26 junho 2022

O testemunho No. 2 da Amr (SPIN)

Olá a todos

It is my second attempt to describe my experience here in Portugal, it's been seven months for me as a volunteer at Spin Association, my hosting and coordinating organization, 7 months that passed in the blink of an eye, I came as a stranger and gradually grew a big family, and as I come closer to the end of the project the family grows bigger and stronger.

My role at spin is about the overall organization and logistical practicalities and I'm part of that team, my tasks can be diverse like receiving and posting testimonies of volunteers whose coordinating organization is Spin, as well as collecting, verifying and handling travel documents of volunteers in order for them to be reimbursed, one of the tasks that I occasionally do is going to schools and talking to youngsters, it can also be cooking, cleaning and tidying up at the office, and so the tasks at Spin office aren't as complicated as I thought, it was rather simple and straightforward even though it would be a little challenging, at some point there's period of time when we're up to the neck in work and that's usually associated with projects and youth exchanges on which occasions we host up to 30 participants from different countries that we would feel it's a pinnacle achievement of sorts by the time it finishes, but this is also very rewarding and interesting in some sense because it always involves different languages, different backgrounds and experiences, different forms of cultures that are co-existing in the same community, and we as volunteers and coordinators have the responsibility of maintaining order in The hostel and in the office, which means that part of the team is focused on cleaning, buying food and other necessities, cooking and setting tables, while the other team is focused on the doing the activities and the dynamics, the goals and the main ideas of the project.

On the 4th of May I Started another experience; the on-arrival training that I had in Visue for 6 days, it was such an extraordinarily pleasant experience where I learned, and also had a lot of fun with a nice group of volunteers and all the emotions, thoughts, activities and cultural visits we had and little things that individuals had to offered each other from their own culture and also from the main goals and objectives of their own association that was dissimilar from others but also similar in some sense because we all had different projects under the same volunteering umbrella, I learned a lot from the activities that highlighted how it is to be a volunteer at European solidarity corps, what would we gain being volunteers and also about the rights and the responsibilities of volunteers. the last day was somewhat sad that this remarkable week was over, but that was also something positive for it meant that we lived it to the fullest.

 Life in Portugal for me has been so enriching so far, but it seems to me that even though I live in Portugal, I live in multinational/ European community which is part of the reason why I didn't do my best at learning Portuguese up to this point, but it is true that it is so enriching, there is a lot of things you can do out there, I'm grateful for having the chance to live and integrate into the Portuguese culture, Portuguese life style, the traditional musical style of Portuguese songs that I usually listen to in different occasions, the streets and the different transportation including the Tram which is one of the cultural icons of Portugal, but of course I'm also grateful for the wonderful Portuguese people that I work with, I learned a lot being here and it's another feeling to manifest in my own behavior some of the elements of another culture. it was only until recently that I knew about a couple of festivals which also brought me closer to the ambience of living Portugal such as carnival, Festas de Santo António, and Festa de São João and others.

What I enjoyed in Portugal, It's the little things, the things we repeat every day, things that people tend to think of as mundane and trivial, but it simplifies something bigger, it's the accumulation of little small talks, little moments of laughter with friends, it's when some friends look for some sense of humor, the moment we were being nice to one another, the moments I went to the park or Miradoures or beaches or had dinner or lunch with my flatmates and people whom I cherish, it's the moments I helped or was helped by someone, all these little moments across a period of time is all that makes us miss these days by the time it all comes to an end. it's all been so appealing to me in some sense, it was only until recently that I could experience lots of changes in the weather just during one day. sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, hot, or cold, which is a little crazy because this is something that only happens over the course of several days in my country.

There's a Portuguese saying I like that goes “
Há males que vêm para o bem”, which is like “every cloud has a silver lining“. of course, there's always been many unpleasant moments and tribulations along the way, and of course, I think it is a silly naïve claim as far as I'm concerned to say that everything was perfect for me and I was all happy all the time, it's more likely that every one of us encounters appalling moments in a way or another, but I also consider them as blessings because they are a way in which I learn, there's unveiling that happens and good knowledge comes out of undesirable moments, and so, it's always associated with some good and I try to keep myself oriented in that direction.

até próxima


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