28 maio 2019

O testimunho do Damien

As time goes by the ending clap of my EVS is already around the corner, "desculpe "of my ESC. 
9 months of everything. Like an explosion of emotions, feelings, reflection on yourself, some small and big challenges along the way. Well, you understand the concept, it's a bit of everything.

3 "moments" of my journey could give an idea of this experience. Picking up only 3 of those multiple moments was hard because it's like having to choose between coffee and Pastel de Nata. 
Why not both?

Portuguese language. Learning Portuguese was definitely the biggest challenge. Since I arrived I attended to several classes and met so many people. As I was starting from zero I've been through various levels, from beginner to intermediate. Been progressively an active user of the language gave me the possibility to feel myself more integrated and involved at my workplace. By a good day I am even able to hide my strong French accent when I speak Portuguese… but only for 2 minutes, after that it will come back again. I do believe that learning a foreign language is more than communication. To me it's also a stepping-stone to integration, interaction with locals, cultural exchange and probably much more.

Lisbon half-marathon. On March 17 I ran the Lisbon half-marathon and got the unique chance to pass by 25th April Bridge. The bridge is open to pedestrian and runners only for marathon and half-marathon. It was such a great view. Going out of my comfort zone was challenging and at some point uncomfortable, especially because I didn't knew what to expect as It was my 1st time on this distance. I'll always remember how I felt when I crossed the finish line. So happy and proud, I did it man! This experience showed me that if you focus on what you can learn from a new challenge you already did half of the way. In a near future my next challenge will be to run a full marathon.

Picnic. Together with Crescer's team and beneficiaries of the project we did a Picnic in - Jardim da Estrela. This friendly environment full of life and colors is a beautiful garden. The idea was to share this time together out of work routine and to take this opportunity to get to know each other as persons and not only as workers and beneficiaries. In addition to cheerful mood each one of us was free to bring food and drinks. Adults were eating and speaking about their own experience in Portugal while the kids were playing together. After having enough food in our stomach we ended up dancing a traditional Kurdish dance. Let's call this "go with the flow moment". Beeing responsible of organising this activity was exciting and the best feedback I had was to see a smile on everyone's face when they left.

As my journey will finish soon the best I can do is to enjoy as much as I can till the end. Big thank you to Spin, Crescer and all the people I met that made my stay so special. Obrigado para todo Lisboa, vou me lembrar de ti. 

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