30 junho 2018

O testemunho do Michał

 I was waiting with this one testemunho for a long time. I was looking for some special topic to write about... something interesting and usefull. Topic which will be more than empty informations, but some knowledge with possibilty to aply it. Well... I found it!!! Yeah! And I'm so proud now! Its so cool! I'm even angry that no one discover it for us (i mean Spin volounteers) before. Really! So.., generally I love Lisbon very very much. 

Its place with positive spirit, and if yout intentions are positive, energy of this place will support you to realize your wishes! But i found also few disadvantages of this city. Its overcrowdet city. You going to experience lot of pressure,  specially on the streets (traffic jams, ...), metro... Also you will miss dome physical movement (if you will not mannage some activity((For sure your mentor will help you with it)). And in the and money and nature. I need to tell it, because I found solution, how to deal with all of this problems by one easy hack! 

So: Lisbon became ideal place for my EVS project cause of my idea! I explore it just by chance, only 2 mounths before end of my project. Its an bicycle! I know, it sounds weird and dangerous. But actually, its not! Ita amazing instrument to explore Lisbon from completly diferent, and very alternative perspectiv! Its the fastest kind of transportation here! Imagine, my way from Anjos to Bairro padre Cruz taking 45min or one hour by metro and buses (depends on time you will wait for connections). On bicycle? 40 or 45 minutes! And surprisly this way is moreless flat! Ok, i have some experience with cycling. If you dont, better lets practice a bit before. Just to be shure youre able to show direction with your hand, and look behined you during riding. You will need it during passing thru the crowdy roads. And dont be afraid! Lisbon car drivers are afraid too, so theyre going so slowly and carefully. Plus they are waiting on traffic pughts all the time. In my philosophy, cyclers deserving some extra advantages (cause of ecological and safety reasons/ try to comber bicycle and car, you will understand me),,, so for me; you can using roads , but sidewalks as well! Yes, you should have access for more green lights than cars! And also you can passing under the red light signs, as same as walkers in Lisbon usually doing. But of course, dont lose your head because of this testemunho! Youll be always responsible for yourself! You will explore this possibilietes by your own. 

                                                       ( be cereful for the ants )

But lets continue. What If the police will see you doing somethink illegal? Its not a problem! They cannot catch you, because they dont have bicycles! Youre so privileged! Yes! You should feel like a pirate of the roads here! Its very important!  I dont want to describe you the way to Spin hostel. Even google will not show it to you. I explore it by my own, and it was exciting experience. I found so many interesting places! But as im kind, i will give you few advantages. 1st; never ever follow the bicycle ways! There like a traps! Of course On the way to Spin youll cross thru few, But its an only short parts of this cycloroads wich you can use. so dont forget to leave tham once, othervise youll spinning in circles, or youll desapear. 2nd advice its verry important. If youll loose yourself, you should ask someone for the way (by the way its nice way of practicing your porthugese). But when youre asking, please use only the simple terms! Simple such for example an benfica stadion. Everyone know where is it. Dont ask where is Bairro Padre Cruz! 

Porthugese people are so polite, thet they would answer to you even if they dont have an clue where is the place youre looking for! So it can happen that youll  jumping thru the Lisbon like a flubber for many hours. It sounds like an joke, but its not, and its very anoying! And money! Public transport card costs 37Euros per mounth. Of course, subways and buses are important part of culture, end not to experience tham its like not being here. But you will, for sure, for example couse of weather. But there is not bat wether for bike ride! When its too hot, wind of movement will cool you, and when its too cold, movement of your body will make you feel hot!... I just want to say, that if youre desparate, and youll decide to use bicycle for whole your EVS, youll save a lot of money. 370€ per 10 mounths! You can buy amazing bicycle for this money! If youll be patient,/ or lucky you can find bicycle even for 20€, and it will be better than one I had. I called it suicide bike, becouse it was falling apart during the way. Even my handels get loose during and I mostly died. But now I dont have this bike anymore. and im so sad! I experience so nice times on it. For example way near the cost to the Cascais is very nice.

28 junho 2018

SEED Journal

The first phase of the SEED - Sustainable Empowerment through Experiencing Diversity has come to an end. Read below a few words directly from the participants in the event!

June, 22nd:
This morning, we got up early because it was a bit noisy. We were tired because of the long way to Lisbon. We have breakfast together with the Portuguese and have taken together some things in the Hostel. We can`t get out alone, only in break we went out in the streets of Lisbon.

We liked the nature, the modest area. Everything was already the weather and many different things. Then we came back and ate for lunch (it consisted of: turbo soup, noodle with sauce, for dessert there was melon) then we did something together again; Rescheduled and some things explained then we are back out and were in a small supermarket. We liked it today. Now the others prepare the dinner while we write the diary. Today was cool and tomorrow will be even better and more beautiful. We wish us nice weather and good mood. :)

June, 23rd:
Today we woke up, took a shower and after that we dressed up. We had breakfast and then we made 5 groups which had to search for paper notes on which were written tasks. As we made all the tasks, the teachers collected the notes and read them out loud to everybody. Later we had a small exercise where there was one person in the middle and all the others had to split up and run away from him. After he catches somebody he needs to take his hand and then walk together with him to catch the remaining people. Then it was time for Lunch. We ate salada russa, it´s a Russian salad.

After lunch we made groups again and every group received an apple and an egg. The apple needed to be traded to something else that’s worth more and the egg should be returned cooked. The catch was that everything should be done outside the hostel, we asked strangers to trade with us and cook the egg for us. At 16:30 we met at the local school and went together to the Arraial Festival close by. Some people played soccer and some listened to the music. Then we returned to the hostel and everyone got asked how they feel and tell something about how the trip is going so far. Then it was dinner time, we ate chili con carne and baba ganoush. In the evening we watched the soccer match between Germany and Sweden.

June, 24th:
Dear Diary,
today we went to the Museu da Eletrecidade. We learned a lot about technology. It was interesting. 

After that we went to a park and had a picknick where we ate pastel de belém. It was very delicious. We had some free time and looked around the beautiful city and played games.

June, 25th:
Dear Diary,
today we had a workshop where we played games and spoke about cyberbullying. We learned that social media is a big place where bullying is happening. 

When lunch was finished we went to association “Bola p´ra frente”. There we upcycled trash to keychains and watched videos about 5 min. hacks. Then we went home.

Later, we will have German intercultural night.

19 junho 2018

My first two weeks as EVS volunteer in Lisbon

You know this feeling that you are lost and no doors open in front of you. Well, I was in this situation just after my final exams in France, I didn’t know what I wanted to do: take a gap year ok, but what to do during this free time? I applied for an EVS volunteering because I wanted to go abroad, to be part of a concrete project and to learn more about others and myself. I’m just 20 years old so I need this kind of experience which allows you to evolve. I remember I was with friends when I received a mail from Spin telling me I was choose for this EVS volunteering, and I screamed because I was so happy. I know I’m very lucky to have been chosen.

I arrived in Lisbon two weeks later. Two of my flatmates came to pick me up at the airport the 1st of June. I had just put down my suitcases as we went out to the streets to party. In fact, I arrived at the right time because it’s Santos Populares now, the biggest celebration in Lisbon. During all the month of June, every night it’s party in all Lisbon. This situation permitted me to discover a Lisbon very festive, colourful, with a smell of sardines in all the streets. Yes, sardines, but do not stop at the visual, it’s very good with bread. This festive environment allowed me also to meet other volunteers of my EVS project. I met wonderful people from so many different countries. We all speak in English but it’s very interesting to discover the culture of everyone, to share our own life experiences.

My roommate was also a big support for me during the two last weeks to discover the city and surroundings. Lisbon is a city where you can try a lot of things whether in terms of sports, museums, concerts, beautiful beaches. I have already tried kick-boxing, surf, yoga, zouk dance. Yes, I love to try a lot of things 😊 And for me, discovering a culture is first and foremost about cooking. I’m French but I agree to say that Lisbon is excellent for its pastries. My goal is to try almost every specialities, it makes really a lot but I have 9 months !!

I began to work in Vicentix one week after my arrival. It’s a recreation center after school. I was impressed because they do so various activities with kids. Not only sports, but also cooking, coding, activities with the elderly. I felt immediately at ease in this environment, surrounded by young children full of energy and joy. I need to improve my portuguese to be able to talk with children, so this experience permits me to improve two languages in the same time!

I feel the 9 next months will be very intense, whether in Vicentix or in my everyday life. When I arrived, the weather was a bit too much windy and cold but now the sun is pointing the tip of his nose. I continue to discover this city so alive, where people are of an incredible sweetness (like pastries 😉).  I know this is just the beginning of my adventure but after these two crazy weeks, I know I will go out transformed from this experience.

16 junho 2018

Maio em creche Crescer a Cores

Como a minha colega voluntaria jà me tinha anunciado, voltar da formação A' Chegada à rotina diaria não foi facil. O SVE nem sempre è "navegar em aguas calmas", màs acho ùtil que assim não seja e que eu possa dar a minha contribuição contando a minha experiência.
E' verdade que è necessaria muita flexibilidade mental sobretudo, màs as vezes tambèm fìsica; o conselho que gostaria de dar aos que queram começar esta aventura è ler com atenção os documentos que os voluntarios recebem antes da partida, os quais podem ser um meio e ferramenta para o apoio e a clareza na relação entre assinatarios, ou seja os tutores das Organizações de envio, de coordenação e de acolhida.

Na mitade de maio tive a oportunidade de participar em uma reunião com os pais e ad educadoras. Estas oportunidades me fazem sentir parte integrante da organização. No fim de semana participei e ajudei na lògistica da festa do "Dia do Vizinho", uma festa para a melhoria da convivência num bairro desafiante como pode ser um bairro social. Aconteceu um festival de sopas em que cada predio levou a propria sopa para os vizinhos experimentarem, junto com bifanas, arroz doce, sobremesas tipicas caboverdianos, sangria e bolo. Houve tambèm cantos populares alentejanos e brincadeiras para as crianças.
Sempre no mês de maio organizamos nos locais da creche o terceiro e ùltimo encontro do roteiro "Historia por Aì" ao qual participaram tambèm pais e educadoras. Pudimos ler os nossos contos, nas nossas linguas, e ouvir as historias dos outros.

Alèm disso, acolhimos os voluntarios de uma das instituições de crèdito padrinhas da creche, os quais pintaram a fresco as paredes da creche e com os quais partilhamos um churrasco e sobremesas.
O mesmo dia alguns deles nos acompanharam junto com a minha tutora, as psicòlogas da associação e a minha colega voluntaria na operação "Bom dia vizinho". A acção consistiu em colar nas portas dos predios do bairro inteiro o logo da atividade para desejar a todos um bom dia e promover a boa convivência.
As crianças do jardim da infância do bairro ja tinham desenvolvido atividades similares, aprenderam desde logo a cumprimentar os vizinhos.

Junho serà um mês interesante por causa das festas populares de Lisboa e grande e pequenos eventos vão acontecer...


12 junho 2018

O testemunho da Kateřina

Even though in the time of writing this testimony I still have two more months to go, it already makes me feel nostalgic. My experience in Spin was so far simply great. I am mentioning the word “simply” on purpose. To be honest, it is not that easy to describe my whole world here. In these 7 months, there were (and still are) unforgettable things happening almost everyday, I have experienced many things for the first time, I fell madly in love with Lisbon, I am surrounded by inspiring people which of course are making at least half of this whole experience and then Spin, our office, our team, our hostel and our neighborhood of Bairro Padre Cruz. 

Right now the biggest part of my EVS life is dedicated to my personal project. I have decided to write 2 Erasmus+ proposals with my colleague Maria, another EVS volunteer. The first one is a Youth Exchange on the topic of municipal waste which will be applied back in the Czech Republic and the second one is a Training Course about non-violent communication which will take place in Cyprus. I have to admit it is not always an enjoyable fun thing to do, we have spent many hours sitting, writing, brainstorming, being depressed, being excited and luckily being inspired as well. Even though we have written many pages already, there are many pages left. We are coming with new ideas every day, we are really trying to make it as good as possible. We really care about these two projects and we even call them our babies. :D Soo wish us luck with applying! And in 2 months, see you at my final EVS report!

07 junho 2018

O testemunho da Maria

So how is EVS life when the excitement of the beginning has passed and the sentimentality of the end still hasn’t kicked in? Pretty awesome! 

Further away from the awkwardness of the beginning, I feel that I’m part of the city, I started recognizing people in the street, I know which shop sells the most fresh fruit, I know what’s the fastest route to reach a place, I know that it’s a bad idea to take the tram 28 if you don’t want to suffocate and most importantly, I stopped identifying with the visitors of the city. 

I have seen different faces of Portugal: cities in the north,  overrated villages and underrated towns, sunny parks and cloudy beaches.  

The same goes for my volunteering in Spin. I feel comfortable to work and take initiatives, cooperate with everyone and undertake different tasks. And by different I mean very different. From choosing the participants for our international volunteering project, to publishing on social media, answering to emails, cooking for a hundred people, attend meetings in junta, promote EVS in info sessions, taking care of Spin’s hostel, experimenting with writing a youth exchange and why not… taking photos with the president of the country! 

Seeing so many different sides of a country, a city, of your work, it gives you a great feeling belonging in this reality, as if you had been doing this your whole life. It just feels right. Suddenly, what was at the borders of your comfort zone, now feels as comfortable as a couch with a blanket on a winter day! And it’s the moment when you realise that moving on after this, is way more challenging than it was to start it.
Yea… sentimentality started kicking in.