It has been half a year since my arrival. In October, I came here with excitement, a willingness to learn, and a desire for adventure. I was not sure what to expect but I knew it was going to be an experience I would cherish for the rest of my life. And I am glad to declare that I was right.
The people I have met and the projects I have been participating in made me feel at home since day one. The local youth center is full of enthusiastic teens eager to learn, help, and make a difference. It is a bit discouraging that these communities have been constantly on and off for the past year due to the pandemic, but still, we have always managed to keep in touch and work towards something worthy.
In addition to working with the youth center – and thus, the town hall and its European projects in general –, we have a lot to do with Amics, too. We have researched educational leisure time – or youth work, to sound more professional in English – on a European scale, meeting loads of people while learning about this field; we have developed and designed board games; and recently, deriving from the English conversation groups we started last autumn, we have also established an online youth club with daily activities to take part in – conversation groups in several languages, board and online gaming clubs, even some cooking workshops. So, we are definitely not bored.
Today’s omnipresent situation obviously makes life more difficult for everyone, and volunteers are no exception to that. The hikes in autumn were great, the quarantine in winter was often difficult to bear. But if there is one thing to highlight of the lessons I have learned here, it is that there is no obstacle we cannot overcome if we work together in a creative, innovative, flexible, and compassionate environment. And here, I experience exactly that.
I still have 3 months left in Spain. I hope to be able to socialize more and improve my Spanish – the latter is something I still have a lot to work on. But other than that, I have got everything I had been looking for – and more. It even makes me a bit sad that I am to leave soon, I have come to enjoy my time here so much it will certainly be difficult to board that plane in July – but I try not to think about it yet. I am just here to make my remaining days an experience to remember for the rest of my life.