23 abril 2019

O testimunho do Justin

It was a cold day in March, raindrops dripping on my window, when I checked Gmail on my mobile
phone. I'd been expecting this mail for weeks and indeed it had finally arrived. Alas the answer was not what i had expected! My application for a grant for university was denied. I was furious. How could they reject the application, i thought while preparing a sandwich. I was more furious though, when I noticed that in my bread there was a worm. Luck, it seems, did not favour me.

The next day I did not want to even touch my mobile, which was the bringer of bad news to me, but fortunately i did, for I received a message by the European Solidarity Corps, saying an organization was in need of a volunteer. That organization was Spin in Lisbon. I applied and the rest is history.

Coming to Lisbon by bus is tiring to say the least, it was like an 40 hour long drive, but it is also quite charming, because you could get to know fellow travelers, which i did not as i assumed the role of a mute. No, I am kidding of course. I met a Bavarian in Lederhosen, a girl with whom i had a great conversation, and many other people of all kinds and creeds. The bus was crossing the Vasca da Gama bridge, dark clouds covered the skyline of Lisbon, somehow everything being of gigantic size, I did not fully grasp the reality of it all. It was more like a dream, everything distant, surreal even.

This changed, however, once i left the safety of the bus and walked my first steps in Lisbon. I would have just stood still, taking the moment in, the screaming, the smell, the colors, if it weren't for the people, who pushed past me.

I got my luggage and greeted Agnes, a volunteer and flatmate to be from Estonia, who welcomed me. Having charged the metro card, Agnes and i waited for Miguel, another volunteer and flatmate to be from Spain, who shortly thereafter arrived. Together we went to our flat, my new home for the next nine months. What the flat lacks in size, it makes up in style. I like it. I know very descriptive.

Anyways, once inside I got to know Marina, also a new volunteer, who had arrived just hours prior to me. I unpacked my stuff, all of us had a delicious dinner. Then we went to the good-bye party of Monika, who had finished her EVS. To be honest i was a bit overwhelmed, so many new faces, names, places, and being tired really didn't help the socializing.

The next day was my first day at Spin, where Agnieszka, a Polish volunteer, Marina and i received a prep-talk by Inés, explaining how everything works, general rules, insurance etc.. After that we had a most delicious welcoming lunch. Then the three of us and another Monika went to explore the neighbourhood of Bairro Padre Cruz, see blow and discover what we discovered!

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