Cristina Miron – “My Spanish Experience”

Written by Tinerii 3D. Posted in Povești cu și despre Tinerii 3D

“It’s already been a while since my amazing volunteering experience in Spain has ended, and I’m still constantly immersing myself in the memories of my beloved people and fun and meaningful moments. Ferrol is one of the place that’s going to stay in my heart forever. It’s the city where I made some good friends, where I have swam in the cold ocean for the first time, where a group of random and very different people from across Europe spent every day together and still cared about each other in the end. Ferrol is the place I got to understand Spanish a lot better by interacting with the locals in their own language, where I improved my “Futbolin” skills by playing every day. In Ferrol I felt I have a really nice family, where we eat, create and celebrate together. I am trying right now to find the highlights of my experience, but there are too many. It was super fulfilling to know that we contributed a bit to the looks and to the social atmosphere of the city by painting a mural at the MENINAS Festival. I was impressed of the stories behind it, and how it started as a small initiative that turned the upper part of the city into a very colorful and welcoming place, where every year people come to enjoy the arts together. For two days, each of us organized a workshop for everyone to participate in depending on their specific skills, so we did textile painting, photography, theatre, creative thinking, meditation, sign language, karate, critical thinking and other fun games in a short period of time. We also presented the cultural initiatives and festivals in our home-countries, and we realized there is much to be inspired by. During the intercultural nights, we got to taste international dishes cooked by us, the volunteers. It was a great teambuilding activity, where the character of an individual gets reflected. You realize in these moments that it is important to emphasize the fact that we are a team and everybody needs to get involved for having good results, and surprisingly, our “varză călită”, ”salată de vinete” and ”mămăliga” turned out to be appreciated by the guests, even though we never cooked those dishes before. With this occasion, I also got the chance to visit the cities of Coruna, Santiago de Compostela and Porto, to sketch in the nature, to hike on the side of the road to the beach and to watch some amazing sunsets. This experience also got me sad, on the other hand. It brought me awareness about how the human behavior is impacting the environment, and how much needs to be changed. For two days, we went to clean the rubbish from a park and from the beach, and on the beach we only picked up micro-plastics coming from the sea. And there was a lot of them. We managed to fill our trash-bags by only cleaning a small area, not even close to the sea. What we found a lot were the plastic sticks of ear-buds and pieces of fishing-nets, which have been probably discarded lots of years ago. Anyway, people passing by us were showing their appreciation for what we were doing, so I hope we set a good example of behavior at least, and I hope we are going to be more mindful when it comes to consuming plastic. What did I take home with me out of this experience? First, a little bit more self-confidence, because I realized I have the ability to have a positive impact on the people and to go on spontaneous adventures even far away from home. Secondly, a handful of amazing people who I really hope to meet again. Third, the wish to live abroad after finishing my studies to have similar experiences, hoping to have as nice flat-mates as I had during the project. Also, I realized how much people can recalibrate their values in a short period of time if they have the proper role-models, which is such a beautiful thing to see. I encourage everyone to take part in such a nice opportunity given to us by the European Union.”

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