My experience in EVS until now
For me, this experience started on the 22th of January, when just two days before they told me that I had the luck to be selected for this project and I packed for the APV.
Without thinking twice I said yes! When I arrived to airport I met Anna, the girl from my sending organization who came with me. She, like me, was a volunteer from Ukraine who is doing her project in Malaga. I loved to meet her because since the beginning we congenial.
Once on the plane there was no turning back; the nerves, fears and insecurities had to be set aside so that the excitement and the desire to learn and make new friends took its place. The days in which the APV passed were great.
On a personal level, I was able to meet those who would be my new work partners, my new flat mate and some who are now my friends. I had the opportunity to know where I would work the next 10 months and to know a little of the island. The town of Angra do Heroísmo is amazing; Monte Brasil fell me in love. A nature reserve from which you can see the whole city and almost the whole island (whenever if it’s good weather) and where there are small deer, parrots, geese, etc. Everything nature. The city has a special charm, typical of small towns and at the same time modern with their bars and shops. I already have a favorite cake that is typical of here that is called Dona Amelia, and they are small cinnamon cakes with sugar that are great (they make me crazy).
In the office the atmosphere is good. The partners among them have very good vibes and if you need anything or have any question, they are happy to help you. Other things that surprised me on this trip were the weather and the amount of cows out there! I thought to find a radiant sun here, but I found was cold, wind and rain. And it turns out that here you can spend all four seasons of a year in a single day! And on the other hand, I didn’t know the extensive cattle ranch here, you can walk so quiet in the street and see cows grazing in the meadows. It’s kind of charming in a way.
The return of the APV was long, long because we arrived in Lisbon in the morning and we had to wait for the next plane to take us Malaga until the night. This gave the opportunity to get to know Lisbon. We walked through his streets, we saw Lisbon Baixa, Praça do Comercio, Rossio Square, etc. When we got on the plane we were exhausted. It was a long and profitable day as well.
7th of February (the adventure begins)
Now there isn’t turning back, I made a decision and I have to move forward. I can’t deny that I felt afraid and a little sad for leave my friends and my family but at the same time I was anxious to begin.
On arriving that day I was able to check what I said earlier about the weather here, the sun was shining beautiful and I could see all the green meadows surrounding the island. My first impression when I saw the house, where I would live all this time, honestly, it wasn’t as I expected it to be. It was a small little house but humble little by little it has stolen my heart. And I also wanted to show myself as far as I could get out of my “confort zone”.
The first night I spent alone, as my future partner arrived the next day, but the truth is that the trip was so tired that I fell asleep at once, despite being a new place so far from home and being totally alone.
Already the next day in the morning appeared my new life partner. Luckily we made good crumbs in the first few days we were day. He is a boy with a lot of canarian grace. Live with him is easy and funny.
And we arrived to Ajiter..!
The first day we explained how we were going to spend the first few days. And is that the association was quite far from where we live, because our house is in Praia da Vitória and Ajiter in Angra do Heroísmo. We had to get up at seven o’clock in the morning, take a bus at eight o’clock to Angra and the another smaller bus to the association. The truth is that it was something heavy because it took an hour and a half and it became quite difficult to keep up and do other things. The good thing is that we rest Wednesdays and weekends, this makes the journey much more bearable.
This situation didn’t last long, we have now opened a new office of Ajiter in Praia da Vitória, it is very close to our house and we have much more time to rest and to be able to do other things like go for a run, because I like to do sports and here is a great boardwalk to do it, besides different green areas , go out for coffee, etc. Also, near the house is the Praia Municipal Chamber where there are cinema and events for the youth people from here.
Tasks until now
The first task they sent us was to update a database with de features and services offered by the association card.
The next task we did was proposed by us, we though that it would be a good idea to organize workshops about bullying, a topic that is very unfortunate, in schools here, so we did a search of the different schools of the island where it would be interesting to give these workshops and then we got to work. We look for information and dynamics, exercises and videos on this topic and we prepare a presentation in power point, and everything in Portuguese!!
I think it has been pretty good. When we manage with more fluency the Portuguese we will begin with the workshops.
Then, we also did other list with other partners organizations with which we can participate in projects together in the future. and we are currently looking for other partners focused on sport and health for a few days of sport soon.
I’m learning to use Excell superbly!!
We have already confirmed the attendance to a training course in Guimarães (Portugal) I still don’t know about what it will be, but I want it arrived on March 13th to start. I want to learn as much as possible of this experience, meet new people and know the corners of Guimarães and everything I can see there.
The Portuguese lessons are very good. The teacher is called Claudia and is a charm, apart from being nice, we learn and have fun at the same time.
The first weekend that I went out here I had a luxury time. I was in a bar near to my house by the beach called Delman. It is very nice, good music, good atmosphere, good drink and good food. Later, we went to another one that was near there and we left some games to the cards with a few beers. And for last, we went to dance to a pub where already closed the night.
The following weekend we had the surprise of to know a group of Spanish pilots who were making a stopover here for the USA. We spent Friday night with them and it was great.
I have a good friend here now that I met thanks to APV. He is showing me many things about the island and it’s great to be with him. Also, he makes me speak in Portuguese and thanks so that I think I am learning fairly quickly. We went up to the viewpoint of Santa in Praia where you can see the whole parish, we walked along the beach on sunny days, we had a picnic in Santa Catarina, walked for Angra and we had beers and coffees; In general, he is a nice person and I know that I will always have him as a friend.
Here these days has been carnival. People are disguised and there are parties in the streets. I have been able to see a dance of spades which is a dance show and sing that tells a story usually sad character. But I didn’t think so because the music was so cheerful it didn’t look like it.
Now, there isn’t much movement around here because the holiday season has not yet started, but from May they start and I know it will be great to be here and also I want to know the others islands of the archipelago.
I cannot wait!!!
Maria Vitoria Quero
*O projeto "You in Europe... You in the World" é financiado pelo Serviço Voluntário Europeu (SVE) do programa comunitário Erasmus+.
Sexta-Feira, dia 10 de Março de 2017