Photos provided by Daniel Iván Beider and/or taken during his project.
Fear, nervous, impatient, excited, happy and another mix of feelings were what I was felling before coming here to Poland. And, believe it or not, is what I’m feeling right now, six months after my departure and two weeks before going back to my country.
First, I will introduce myself. I’m Dani, an Argentinian volunteer making an EVS experience in the organization Europejskie Forum Młodzieży in Poland. I’m 20 years old and I’m about to finish my project.
I come from Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina and a really big city, with a lot of things to do.
Moving from a big city to a small village like Długopole Górne was a big challenge. I'm used to have markets, bars, places to go and take a coffee with friends, transport during the night and noise all day with a lot of movement of people. In the village, this was different. I got used to the quiet places, living surounded by the nature, with mountains that you can see from the window of the house. It was also my first experience living in a place with snow during the winter, and my first Christmas and new year in winter. I celebrate it during summer with friends and family.
In my country, I study a tertiary in free time and recreation (a non-formal education way to learn, using, among others, games), and in the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) education sciences. I'm working in the recreational area with children from 3 years old to 15 years old for almost seven years, and I’m assistant of a teacher in a secondary school where, together with the adolescents in our class, we provide school support to low-income children through games.
Thanks to all this, my sending organization, Subir al Sur, offered me the opportunity to take part in an ERASMUS+ experience. If I have to be completely honest, I didn’t know what were the ERASMUS+ experiences until that moment.
I was excited about the idea of meeting people from different countries, with different cultures and languages, and living with them. It was also a good opportunity to improve my English and to show my culture and my country to different people.
The project was also interesting for me. It was related with working with polish youngsters, what I usually do in Buenos Aires with Argentinian youngsters, but also to do some office work, what was absolutely new for me.
I participated in YouthMaSter, a place where polish youngsters go for improving personal skills and their English, to meet the culture of the volunteers in their country presentations and to learn the importance of the teamwork, among other things.
It was a nice place for me to put my knowledge to work. Some things were similar to my work in Buenos Aires, so I was feeling really comfortable during this activity!
I was also able to do this kind of activities in the schools I visited. The strangest thing was that I was working with adolescents that had the same age as me! It was a challenge for me to think how to manage and do it. But it was great. I really enjoyed this experience, and I also learnt many things. Not only about the language or the culture, also how to work with different ages, how to think in English and not in Spanish, and I enjoyed during all the activities that I did as if I would be a participant.
Of course, that it was not always easy. There were days that we were thinking what kind of activities to do, how to prepare some workshops or how to write a report in the best way that we could do it. But…. What’s easy in the life? Where is the funny part in not taking risks? In not start something over and over again until you get the best result? If we had an easy workshop, game or activity to do but we weren’t enjoying it, we would have failed for sure.
I learned to always try to give more than the 100% and, if something was not going on ok, or I was missing my friends and family because they were in the other part of the world, I just had to do two things:
One, to see next to me the beautiful people I met in here. Friends that I will remember for the rest of my life... And the second one, is to remember something really easy that someone really important for me told me once: