17 junho 2021

O testemunho No. 3 da Veronica (Junta de Fregusia do Lumiar)

Hey folks! Well.. What can I say... my volunteering is finished. No way. So sad.

If I could rewind everything, I would love to live this amazing experience one more time. 

I feel so grateful and happy about my ESC year. I haven’t been really lucky with the timing: two weeks after I arrived, the covid pandemic started. But anyway, despite this situation, I feel that I am one of those few people who can say that the year 2020 has been amazing. I have met extraordinary people, very good friends with whom I have lived my everyday life in the city, the travels and many adventures in Portugal. 

This year has run so fast. I swear, it seems yesterday when I arrived at the airport and Tavi picked me up and bring me to Casa Bernardim where Ana, gave me a super warm welcome in the house preparing a party for the new volunteers. I remember that could barely have an English conversation, but the environment and the people were so great, that after some time and a bit of patience I managed to break the language barrier. 

I’m so glad of having had this experience, it was something that I really wanted to do and, since the first day, I understood that it was the right choice. If I look at myself, I realize some of my flaws and some good qualities that before I didn’t know I had. I realised that I don’t like when people feel sorry for themselves, whine, look for excuses, blame others and never do any change. You cannot expect different life, mood, emotions, if you are not willing to change anything within yourself.

In these months I had the chance to get to know many different people, with different backgrounds and stories. For me it’s really surprising to see how so different kind of people can have so many things in common. This stimulating environment leaded me to approach many aspects of life from another point of view and gave me the chance to share and compare me and people from different cultures. I really have to thank all the people that I have met, especially some friends that I’m not afraid to call Family here in Lisbon. 

Thanks also to my colleague of Quinta dos Frades, that welcomed me super well. I had a great time with them. I jus would have liked to spend more time with them and learn more about their beautiful job.  Unfortunately this pandemic didn’t help. Anyway, I’m very glad for the time spent with them, because thanks to it I re-discovered the beauty of being so alive, simple, creative, and so reach of imagination like only kids can be. And it could sound like a cliché, but I think that this is the best way of living the life.

And finally, thank you Lisbon, for all the colors, for the greenness of your parks in the city centre, for all the miradouros, where I enjoyed almost 365 sunsets. Thank you for the super bock (or maybe not?), for the music in the street, for the art in every corner around the streets, for the people full of life despite this difficult and strange global moment. 

Last but not the least, thanks to myself, that I finally took courage to leave everything and come here to live such a great experience.

I still cannot figure which path I will take next, but one thing I know for sure.. This experience hasn’t been just a bracket in my life. I really would like to live other experiences abroad like this one. 

My final comment for all the ones that are thinking about doing this experience..? 

Hey you! Just do an ESC. Leave your hometown, your family and your friends and go abroad. Better if Lisbon. One of the best things about being part of the European Union, is having the possibility to participate to an Erasmus+ project, whatever it is. 

I’m convinced that everybody should take advantage of it and living this experience, at least once in life. Why? 

Because life is so short and the world is so big, and you have already spent 25 years living in the same place. Aren’t you tired? 

Just go!! 

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