The first feelings I had were difficult to control. If I had to sum up in one sentence all the time I spent in Barcelos it would be; ‘I have not wasted my time, I have gained life lessons‘.
From the beginning of my experience to the end the trip has always been revealing and interesting on a personal and professional level. The first month I had to face fear and shame. I am a person who over the years has become quite perfectionist, so the fact of not being able to express myself with a high level of English, sometimes gets on my nerves. Instead of accepting it from the love of myself, I lived it in a bad perspective, feeling inferior to the rest.
Spoiler: No one was judging me. They all go through the same thing. Your worst enemy is yourself.
Although the more time passed, the more I realised that the problem of communication with some people was not because of English, but because of the feeling between us. Everything new is hard at the beginning. That is when I started to improve my conversation skills. Making mistakes, putting shame aside and most of all making friends.
Tip: Look your fears face to face so they will disappear…
I usually or almost always love it and need to spend time alone. It gives me strength to continue with the routine, take perspective of the current situation and improve myself as a person. Working as a volunteer and living with other volunteers, that privilege of having personal space becomes directly a common space.
If you want to discover who you are and what you want in this life, share your time and space with people with different ideologies, ethnicities, philosophies, values. Share your time with people who need your company and with people who don’t need it. Ask everything you do not know, do not take anything for granted but above all do not stop putting yourself on the limit in situations in which you would never think to put yourself. Because that’s where you start to know what you mean to yourself.
The work at Sopro is dynamic since we work in different areas, such as social, cultural, environmental … You can learn languages, because you live with young people from all over Europe. Believe me that if you want to improve your English, you will improve it and you will even learn from others. Working in a senior centre offering your companionship. It is not just working, it is making them happy with simple things such as listening, sharing a simple snack, playing bingo, going out for a walk … For them all those little details that we do every day have real meaning.
Everything lived has had a personal meaning for me.
Feminist talks with women from other countries, sharing our different points of view, problems and looking for solutions.
Empowering each other.
Meetings on Mondays at the office learning Portuguese, chatting, contributing ideas to improve Barcelos, playing, or having a coffee talking about dreams, experiences, love…
A normal day can become a very special one by kayaking with your best friend singing like crazy, ending with a bath on the beach with people you don’t know if you will see again and having dinner at home sharing ideas for the future with someone who loves you…
Coexistence at home, parties, conversations, love affairs. All the people and moments that have touched my heart will not disappear from my memories and I will always be grateful for having made the decision to choose Barcelos.
I have returned home as a more confident, strong and dreamy woman.
I’m going to miss this stage of my life but there are still many more to discover.
Mis experiencias voluntariado Ecuador transcurrieron entre el 21 de Julio y el 11 de…