27 março 2022

O testemunho final do Albert (JFL - S. Vicente)

Hello Everyone


This year in Lisbon has been a very special year for me. It is the first time in my life that I have lived outside my own country for a year and that brings me a lot of things. It is also the first time that I have worked with children for such a long period of time, I have only worked in the summer season so far.

My experience of volunteering was a bit more difficult at the beginning because of the language barrier. The vast majority of volunteers work in English, but in my case, everything was in Portuguese... so I had no other choice than learning Portuguese, and I am grateful for that. 

From the first day, despite not speaking my language (although Portuguese is very close to Spanish), my colleagues, especially my tutor Paula, made an effort to make themselves understood and helped me a lot to improve my Portuguese. 

My activities have been changing throughout the volunteering, I started as a monitor to support my co-workers, we have done Spanish, logic, sports and gardening activities; I have also helped in the food bank and I have collaborated with other organizations to do activities in the school, But not everything has been about school. The city of Lisbon is an incredible city, I already knew it before and I really wanted to spend some time of my life here. It is a city with many contrasts, on the one hand, you have the historical part with the buildings, the streets, the viewpoints, the squares, the museums, the parks and the markets.

on the other hand, you have the international life of Lisbon: the concerts, the parties and all the events that are taking place. Lisbon is a lively city, every day you can find something to do. In the city center you can find people from all over the world; in the surroundings there are more Portuguese and natives of the former colonies.

Outside Lisbon, you find a lot of beaches and nature: Sintra, Caparica, Setúbal, Cascais,  I have been so lucky to get to know the region very well. The whole area is great for nature walks and surfing. Having a car has allowed me to visit many places: Ericeira, Peniche, Santarem, Coimbra, Costa Nova, Aveiro, Porto, Guimaraes, Braga, Faro, Tavira, ... Although I still have many things to know about Portugal, for example, the national park of Geres, everyone has told me about it

And last but not least, from this year here, I take a lot of people with me. People who have helped me without asking for anything in return. People who have offered me great opportunities. People who have given me good conversations. People who have made my experience here a wonderful one.

 Thank you very much.

15 março 2022

O testemunho final da Isa (Junta)

Last Testimony

Hi there! I am Isa and I am 24 years old and I am coming from Spain. Almost one year ago, I decided to take one
of the best decision in my life: Being a volunteer in Lisbon, I´ve always wanted to do such a volunteering, so searching the opportunity it wasn´t difficult to me. Now, with all the memories I have in my mind, I feel grateful and first of all I wanna say thank you Spin for selected me, without you it would not been the same Since the very first moment I contact Spin I feel this could be a good association, and I was sure at the end.

Being abroad one year is not easy, specially the first
months without really knowing someone. You start dating some volunteers, start seeing them more frequently
(hey, let´s go for a coffee, let´s go for a walk…), and then they became your friends and your family here.

Also, I would like to thank them all because you were one of the best important parts of my volunteering. Starting from the first person I met till the last one. 
Lots of trips, lots of laughs, lots of sunset in beautiful miradors…. What can I say? If you are planning going to Lisbon, do not think twice!! You want regret it.

Moreover, my time in the school has been also nice (not always to be honest) but being with such a fantastic group of kids that everyday they see me coming from the door, going to hug me is one of the best feelings ever, it makes you feel comfortable , happy and the most important thing: loved. 

Teaching Spanish to kids and teenagers it was also a good opportunity of improving my “teaching skills”, as it was for me the first time with that age. Nevertheless, CAF Quintas dos Frades, you will always be in my heart.

So, as I said in my second testimony, I guess it is my time and say: “Be happy and see you other time in the future”. 

Love you and kisses,