Dear reader,how is sharing your everyday life with other eight people (from different countries)?We all volunteers live in two separate houses sharing the same garden, this means that generally we spend most of the time inside and outside of the house together, participating in the same activities or simply sharing the everyday routine, and in all of this there is to take into consideration that we are not only a lot of people but also people with different (sometimes very different) backgrounds and cultures.As it's easy to imagine this can lead to a certain degree of misunderstanding or sometimes even conflicts, it would be weird if it didn't. So, what is the good side?It's that you always learn, that every moment of every single day is an opportunity to discover something about the world we live in.Sometimes you even remain amazed by finding out that things you thought were only in your country are also in a lot of different ones, or also the opposite: maybe you think a way of saying something or a dish is common more or less everywhere but you were wrong. Differences, as always in life, enrich you.Another aspect to take into consideration about the shared life is that we are also a community, we are always there to help each other and nobody is left alone as, in my personal opinion, should be in the society in general.Now I have a small gift for you, my dear reader... My biggest passion is to write, in the last years especially poems, so in the following words you will find a poem of mine about this topic. Enjoy!
HOW IS LIFE AS A VOLUNTEER IN ETYEK?
I am M., I am Italian and I am 23 years old and it is with these words that I start the Etyek volunteer blog: a space where we tell you from our point of view what our journey is like. If you would like to have this experience in the future or simply the values that our project is based on are also yours, then this is the place for you. In the words that follow you will find the answer to your questions.
WHO ARE WE? WHAT IS OUR GOAL?
The other volunteers and I are part of two different projects, Szatyor Egyesület, and Fülemüle. While the first one is focused on permaculture and promoting a sustainable way of life, the second one is based on creating a thread of connection between the Etyek school children and an international environment: every week volunteers from different parts of Europe and the world teach them English in an informal and fun way and sometimes help during some activities organized by the school. Despite being two different groups, when some support is needed it doesn't matter too much who is Szatyor and who is Fülemüle, we help each other.
Dear reader,now I have already spent here in Hungary more than half of the time that I'm supposed to, and is mainly because of that it's starting to come to my mind how different I'm now compared to the day I arrived. So many things changed... My way of looking at things, of reacting to them, my knowledge of the world and of the different cultures... A lot.
We started last week with two workshops on different types of compost, and then on Tuesday we organized our media and did some garden work. On Wednesday we had the creative day with Mihaela and, on Thursday, our weekly Hungarian class with Zsofi, following which I had my first mentoring with the new mentor (the mediation and support figure for us volunteers). On Friday we had two different workshops: in the morning one about how to make natural soaps and in the afternoon one about permaculture. We had also lunch all together with the volunteers from Budapest, for which me and a colleague of mine, who is also from Italy, cooked some of our own typical dishes. That ended our work for the week and set the start of the weekend, for which usually there are never activities planned: it is our time to recharge and spend the time in the way we prefer, often by going to Budapest. That was a bit of an atypical week, cause due to a strike we had no classes at school, but nevertheless full of new learning.
I will be here for a year, and I arrived at the beginning of July. I have to be honest with you, dear reader… Living in the country sıde, in a garden, with a heatıng system that works wıth wood, and chickens to take care of, is a different experience in the summer than it is in the middle of winter. When the sun warms your face and in the morning, as soon as you wake up, you can go walking barefoot through the soft grass, have breakfast with a few figs picked straight from your tree, and then, in the cool morning air water all the plants in the garden and in the greenhouse, when you can admire every single change in nature around you and watch the bees competing for a feeding frenzy of pollen, when all this happens, living this lifestyle seems almost like magic.