months ago and so far, each day was different.

Spin Association - my hosting organization, is a youth organization that promotes youth mobilities, share youth information and also develops their own international projects (both Erasmus+ and others). We also have first social hostel in Lisbon. 

My ESC is quite peculiar, in a nutshell, other volunteers are my work. By saying this I mean coordination of voluntary projects, ad hoc support of all volunteers, organization of social events for volunteers, preparation and development of European projects as well sharing youth information and support the hostel stuff. 

At first I thought beginning was intensive, later on I realized that time flies faster and faster and my days will never be as calm as they were during first few weeks. I arrived to Lisbon on Wednesday afternoon and already next day at 8 am I started to work. Few days later I've already delivered workshops for a group of 30 people from all over the world, became friend with Portuguese bureaucracy, worked in hostel, was a tour guide in the city, a chef, trainer and facilitator. Today, 9 months later I'm not able to name all the things I managed to do here.   

You may wonder how does it feel to meet a former trainer from a project who is now participant of your training? Or maybe you are curious about the feeling you might have, when after you design a game, the biggest pessimist discover his passion for games and becomes a running horse? How is it to know foreign country better than your hometown? Cooking pierogi for bunch of hungry people? Sewing clothes, creating seed bombs, eating million variations of bacalhao and pasteis [ps. there is also pastel de bacalhao]? All this and even more happened during my project. My bucket of memories is full of memorable moments, thanks to which piece of my heart will always be here, in the city of seven hills, on the coast of Tagus river.  

People say EVS is not a year of your life, it is whole life in one year. EVS is kaleidoscope of emotions and impressions. Majority of them cause big smile on your face. By doing voluntary service I wanted to have an adventure that will change my life. I'm not sure if my life has changed, but for sure Lisbon changed me and I admit, not all changes are scary :) My last task of this adventure is to say goodbye - to the project and volunteering, to Spin, to Lisbon and after all to the group of wonderful people, thanks to whom even the worst day could transform into the best day in a blink of an eye. 

Would I do EVS one more time If I had a chance? Absolutely yes! Would I chose Lisbon? OF COURSE! Even though my EVS has finished, I decided to stay here a little bit longer and continue SPINning the world, because WHY NOT?

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