“NUEVA NORMALIDAD”

Una cuestión que considero que actualmente a la mayoría se nos pasa/pasó por la cabeza antes de tomar la decisión de decir sí al voluntariado es el COVID, ya que es algo que va a acompañarnos en este proceso como uno más.
A pesar de esto, yo llegué en Agosto a realizar mi voluntariado, acompañada como bien he mencionado antes, por la situación en la que desde hace varios años se encuentra todo el mundo, el Covid…
Desde la entrevista en a que junto a mi coordinadora salió el tema de “la nueva normalidad”, yo venía mentalizada de que en cualquier momento nos podrían confinar, restringir horarios, cerrar establecimientos, no poder ir a trabajar, cierre de fronteras… todo puede cambiar de una semana a otra en esta situación y es importante plantearse cómo vas a afrontarlo, o al menos tenerlo en mente.
Aun así, desde agosto a diciembre yo me siento muy afortunada y contenta por la situación que he podido vivir, ya que aun conviviendo con el covid y algunas restricciones a las que esto conlleva, he tenido la oportunidad de poder conocer personas, ciudades y pueblos de Portugal junto con otros voluntarixs y muchas playas del Algarve, además ha podido venir a visitarme mi familia y seres queridos para conocer esta preciosa zona y he podido disfrutar de mi trabajo de forma presencial, que es la mejor para aprender tanto un idioma como el funcionamiento interno de un proyecto.
También pudimos asistir al on-arrival, un encuentro que realizamos en Porto de forma presencial y en el que participaron voluntarios que se encontraban en distintas partes de todo Portugal, para mí fue toda una suerte poder asistir en persona y no on-line a este viaje, hacer las actividades, poder compartir experiencias con otros voluntarios y conocer la ciudad.
Ahora nos encontramos en las primeras semanas de enero y la realidad ha cambiado de nuevo con respecto al Covid, la reducción de horarios y de poder asistir al trabajo de forma presencial debido al aumento de casos es el nuevo desafío con el que me encuentro en este año nuevo, sintiendo la incertidumbre de no saber qué va a pasar a largo plazo, centrándome en pensar en el día a día y con ello, sin poder hacer planes en el tiempo.
Espero que con el paso de las semanas estos datos vayan mejorando y todo vuelva a la “normalidad”, para poder aprovechar esta experiencia al máximo, pero mientras tanto y como bien hemos interiorizado desde que todo esto comenzó, paciencia y cuidado… ojalá que esto que he escrito sirva para ayudar a personas que necesiten respuestas o que se encuentren ante esta misma situación.

Até já!!

LIVIN’ (CO)VIDA LOCA

Nearly two years and we are still in this. Well, to some extent. I mean, things do get better for a bit and then a bit worse and, seemingly, the cycle does not stop repeating. At this point, it’s even hard to imagine our previous ‘normal’. If anything, I catch myself wondering why they are not wearing masks in movies or tv shows – and then it hits me. Oh, right. There were days prior covid. 

Nonetheless, in a way I do feel somewhat bad to even complain about this situation as things have improved greatly from the first lockdown and yet covid is always lurking around the corner. Ruining your plans, holidays, but mostly your own mental health by giving fuel to intrusive thoughts, overthinking, uncertainty, lowkey paranoia. 

Needless to say, co-living with four other individuals can get challenging as it is thus the friction that covid brings to our lives might come alive in various different forms and shapes. 

On better days, I focus on the very present moment and try to stay as grounded as possible. I am healthy, I am breathing, I do have where to stay and I have what to eat. The sun is shining, espressos outside are still as rewarding as ever, and I can stroll around the town. 

On the other days, I am consumed by anxiety – when will I be able to see my family again, will I need tests, what kind of tests, logistics logistics logistics. Mostly things that I have no control over. 

As inspired by Stoic values as one can be, I am only human and sometimes I fall deep down the pit of my emotional turmoil. I forget that I should not waste my energy over things I cannot control but. B u t. Unfortunately, I am only human and emotions do take over at times.

On a brighter note – all of this can be taken as an opportunity for growth. Nearly, everything can be. I can continue working on mastering the stoic mindset. I can use the turmoil to focus on smaller yet just as valuable things that still happen all around me. I can take the time to try new things that I have been postponing for ages. So there’s that. A lot of reminders and clichés dedicated to no one in particular but myself. Can’t grow flowers without some rain.

Bom dia

Hello, my name is Victor, I’m 22 years old, I’m a European volunteer.
At the end of October I left Brittany in France to come to Faro, I had never been to Portugal before! Here in Faro I am a volunteer for the association ARCM, Musicians Recreational and Cultural Association. This week I was able to participate in a seminar with other volunteers from Greece and France, it was great. I’ve only been here for a week but I love the city, the streets, the old buildings, and the beautiful sunsets. I met new people, tried to get into the Portuguese life.
I love the atmosphere in this city, full of culture and movement. I can’t wait to discover more during these 10 months, travelling in the Algarve and also in Portugal and see what my volunteering can bring me!

So have a good day and see you next time!

adeus !

Victor

Olá!

Olá! My name is Emilija, I am 23 years old Lithuanian who is now a long-term ESC volunteer in Faro, Portugal and is participating in Faro2027 project – Faro’s candidacy to become the European Capital of Culture. I came to Faro (this was my first time in Portugal!) three weeks ago and they have been very interesting – I’ve been meeting new people, trying local foods, falling in love with the city and trying to get into the portuguese way of living.
Cannot wait to see what more this 10 month long experience has in store for me!

Tchau!
Emilija

LO PRIMERO QUE DEBES SABERR…

Como actual voluntaria, me gustaría comentaros dos aspectos que considero muy importantes a la hora de realizar un voluntariado y que quizás, sea algo aún desconocido para vosotros, pero si os habéis plantado ser voluntarios… continuad leyendo.

En primer lugar, la “Sending organisation”. Este es un paso crucial que debes completar antes de comenzar el voluntariado, ya que tienes que hablar con una organización de tu país de origen para que te ayuden a la hora de comprender las reglas y derechos del voluntario y por supuesto, ser el nexo entre tu país y la organización del país en la que decidas realizar el voluntariado. Mi recomendación es que preguntéis a otros voluntarios de años anteriores y que os informéis muy bien, ya que esta organización debe ser un apoyo más en vuestra experiencia.

En segundo lugar, me gustaría hablaros del “mentor / a”, ¿sabéis lo que es? Yo no lo tenía muy claro hasta que la semana pasada nuestra coordinadora del proyecto nos explicado en qué consistía y nos presentó a nuestra mentora. Resumiendo, es la persona encargada de ser otro apoyo más para vosotros en este proceso ya la que podéis recurrir si tenéis problemas en la convivencia con otros voluntarios, si necesitáis información…

Así que como podéis observar, cuando tomamos la decisión de ser voluntarios no estamos solos (aunque pensaba que me cambiaba de país sola…), hay muchas formas de apoyo con las que contamos.

¡Espero que os haya servido de ayuda si estáis pensando uniros a esta gran familia!

See you!

Até já!

Até já!

Hola, me llamo Elena, tengo 23 años y soy educadora social, por lo que cuando una buena amiga de la carrera me habló sobre Faro y sobre lo que ella hacía aquí, supe que tenía que venir a disfrutar de esta experiencia y que el no, no se encontraba entre mis opciones.

Hace dos semanas que llegué a Faro, llenas de primeras veces… he conocido la ciudad, su playa y parte de su historia.

Por otro lado, he comenzado en el proyecto de LuscoFusco, conociendo a mis compañerxs, a los niñxs de Cerro, haciendo actividades junto con ellos (con los ordenadores o actividades como hacer slime), yendo a la praia de Faro, limpiando Cerro… y esta tarde, hemos tenido la oportunidad de disfrutar y conocer un poco más la ciudad, recorriéndola en el tren turístico. Han sido muchas anécdotas y aprendizajes nuevos los que he vivido estas dos semanas…

Este mes lxs niñxs comenzarán la escuela de nuevo y yo continuaré junto a ellos y a esta preciosa ciudad que no deja de enseñarme cosas… ya sea sobre ella, o sobre mí misma, porque esto es una experiencia de conocimiento de todo tipo, pero sobre todo personal, que te permite salir de tu zona de confort y es entonces cuando puedes ver todo con una mayor claridad y observar quién eres y qué es lo que quieres.

Até já!!!

Is this the real life?

Dear reader,

Hi hello. Well, isn’t this exciting.? At least for one of us it certainly is and I am looking forward to uncovering even more. Later though. Patience is a virtue after all.
I’ll get back to formalities in a moment but for starters let me admit that I am terrible at forming cohesive sentences.
With that out of the way – welcome & enjoy the ride that is going to be my experience here in Faro, Portugal!

Now that we are back to ‘Nice to meet you’ stage, let me take a step back and recap a little bit.
I’ve been here for more than two weeks now and managed to experience a surprising amount of things in such a short period of time.
Honestly, it’s been quite of a journey. Not to mention how much more must be left in store for me yet to explore!

To be quite frank, I don’t know if it’s even worth getting into details about how much I love all the tiny streets, tiles, and pastéis de nata. Oh. And flowers. Yes, I do take photos of nearly all flowers I come across here.
But rest assured, all of these things are indeed great and that’s why they are still being mentioned. For the nth time!

However, these days I get moved by brief moments when it hits me– this is my life now and it is real.
It’s beyond fascinating to, every once in a while, stop in your tracks, take a breath of fresh (& most likely fishy) air, and digest that– yeah, I am indeed here. In this brand new realm – new place, new language, new activities.
Not only are they very new & fresh but they are also quite different (or so I believe) from studying and or being employed. It’s a whole new world on its own.

Needless to say, I am super grateful for this opportunity to not only explore but to get to put myself out there too.

And yes, I do use too many exclamation marks. Perhaps. I’ll just blame it all on coffee culture here which enables me to stay overcaffeinated. With much love though.

Anyway.

Kisses, hugs, covid friendly elbow bumps & anything else you’d prefer,
Elija

Traineeship with CCVALg

*Conversation with a co-volunteer*

EN VERSION:

Hi, I’m Gemma, 24 years old, I’m a student of Tourism, Territory and Local Development at the University of Milan-Bicocca and I’m doing an internship in Faro, Portugal, at Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve.
Faro is not strange to me, as I have already done Erasmus here which ended in March this year…
At the end, I thought to myself: “Should I leave here?”
And no, I couldn’t leave this wonderful city near the sea and so I chose to stay and do my traineeship at Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve to also discover the Ria Formosa habitat and be able to complete my Master’s thesis.
It has already been a month since I was accepted at the centre. My colleagues are fantastic and super positive. There’s a family atmosphere here and you always work with a smile (I’m serious! You can feel it even if everyone is forced to wear a mask).
At the centre, my main role is to welcome visitors. I mainly speak to visitors in Portuguese, Spanish and English. There are many aquariums, one of them is also interactive and you can touch some of the species that populate the Ria Formosa, such as sea cucumbers and starfish.
With my fellow volunteers, Juliette and Angel, this month we worked mainly in the garden. We built a pallet bed, planted wild wheat and regular wheat to see the difference and also planted carrots, beetroots, sage, lavender and even ate cherry tomatoes between visits.
I also had the opportunity to go and see the centre in the sky, but unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky because of the weather which was cloudy, but we will probably do this event again in June. There will also be other events such as bird watching, which I look forward to!
In a month’s time I will finish my internship here abroad with a very rich cultural baggage! Thank you very much to Centro Ciência Viva and all my colleagues for making this experience unique!

PT VERSION:

Olá! Sou a Gemma, tenho 24 anos, sou estudante de Turismo, Território e Desenvolvimento Local na Universidade de Milão-Bicocca e estou a fazer um estágio na cidade de Faro, em Portugal, no Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve.
Faro não me é estranho, pois já aqui fiz Erasmus que terminou em Março deste ano…
No final, pensei para comigo: “Devo sair daqui?”
E não, não podia deixar esta maravilhosa cidade perto do mar e por isso optei por ficar e fazer o meu estágio no Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve para descobrir também o habitat da Ria Formosa e poder completar a minha tese de mestrado.
Já passou um mês desde que fui aceite no centro. Os meus colegas são fantásticos e super positivos. Há aqui um ambiente familiar e trabalha-se sempre com um sorriso (estou a falar a sério! Pode-se sentir mesmo que todos sejam forçados a usar máscara).
No centro, o meu papel principal é receber os visitantes. Falo principalmente com os visitantes em português, espanhol e inglês. Existem muitos aquários, um deles é também interactivo e é possível tocar em algumas espécies que povoam a Ria formosa, tais como pepinos do mar e estrelas-do-mar.
Com os meus colegas voluntários, Juliette e Angel, este mês trabalhámos principalmente no jardim. Construímos um canteiro de paletes, plantámos trigo selvagem e trigo regular para ver a diferença e também plantámos cenouras, beterrabas, sálvia, lavanda e até comemos tomate cereja entre as visitas.
Também tive a oportunidade de ir ver o centro no céu, mas infelizmente não tive tanta sorte por causa do tempo que estava nublado, mas provavelmente faremos este evento novamente em Junho. Haverá também outros eventos, tais como a observação de aves, que aguardo com expectativa!
Dentro de um mês terminarei o meu estágio aqui no estrangeiro com uma bagagem cultural muito rica! Muito obrigado ao Centro Ciência Viva e a todos os meus colegas por tornarem esta experiência única!

The after lockdown (CCVALG podcast)

Portuguese :

Estávamos todos esperando o dia 5 de abril.

Início da flexibilização das restrições e reabertura do museu. Podemos finalmente recebê-lo de volta e mostrar-lhe as muitas atividades que temos. Depois dessa longa pausa, pudemos ver que todos estavam ansiosos para voltar.

Além disso, temos mais para mostrar agora que nosso projeto com sementes modernas e antigas está progredindo bem. Nosso trigo, lentilhas, espelta e cevada crescem muito rapidamente. Temos que replantá-los em vasos maiores porque as raízes são muito longas e fortes. Como preferimos reciclar, encontramos algumas paletes e decidimos criar uma plantadora com elas. Aí passamos um tempo desmontando martelando, arrancando as mudas, os pregos enferrujados … Leva tempo e paciência, mas tenho certeza de que o resultado será muito satisfatório. O objetivo é plantar as sementes lado a lado para que você perceba as diferenças nas variedades. Também estaremos plantando outras sementes como lavanda e alguns vegetais. Para isso, estudamos quais sementes podem ser plantadas ao lado delas, pois trabalharão juntas para um crescimento mais saudável. No entanto, devemos ter cuidado porque alguns deles fazem o contrário. Por exemplo, se plantarmos alfazema e erva-doce juntos, eles não serão complementares e não serão capazes de crescer saudáveis.

Em junho, espero que nosso plantador esteja bem abastecido e cheio de cores.

Vejo você em breve

English :

We were all waiting for April 5th.

Start of easing restrictions and reopening of the museum. We can finally welcome you back and show you the many activities we have. After this long break, we could see that everyone was eager to come back.

In addition, we have more to show you now that our project with modern and ancient seeds is progressing well. Our wheat, lentils, spelled and barley grow very quickly. We have to replant them in larger pots because the roots are far too long and strong. As we prefer to recycle, we found some pallets and decided to create a planter with them. We then spend time dismantling them by hammering, pulling out the wood plants, the rusty nails… It takes time and patience, but I’m sure the result will be very satisfactory. The goal is to plant the seeds side by side so that you can notice the differences in the varieties. We will also be planting other seeds like lavender and some vegetables. For this, we have studied which seeds can be planted next to them as they will work together to grow healthier. However, we have to be careful because some of them do the opposite. For example if we plant lavender and fennel together they will not be complementary at all and will not be able to grow healthy.

By June, I hope our planter will be well stocked and full of color.

See you soon

Juju

Blooming April

EN VERSION:

The first week of the month we were all getting the facilities ready to start welcoming visitors again. Now it is the end of the month and I can say that this has been one of the most productive ones: many of the tomatoes that we planted months ago are already red and I could not explain how yummy they are. Together with Gemma, a new Italian volunteer, Juliette and I are building trunks with recycled pallets to transplant the seeds from the project we have with Hugo Oliveira. We hope that by the beginning of May it will be ready, but we are all learning every day because we have never thought about doing a bio-construction like this before.

On the other hand, I only have 1 month left in Faro. When I arrived I was surprised by how similar the culture of the place and its people was at first glance, but little by little I have been mingling with the Algarve lifestyle and now it feels strange to return to Spain where the coffees are with milk and the drunkards are no longer erasers.

Anyway, there’s still so many things to see and many other people to meet, so… see you on the next DV!

PT VERSION:

Na primeira semana do mês estávamos todos preparando as instalações para voltar a receber os visitantes. Agora é o final de mês e posso dizer que este tem sido um dos mais produtivos: muitos dos tomates que plantámos há meses já estão maduros e não sei explicar como de gostosos são. Com Gemma, uma nova estagiária italiana, Juliette e eu estamos construindo baús com paletes recicladas para transplantar as sementes do projeto que temos com Hugo Oliveira. Esperamos que no início de maio esteja pronto, mas estamos todos aprendendo a cada dia porque nunca pensamos fazer uma bioconstrução como essa.

Por outro lado, só me resta 1 mês em Faro. Quando cheguei fiquei surpreendido com a semelhança entre a cultura do lugar e as suas gentes à primeira vista, mas pouco a pouco  fui me fundindo com o estilo de vida Algarvio e agora sinto-me estranho como a proximidade do meu regreso Espanha onde os cafés são com leite e as “borrachas” não são pra apagar.

De qualquer forma, ainda há tantas coisas para ver e muitas outras pessoas para conhecer, então … vemos-nos no próximo DV!