21 abril 2022

O testemunho No. 2 da Annamaria (Spin)

Hi everyone, My name is Annamaria and I'm from Estonia. It’s my first time living abroad and also volunteering. I'm working for an organization called Spin. My work mostly is to go to schools, talk with youngsters about my journey here, collect signatures, take part in different projects, and a few times a month cook in the kitchen with other Spin volunteers. My volunteering is so different each week and I love it, you never get bored.

My chapter in Portugal started October 2021, so 7 months ago and so far it's been one hell of a ride, with a lot of laughs, meeting new people, Learning about their countries, traveling across Portugal I have been making amazing memories. It has been filled with ups and downs but overall getting this opportunity was one of the BEST things that could've happened to me ,I’ve learned so much about myself, also faced my biggest fear (stage fright) and this opportunity has opened my mind a lot more. I’ve seen a lot of different places and met a lot of people across the world, 

Almost everyone has taught me something and I’m glad that I had this opportunity to meet them.
In the beginning, yes, it was a little bit hard because of homesickness and the new environment, also I didn’t know a lot of people but it changed quickly cause other volunteers and overall people here are super open-minded, welcoming and it’s easy to connect with them.

I’ve had to say goodbye to some good friends, it’s always sad and hard but that’s how life works. It sends people to our path to teach us something, even if it’s just a small thing. No one is in our life without a reason.

Living in Lisbon has been a challenge for me. I live with 6 other people and also I'm sharing a room but it's an interesting experience. I'm used to living alone and having my own space but here I don't have that and sometimes it's really hard but luckily my flatmates are amazing people, they are like my family here. We travel together, have dinner together and we just fit living together, sometimes things get overwhelming. Everyone is from a different county so the ideas always don't match. But we figure out quickly how to compromise and how to make our lives together better.

I love the city in every way. Lisbon is a very easy city to fall in love with, it has so many opportunities to offer. It's beautiful, people are nice, you never get bored here. Once my project ends I’ll miss this city a lot. For sure I’ll be back here, I have a lot of good friends here who I’ll stay in contact with for sure!

I fell in love with the country overall, the more I travel the more I fall in love, cause every place is like a fairytale. So far I’ve been to  Algarve, Porto, Nazare, and a lot of wonderful places. I love nature and that’s why my favorite place is Sintra, with its amazing nature, castles, and palaces. Every time I go there it’s like my first time, there's always some new place to discover.

I still have 2 months left here and I can't wait what places I will discover more and what surprises Portugal has to offer me.

12 abril 2022

O testemunho No. 1 do Joan (SPEA)


 Hello Everyone 

My name is Joan and I am from Barcelona. I came to Portugal on November 2021 to start my volunteering program in a project with the Marine Conservation Dptm. from SPEA in Faro, in the Portuguese Algarve.

I had already participated in similar projects, in which I had to live near where the field work was, but I had not yet lived outside of Spain. That was one of the reasons why this was an experience I couldn't miss.

Although the first few weeks were a bit chaotic, I immediately got to know the people I share the project with, and I was able to make other friends in the city. In fact, beyond the project, and as part of the experience, I have been able to meet people with similar interests to mine with whom I can share my free time. Really, I don't have much time to get bored.

since I’ve been here, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do a wide variety of tasks, from spending days on a boat doing seabird censuses to being able to scour the Algarve coast monitoring endangered species populations. We’ve also done tougher tasks like removing exotic flora or controlling invasive wildlife, 

But I can say that I’ve enjoyed each one. Between all this work and my free time, I am learning a lot about things I already knew and others that I am discovering, On top of all that, I was able to continue my training as a biologist through online courses and training, which was one of my goals before I came here.

For now, I look forward to the arrival of spring and the beginning of the nesting season for birds in the area, as well as seeing the awakening of life on the islands where we work. Let's see what surprises it brings us.