31 agosto 2021

O testemunho final da Emma (Associação Salvador)

During these months in the European Solidarity Corps, I learned a lot. Lisbon was a city that cradled me, made me believe in my dreams and made me love it. Someone told me that Lisbon is special: it is a little bit mother and a little bit lover. I thought that this is really how it is.

Being part of the European Solidarity Corps is a very complex experience. It means living in a different city, getting to know many volunteers from all over the world, getting involved in your chosen project.
I spent these months with the Salvador Association, in the areas of accessibility and finding donors for the association. Our main mission was the social inclusion of tetraplegic and praplegic people.

Unfortunately, during these months I did not have much personal contact with friends and workers of the association, because the covid and the needs of the association at this time did not allow it. In my case it was perhaps a somewhat limited experience, but I certainly learned a lot. As I was saying, being part of the European solidarity corps is a complex experience and goes beyond the chosen project: in my case, getting to know many volunteers and supporting each other was fundamental.
It made me feel part of a wonderful and supported community, made me believe in my dreams and definitely become a more adult person and citizen of the world. I will never forget all the wonderful moments I spent in Lisbon with the other Spin volunteers, the mutual support we gave each other, the advice, the strength.

Unfortunately, I had to end my project early for health reasons, deciding to return to Italy where I would have had an operation with a rather long and unforeseen waiting time.

I hope I have left my mark in the hearts of all the people I have met and shared with, as they have done with me!

23 agosto 2021

O testemunho No. 2 da Chiara (SPEA)

I haven’t understood yet if life in Lisbon is quite and calm or fast and chaotic.

Sometimes it seems relaxed, like its inhabitants drinking “cerveja” and eating “tremoços” outside the bar “sem pressa”. Sometimes it seems slow, like a walking trail, with a tent and a backpack, trying to discover the rural internal part of Portugal passing through fields of wheat with the color of the sun and orchards that smell of tradition and love for their land.

Sometimes it seems lazy, like the long home working days, making this "teletrabalho" now, a way of life, without knowing the faces of all your colleagues, but that despite everything, at the end of the day, makes you say, "I like what I do". Sometimes it seems calm, like a road trip with your great friends, trying to discover non-touristic places, through local tips and map, searches that make me continue to amaze the incredible and authentic beauty of this country. Sometimes it seems infinity, like the long hours waiting for the birds passing, looking into a telescope, until you observe ... the imperial eagle!!

Sometimes, instead, it seems chaotic, like a workshop with about 20 9 year-old jumping and running around you, while you try to explain them the diet of birds. But, in spite of everything, that colorful and noisy mess, fills you so deeply inside that they make you think that this is the right path for you. It seems frenetic, despite the Covid, all the nights are filled with smiles, dinners, friends, wine and dances, that bring you to say "tomorrow night I'll stay at home to rest" and then you never do that. Sometimes it seems too full and with too little time in a single day to manage friends, distant family, volunteering, interests and work.  Sometimes it seems to run, with the project towards the end and still a world of things to do and faces to meet.

Well, whether it's a slow life or a hurry, this is my life in Lisbon, and always, despite everything, I am and will always be very grateful for it.