27 novembro 2016

O testemunho da Agata

A year ago, during my first month as an EVS volunteer at Spin, I was still getting used to my new life in Lisbon. Exploring the city, getting to know other volunteers and my flatmates, trying to communicate in Portuguese in shops, figuring out my new way of living and new habits. Even though Lisbon was my love at first sight, not everything was very easy at the beginning. Nevertheless, I knew that I had been given an amazing opportunity. I had a chance to spend 9 months in Lisbon, which was my dream and it would be an enormous waste not to use this time in the best possible way. Step by step, I was discovering what makes me happy, where and with whom I like to spend my time and quite soon I started to feel that I am exactly where I was supposed to be. At home. :)

The voluntary work at Spin allowed me to try new things, acquire new skills, meet even more people from all over the world, who were participating in youth exchanges and summer camps. When I got more responsibilities and had to help with organizing some of the Spin's activities, like Live it Lisbon! Summer Volunteer Camp or Make it Happen! Youth Exchange, it reminded me of what I used to be good at and it gave me an idea of what I would like to try as my career in the next few years. We'll see if it works out!
It also turned out that I really enjoy having many flatmates and now I know that when you find the right ones you can create a unique kind of community, not only spending great time together but also supporting each other and knowing when to give each other space. Now it would be very difficult for me to live alone again.

My EVS experience helped me to open up, meet many interesting, unforgettable people coming from different countries and different cultures and learn from them. It taught me that there are many ways of living your life and the biggest challenge is to step on the path that you feel is right for you, even if it doesn't match expectations and ideas of others. It was also a great chance to discover Portugal and I took it, however I still want to see more of it. :)

I saw that living abroad is not that scary and it gave me courage to look for some other opportunities outside of Poland. Right now I'm doing a traineeship in Barcelona and I keep my mind open for what may come next. My EVS was 9 months of intense, unintended and inevitable self-development, for which I am the most grateful. :) And I didn't give up, I'm still studying Portuguese! ;) Obrigada Spin, obrigada Lisboa! Até breve!

14 novembro 2016

Conhece o Eloy, o nosso voluntário chegado de Madrid.

Quase seis meses depois, aqui estamos nós, aqui vamos seguir.

Já passou quase metade da minha experiência SVE em Lisboa, com seus altos e baixos, suas idas e vindas, pessoas vão, as pessoas chegam... Eu não posso dizer que esta sendo chato, em seis meses eu não tive dois dias iguais.

No que diz respeito ao meu projeto, Vicentix (CAF São Vicente), não pode ser melhor. Os dois meses de trabalho que tínhamos no verão estamos dedicados a ir à praia, piscina, museus, eventos, peddypapers em diferentes partes da cidade de Lisboa ... nós estão agora a ser atropelado o curso e fazer avançar as várias actividades previstas, continuamos educar e aprender todos os dias com as crianças. Pela minha parte, estou retomando o curso de forma gradual, certas circunstâncias me impediram de iniciá-lo normalmente. Mas eu sou muito grato pelo apoio e compreensão da Spin, Joseph (meu coordenador na escola), colegas de trabalho e amigos. Com eles tudo é possível. Agora estou circulando próprios projetos para no início da escola.

Para tudo o resto ... é ainda melhor. Tenho amigos e colegas maravilhosos, estou começando projetos culturais, ajudando muitos outros, viajar, fazer música, conhecer pessoas de todo o mundo e milhares de outras coisas. Mas acima de tudo aprender, aprender muito.

Em suma, a experiência só confirma a minha paixão por esta cidade, e Portugal. Não sei quando, mas vemo-nos em breve!

02 novembro 2016

Nossa nova EVS: testemunho da Paola!

Sometimes the life chooses for us, and often it chooses suddenly. 
Everyone of us knows, at a certain point, when the change time is arriving, it is something that you feel, you don’t know how to explain to the others, and maybe you don’t know what you are looking for neither , but you know that you need it. I was looking for a change, I wanted to go to Spain, a country that I have always loved for its culture, language, food, I was planning everything  to move, and instead my change has been different, and it is named Lisbon.
We start a little bit before! My name is Paola, I’m 30 years old, and I come from Naples, one of the most beautiful cities of Italy, but I haven’t felt it as my home, for me “house” is another beauty city, Rome, where I have studied and worked for 11 years. There, I have found friends, I have experienced opportunities and every kind of situations that have changed me, but after all these years I was tired to do the same things every day, without enthusiasm, creativity, or no ideas to put in my job. I was literally alienated. 

I was unsatisfied and I didn’t know what to do for changing my life, and suddenly I have discovered an opportunity: the EVS project. 
It was no clear what it consisted in, but there was written two interesting things: Lisbon and sport, the last one, my huge passion. I thought: maybe it could be what I’m looking for, even though I thought to be “too old” for being take into consideration really, but in the past I had lost the opportunity to participate to the Erasmus project for several reasons, and now I didn’t want to lose another one.
I had almost forgotten my application form, when a day I have done an interview and  I have been selected to move in less of 10 days, and so, I have upset my previous life and my new house has become Lisbon, a city that I knew yet, because the last summer I was here on vacation, and my new job’s place has become Junta de Freguesia de Carnide, a dynamic place, in which is clear that everyone works with passion because they believe in what they do for the citizens, a place where there is always a space for my ideas.

I have to admit that the first days have been terrible, because I needed to find a house in few time and I have discovered soon that it is not so simple because of lot of people who search at the same time, but  for me it was necessary to find a comfortable place where to live in, I mean, Lisbon would become my home, and I wanted to stay in a good way.
Fortunately, I have been able to deal with this first obstacle, and I have found a cute house in Moscavide, where I live with a kind and untidy landlady who teaches me a lot of new “palavras” and way of doing by Portuguese people, and I have to say that I consider her my first friend here in Lisbon.
I like the neighborhood, because it is full of shops, and I feel as I stay in my old quarter; it is comfortable and there is everything that I need.
I have appreciated three things in this first month: the efficiency of public transportations, Lisbon’s atmosphere, and  I have met new people.
The first is one of my obsessions, I like taking metro or buses because it’s my favorite way to discover the city and new places that people often ignore, and in addition, it is rewarding when you pay for a service that works!
The second point is tough to explain, but Lisbon, for me, is a strange city, with a surreal atmosphere, where old and new are mixed, where some things are at the forefront, and others are remained motionless over the time, as if the change did fear. Sometimes, I feel as this equilibrium could break suddenly and to generate chaos, but it is just my impression, because here everyone and everything has a slowly rhythm, where the is no place for the anxiety. 

The last point is very important for me. I have met other volunteers as me, they come from several countries; I know them a little, because we don’t work at the same place and I have few opportunities  to see them, and I feel that they are so different than me, my habits, and way of doing, but I hope that we can spend more time together, I’m not sure that we will become friends, because for me my friends are irreplaceable, but I would like to  find someone with which to share this important experience, where it happens something of good or bad, where I think that I want to come back home, or when I fell alone or enthusiastic for this opportunity.
 I have met also people who work with me in Junta, and I have to say that they speak a terrible english, but at the same time they are so kind and I appreciate their efforts  for teaching me the Portuguese, that I can forget their English! I believe that to find good people to work with, it’s a good way to start a new life. In addition there is always music in the office, and I really love; every job’s place should have music all time.
Honestly, every day I ask to myself if I have done a good choice, if to leave everyone and everything it has been right for me, I have left an entire life that I have built with huge sacrifices and efforts. People say always that the changes are good, but I say that everything depends on our choices, our feeling, and what make us feel good. 

For now, I’m happy of my choice, I’m glad to live in a charmed city as Lisbon is; I’m here to challenge myself, because I had lost trust in myself, and now I feel that I have a new opportunity to prove who is Paola, most of all to myself. 
I’m here also because I want to understand what kind of person I may be, what I want to do in my future. I have always lived following my duties, and I have never heard my desires or necessities, because for me the others were more important the me, and now, for the first time I have done a choice only for me, for my well-being; I feel free. 
I have always had few certainties in my life, but what I know now is that I will learn Portuguese, I will live in Lisbon for one year, I will visit new cities, I will study, I will change myself a little bit more, and who loves me, they will support and stay by me.