16 setembro 2022

Testemunho do Mauro - França, Projeto ''Have Less, Live More''


''A minha experiência aqui tem sido incrível, acima das expectativas. Basicamente o local onde me encontro é um camping com imenso espaço e tem alguns animais (burros, poneys, galinhas, porcos e cães).

A ideia geral é sustentabilidade ambiental, onde tentamos consumir o mínimo possível de recursos (sem ser alimentação claro, mas dieta maioritariamente ou no meu caso 100% vegetariana, porque assim decidi), e a máxima reutilização possível de desperdícios, daí o nome Have less, live more.


A primeira semana foi de habituação e conhecimento do espaço, pessoas e hábitos da comunidade bem como preparação de certas coisas para a receção de um Youth Exchange. Também comecei a tratar da manutenção dos animais especificamente dos burros e dos póneis, que acabei por ficar responsável durante 4 semanas.



A segunda e terceira semana foi para trabalhar na organização da Youth Exchange, desde fazer almoços e jantares, limpezas de manutenção do espaço e participação em certas atividades nos tempos livres.

A quarta semana foi para descansar basicamente. E na quinta voltamos à nossa rotina pré-Youth Exchange.


Esta semana mudei de projeto, por assim dizer, e juntei-me à equipa de produção de cogumelos a partir de borras de café colhidas nos cafés de Carcassone.

Tive de mudar as minhas malas para o apartamento que a associação tem na cidade de Carcassone para ficar mais perto dos pontos de recolha do café. E venho ao camping de 3 em 3 dias para monitorizar os cogumelos em crescimento numa sala "especial".


Para já está tudo a correr bem, estou super motivado e espero que assim continue. Também só me restam mais 3 semanas.

Espero que esteja tudo bem por aí.

Beijinhos
Mauro Soares''

15 setembro 2022

Testemunho do Pedro - Itália, Projeto (M.A.R.E.)

 

''Olá! Por aqui está tudo bem!





Durante o mês de Agosto estive a fazer monitorização de ninhos de tartaruga como já tinha feito em Junho. Tem como base de trabalho acordar cedo, 5h, e depois percorrer praias selecionadas.


Termina-se por volta das 8h. Ao mesmo tempo e durante 2 semanas em Cilento também fiz monitorização dos ninhos que identificámos. Ou seja, estarmos sempre presentes, após 52 dias após a descoberta do ninho porque a eclosão dos ovos pode dar-se a qualquer momento.


24h de supervisão continua feita por turnos. Tive a felicidade de ver uma tartaruga adulta a depor os ovos e de assistir às tartarugas bebés desse mesmo ninho a surgirem como pipocas na areia. Experiência incrível que nunca mais me esquecerei.


Vi à volta de 100 tartarugas bebés 😍 o desafio de Cilento está em dormir em tendas na praia e gerir as poucas horas de sono, mas a experiência e felicidade superam o cansaço acumulado. Região que deixará saudade e que já se sente à medida que vejo os meus amigos a partilharem histórias enquanto lá estão. 


O trabalho em Ieranto (zona amarela da A.M.P.) está quase a terminar o que é uma pena, porque é definitivamente um dos locais de trabalho mais bonitos aqui na península sorrentina. Isolado de tudo e apenas acessível através de um trilho ou por barco. No entanto estamos lá nós a fazer a monitorização de quem tenta entrar, porque só são permitidos nem 30 barcos dentro da baia. O info point é mais um dos locais onde posso melhorar o meu italiano, que diria que atingiu até agora um nível em que posso ter uma conversa sem muitos problemas.

Fiz também trabalho de comunicação e educação com crianças dos 6 aos 12 anos na Marina de Puolo onde fazemos snorkeling para ver as espécies locais (forma, cor e dimensão). O desafio seguinte que lhes propomos é o de descobrir a espécie(s) em livros e desenhar enquanto falamos com eles.


Da última vez mostraram-se interessados em saber algumas palavras portuguesas! Não tenho tido muito a oportunidade de trabalhar ultimamente no Campo Boe, porque o gommone (barco) não está operacional, mas trabalhar com as pessoas do parque lá é muito enriquecedor.


Campo Boe é um trato marinho onde foram introduzidas 35 bóias onde os barcos podem vir e usá-las pagando um determinado preço, evitando assim ancorar e destruir a Posidonia Oceanica (planta subaquática mediterrânea importantíssima).


Esta terça (6/09) iniciamos uma parceria nova com um projeto de arqueologia durante 2 semanas. Trata-se de retirar e escavar o local para perceber no futuro o que era e como estava contruído. Fazemos isto em Crapolla. Muito interessante do ponto visto histórico, mas esgotante.


Foi a noite onde dormi mais horas, penso eu ahaha Tive também a oportunidade de ser orador numa conferência sobre lixo marinho onde apresentei o trabalho que fazemos numa breve apresentação em italiano para diversas entidades! Muito bom e desafiador!

Já tive a oportunidade de visitar Nápoles com amigos daqui e com amigos que vieram de Portugal. Visitei também Roma durante 2 dias com um amigo da Universidade de Aveiro e este domingo fui a Pompeia. Sítios maravilhosos. Para a semana os meus pais e irmã vêm passar férias durante uma semana e tenho essa semana livre para estar com eles. Vai ser muito bom! Ando em preparações para proporcionar umas boas férias. 

Estou a gostar muito de aqui estar, não tenho nada a apontar. Vivemos sempre 2 dias num só. Não esperava menos de um projeto destes onde pessoas vêm e vão a cada semana. Estamos a meio do projeto, passa a voar.

Beijinhos e abraços,
Pedro''

O testemunho final da Teele (Spin)


Hi blog,





I’m finally back. Here goes my humble effort of trying to somehow summarize the past 10 months of my life. Where do I start? 

I have been back in Estonia for a month now. Estonia – the land of dearly missed black bread and saunas, not to mention the only country where people can pronounce my name. But I’m here to talk about Portugal, the land of Tosta Mista and WRC bus drivers. During my first weeks in Lisbon, I remember saying that nine months are probably not going to be enough for me. It stayed true until the end so I extended my project for one extra month.  

Some things remained the same throughout the 10 months. I still didn't get used to:
1. the 77-step staircase in front of my apartment, 
2. needing to always have cash,  
3. wearing shoes inside houses,  
4. people saying “how are you?” as a greeting, 
5. peacocks in parks (still crazy). 
Other things have changed. I’m drinking espressos now. And I think my life has a bit more color – I mean it in a metaphoric way but also quite literally. As my fellow Estonian volunteer put it: “Teele, you’re not white as hell anymore.” I felt good about her comment until I got home and it was pointed out that I’m still the whitest one in my family. In addition to that, the inside of my closet has also slowly turned from black-white-gray to slightly happier tones.  Aside from color, something else I gained was independence and confidence. I had lived on my own before, but never in a foreign country. After experiencing that it really is possible to pack your life in a suitcase and move to another country, I have more confidence to do it in the future as well. And Lisbon, being warm and accepting, was a great city to start with.


My work in Spin ended up being quite versatile. The main tasks were office-related, but once in a while we had some bigger happenings like welcoming new volunteers and  making lunches/dinners. I also got to develop my photography and video-making skills and in a few cases when Liza was absent, I took over social media. Another cool task was helping to choose new volunteers and reading through all the applications. 

Furthermore, Spin hosted two big projects during my time, one Erasmus+ training course and one youth exchange. In both projects, I had the opportunity to assist the facilitator. However, my all-time favorite task has to be “take the interns surfing”. Sure enough, I rented a board on my own and joined them on the waves.

When I wasn’t working, I was probably dancing. I took full advantage of my dance studio, going five times a week for 1-3 hours and falling in love with styles I’ve never danced before. I had the funniest-dorkiest popping teacher, the kindest, smiliest house teacher, the most physically challenging contemporary teacher and just simply the greatest locking teacher, to name a few. Over time I became friends with other dance maniacs and a small supporting dance circle was formed. To end the season, we had performances in a theater and I could finally quench my thirst for performing again. 


When I wasn’t working or dancing, I was out with my friends. One thing I didn’t know to expect was this big volunteer community we had. Because Spin is also coordinating many volunteers to other organizations, we would naturally meet and become good friends. And this time it was an incredibly cool mix of cultures. Not only did we have the Spanish, Italian and French people that you would expect, we also had volunteers from Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and the UK. Add my Brazilian flatmates, Portuguese co-workers and German friends from dance to this equation and you get a full multicultural package. I’m really lucky to have had such kind people around me, always taking good care of me and also teaching me how to be better. 



Seems like I got the full package in general. I’ve been feeling high meeting a lot of people, seeing dolphins in the ocean, driving through clouds in Madeira, swimming under waterfalls and just happily walking the sunset-coloured streets of Lisbon. It got to taste foods like clams, octopus, squid, snails, chestnuts, papaya, passion fruit and dragon fruit. Once, being close to the Spanish border, we made an unplanned 10-minute visit to Spain and were immediately greeted by a herd of wild horses. It was my first time in Spain. Other “firsts include: Halloween party, Carnival and Santos Populares celebrations, spending a night in an airport and taking part in a demonstration (for Ukraine). To think about it, it was also my first time waking up in order to see the sunrise, because usually seeing the sunrise just happens when I haven’t gone to sleep yet. Some other weirdly unexpected things include learning how to juggle, play mahjong and make good tomato soup. The list could go on.

But what’s good without any bad. Remember Covid? We’ve had all sorts of Covid-related situations. One time I had to stay in quarantine, because not only one, but three of my flatmates were positive. I managed to stay clear this time, but two months later I caught an ambulance ride to a hospital because I had just had the worst night ever and suspected I might have a concussion (a longer story). Turned out it was good old Covid-19. One Friday night on the crowded streets of Bairro Alto, I had my phone with all my bank- and transportation cards stolen. I went back to living without mobile data and GPS for three weeks. And if you know me, I’m terrible with navigation. To top it all off, a near falling to death experience in Gerês. Do take signs that read “zone of death accidents” seriously.

And of course, when you get to the middle end of your project, you have the heartbreak of your friends leaving one by one. I knew I was sentimental, but it reached a new level. When it was my own turn to leave, I was trying to come to terms with it for almost two months. Some people asked why I was not staying, but since most of my friends were leaving, I felt like this chapter was ending anyway and I should leave too. It didn’t save me any tears though, because it was the best chapter I’ve ever had.

 


Wow, congratulations, you’re among the 35% who made it through this essay! Thank you for taking the time. See you in other adventures. ♡


































01 setembro 2022

O testemunho final do Ertuğrul (SPEAK)

 O TEMPO VOA

Yes, my friends, time flies. I still remember the first days of my arrival. Getting used to the city, to the people, my project etc. Now I feel like I am the oldest, most experienced. Most of the people left the city already. Already missed some of them. People come and go, memories stay. I got a bit nostalgic right now. I was looking at the photos. Many people, many faces, many smiles, many places. Like I told you before, many of them left already but I stayed with some of them. 

After my second testimony, let me tell you what happened, Me and my colleagues went to the Porto for Sao Jorge event. We had a really amazing party there. City was really beautiful even though I could see the city but no worries I will see it later. Everyone had a plastic hammer hitting each other's head and making these annoying sounds. I felt like people would get angry but everyone was cool about it. We had a really long party outside. Went to some concerts and after that we watched a firework show. Later we went to a club and they were playing Turkish music which I really liked. Later in Porto we went to the Douro region. We had a really good time there. Our Airbnb was amazing. We had a really nice dinner. Went for a Porto tasting. I really liked some of them. It was a really nice trip, I really enjoyed every second of it. 

About my project I was leading an English Conversational session and I finished it. It was really good. I had 5 participants from different countries. I am also still hosting weekly events in Almada. In summer our project is more chill. I had good numbers in Almada. Opened 4 groups and led many events, and Since it is summer we enjoy most of our time at the beach. I also learned how to swim in Portugal. I really like swimming and staying inside the water, Later some of my colleagues left and also most of my volunteer friends left already. We had goodbye parties and a lot of emotions. I will really miss them but I am also sure that I will see them in the future. They are all amazing people and I feel really lucky to have friends like them. 


So about me, I celebrated my birthday almost 10 days ago. Since many people left we couldn’t have a big party but still some of my friends joined and also many people wished me happy birthday. So It was a really nice birthday. Usually I am not used to celebrating it, I will continue staying in Portugal. It will be challenging but let's see, I still can’t believe I finished this amazing story. In this period I would like to thank everyone that I met. I never had a bad experience and everyone was amazing to me. I felt so lucky. I was looking at the photos to put it here but can’t decide what to choose. I have many, countless memories with many special people. I could put 100 photos if I had the chance.
Anyways this time i don’t want to say goodbye. I want to say thank you, Thank you for being with me in my story in Portugal


O testemunho No. 2 do Ertuğrul (SPEAK)

ESTAR ATRASADO



I don't know where to start writing this testimony, I should have written it a long time ago. I know I know sorry Amr. I will act like I didn’t finish my project and we will all act like this is my second testimony in the middle of my project. Right now I am in my room. Time already passed midnight, I opened some nice hopeful music from YouTube, lay down on my bed and started thinking, went back some months. As you can see, I still don’t know where to start. I think I started learning that some things are better when you do it on time, when they are still hot in your memories, but It was impossible to write this testimony back in that time because It was too hot to write so I had to wait some time for it to be get colder to write it  but I forgot something. I forgot that  time flies. With my flatmates we had a great trip to the Algarve region, the place called Lagos. It was a bit of a short but really nice trip. I really like the surroundings and our time there. 

With my project we had a weekend event in Almada. It was in the Hotel. I met with my colleagues and many people from different backgrounds. I felt closer to my organization and also made really good friendships. We had really good activities, parties, small talks and many more things. This was one of the breaking points for me. After this weekend, I became really close friends with my supervisor and currently one of my closest friends in Lisbon Ricardo. I also met three really nice Dutch interns. With all of them we had many countless memories.

After some months, we had some goodbyes and welcomes in our flat. Two of my flatmates left and now we have two new boys in our flat and we also became good friends after some time. Me and my other two flatmates went for arrival training in Viseu. It was really good, I met really cool and good people. Also I got to know Viseu a bit. I like the city actually even though It was small. In the arrival training we met with people from many countries but mostly European. We had some good activities there and also ate really good food, partied a bit, learned more about ESC, youthpass and other European projects for young people like us. It was really useful training for me and I think for all of us. After I came back from the project I had a covid and stayed alone in quarantine for almost 8 days. It was really boring since my room is not the best room and I had some headache but luckily my flatmates took care of me. Especially Amr and Lisa fed me really well, it was a bit of vacation from cooking haha. Special thanks to them. About my project, one of the people that I work with changed her job and I have a new colleague that I work with ( like supervisor but not supervisor). Now it is much more challenging for me but still good. I am hosting more events in Almada. Now I am doing weekly events in Almada as a CEO of the city.

Also it was a crazy month to be honest because In the city it was a month of big parties. In Portugal they call it Santos Populares, city is now looking like a big club. Everywhere there are big parties, people sing, dance, get drunk and eat sardines( everywhere smells like a fish). I am more like a bifana person. I don’t remember how much I drank at these street parties and I don’t remember how many times I partied and got drunk. I am really feeling this amazing festival mood around the city and makes Lisbon even better. 


O testemunho final da Silvia (Bola p'ra frente)

 Olá malta! Here is Silvia from Italy!

The word that sounds more in my head in the last weeks is: GRATEFUL.

I am grateful for what I have learned, for the person I am, for all the experiences I made, for all the people I have met and all the discoveries made. Everything will always stay with me, because now I see a completely new version of myself, more mature, more determined, more self-confident, more open-minded and more tolerant. Now I see that all the difficult moments I faced this year were worth it, because I have learned and grown a lot through them and now I am feeling really satisfied with all the experience that Lisbon has been for me. I know that I lived it to the fullest and I did my best both in my volunteering and in my personal life and path. I look at these streets and I know them and they know me.. I am feeling at home, I am feeling in a place where I am comfortable. There is a mixture of known and unknown that surrounds me everyday, and it gives me the comfort of being home, but at the same time the curiosity to discover more.. Until the very last day I never stopped discovering new corners of the city.

Actually, every month of this year was a new discovery. These past 9 months passed so quickly that it seemed like a glimpse of an eye, but, at the same time, they left me with so many emotions, connections, memories and life experiences that it seems more like years have passed. There have been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of beautiful moments,  a lot of moments where I felt lost and in confusion, but I am so glad for everything and everyone... Everyone left me something, teaching me to see things in different ways.

I have learned so much about myself and I will always remember this year as a changing point from the 'old version' to a completely new and grown version of myself. I've learned to leave behind old habits and ways of seeing the world and learned more about tolerance, compassion, taking care and loving. I look back to everything I managed to do, to create, to realize and to overcome in my life, both professionally and personally and I am really proud and glad for every single moment.
In the Association I managed to create different activities and to help in the organization of different projects, both from other associations and other collegues. I was thinking, creating and carrying on every week one or two english games, using the tools of non-formal education, helping them to understand how to learn a new language in a funny and relaxed way. Besides, in May I started some reading sessions of ‘O principezinho’ to think and talk with them about topics such as love, friendship, emotions and respect. Moreover, I helped in the organization of the event ‘Living Library’, aimed to overcome some prejudices and discriminations, for example we talked with our guests about depression, homosexuality, neighborhood stigmas, the war from a Russian point of view, veganism, etc.. In this event I contacted some of the guests, I dealt with them during the day, I helped with some translations and I have been the reference point for both guests and youngsters. Finally, I did an afternoon of cooking lesson to prepare an italian dinner with all of them, in a way to say goodbye to everyone.

In my personal life: I made a lot of new friends and created connections all over the world; I traveled around Portugal visiting new and old places (Porto, Mafra, Lagos, Madeira, Aveiro, Viseu, Ericeira, Sesimbra); I made new experiences, such as partecipating in dance and music events; I discovered and learned how to respect new cultures, such as Arabic or Orthodox culture; I have learned words and sentences in different languages, like Estonian, Turkish, Russian, Moroccan; I expanded my music culture with songs from different countries. Lastly, I have learned to enjoy every single moment with every single person, because it’s not forever: I had to say a lot of bye byes especially in the last 2 months. 

Even if this is the end of this experience and the last weeks in Lisbon has been full of bye byes and last moments, I want to remember that these past 9 months gave me also a lot of first times. For example: first time sharing a room, first time working with kids abroad and in another language, first time teaching English to kids, first time sharing an apartment with people from 6 different nationalities, first time facing a serious illness for months (on my own, in a foreign country), first time living in a big city, first time taking the metro every day, first time listening to some languages (estonian, basque, ukranian, georgian etc.), and so on... All of these new experiences showed me the world from another perspective: I will never be the same Silvia, now my horizons have widened.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know that this experience changed me a lot and, facing some wonderful and some difficult moments, made me stronger and more self-confident. As I read in a book: life doesn’t get easier, it’s about you becoming stronger and more powerful, so this experience will be a teaching and inspiration for everything that is going to arrive for me in the future and now I know that I am more than ready to start a new chapter, wherever it’s going to be. I wish all of you the best and I thank again everyone that made this experience incredible and life-changing!






Beijinhos,
 
Silvia.

17 agosto 2022

O testemunho final da Ida (CML)

 

Until next time, Lisbon!



My volunteering project here has been an experience of many highs and lows, but as a result I now feel stronger as a person. The months that I spent at the Lisbon City Council were full of new people, new realities, very many mistakes in Portuguese, a lot of learning, cultural exchange and many cups of coffee drank on the street with pasteis de nata on the side. 

The work at the City Council included mostly meetings with different municipal services and charitable associations. Unfortunately, because of Covid surges some activities had to be cancelled, but I still managed to have many highlights. One of the main highlights during my experience was getting to know the pedagogical farm of Olivais, where I spent a day with children, who were either learning to make traditional Portuguese pastries or learning about different animals, fruit trees or composting. Afterwards, I also spent some days working at the organic garden, learning about edible plants, cultivation and maintenance.

I am glad to say that I was able to improve my Portuguese a lot with the help of my colleagues at the City Council. They were extremely patient with my mistakes and taught me many expressions. I have gained a lot of confidence in my speaking and listening, so, to conclude, thank you Spin and Câmara Municipal de Lisboa for this amazing experience!