Tuesday, 15 November 2016

One Week up in the North: On Arrival Training in Braga

Here i am, writing from my way back home from Braga that actually as u know  is not our basis, but my companheiros Emma and Antoine and I, were there for our on arrival training organized by the portuguese national agency.
It was a big “ training event” that brought together volunteers from all over europe who are at the beginning of their evs experience in different cities in all portugal.
This training had in fact basically the aim to support volunteers in the adaptation process during the evs experience giving them tools and causes of reflection to be able to face in a better way difficulties and potential problems during their own project.

During those days we have been working a lot supported by trainers, doing so many different activities mainly in groups but at the same time giving us the opportunity to express our opinion and personal contribution about different issues related with everything goes around our own evs experience. We explored and we became more aware about our role within an evs project, we reflected on ourselves and all the trainers give us tips and tools to manage and take the best from our experience abroad, increase our “baggage of competence and knowledge” to be carried on the back during our own personal growth paths.
Generally it was a really full immersion in a melting pot of people, cultures, thoughts, acts. I met really a lot of great people with different stories and background but finally all connected and linked by the same wish to volunteer abroad and  grow up personally and  why not, professionally from this experience. There were moments that I really loved cause I had the chance to know a lot of nice people with whom we shared this crazy week, and sure, others nei quali I felt already saudade de Lisboa!!!
But  at the end of this intense week, that’s the important, come back home richer than before :)))
Até a próxima cold Braga!!


Friday, 4 November 2016

About Life in Lisboa

Hello again! It's now been a few weeks since we all got here. So we decided to keep you informed about our journey in Lisboa :)
The work keeps getting more and more exciting. I, on my side, started to work on new projects in other countries, in Eastern Europe and Balkans. The international environment makes it really awesome, especially when you start interacting with other organizations and participants.
About life in Lisboa, well, I don't know where to start. Back in Paris, everybody was telling me how great it is, and I got sick of those comments. “This can't be that great”, I was thinking. Lower my expectations, so I don't get disappointed. But actually, everybody was right. It is that amazing.
Everything is, the concerts, the restaurants, the bars, but also the people, and the basic atmosphere in this city. First off, it's really hard to not hear music anywhere. You could walk wherever, you always hear music. When you listen to a saxophonist playing on top of a mirador, with the sunlight in your eyes, it's a pretty cool feeling. The general ambiance of the city is filled with music and great encounters come from it.

Something else that was a great discovery for me is the alternative style of living here. Associations flourish by the hundreds in every neighborhood, wether it's social centers or cultural spots, cafés or bars. It is a vibrant place to be when you're interested in culture overall, but also when you are attracted to alternative lifestyles.

Therefore, the stories you hear are really different and inspiring. I met travellers, musicians, artists or students who went all over the world, telling me where I should go, or what I should do, and they all agree about one thing: Lisboa is really amazing.
The sun is always here, the food is delicious, the people are the friendliest, and the city itself is beautiful. I feel like I belong here, so we are doing pretty good :)

Antoine Girault