Hello everybody! I am Julia from Russia and my dream came true for this moment – I am in Spain! All this started from joke, one day I with my friend went to have cup of coffe and listen one girl who came from Ireland from her project of voluntary. Her story was very interesting, I had decided to take a look if there were projects in Spain for me (because only this country meens a lot for me). I saw that there were a lot of different organisations and I started to send emails with my CV and motivation letter. My level of spanish was on level – « I speak slowly and about simple things ». In Russia i had everything like friends, work, hobbies…but I wanted changes! I was 29 years old and it was a point in my life when I need changes. So…. 150-170 letters to Spain. Lots of them was in air, but not all! So… i had a call from Villa del Rio and this project seemed the most interesting for me. I was very very surprised and happy! And only after this conversation I started to think that there were opportunity that i will go to Spain for 7 months! To say that i was afraid i is to say nothing!!!! I started to realise that I need complete change all my life and from now I have no idea what will be next. My family wasn’t happy and my decision was very difficult to understand for them. But of course it is my life and my decisions….
I had a lot of problems with documents. But each day I was thinking just about my future in Spain, so all was done! I was late for the project for two weeks because of my documents. I had very long joney for came here, first i had a plane to Moscow, there i was waithing for 7 hours for a plane to Madrid.
S0…. 22 of february I arrived to Madrid at 10 in the morning and then i met my friend and he helped me with my luggage. Bus for Villa del Rio was only at 5 p.m., so all day we were walking. When i arrived here I was so so tired that only thing i wanted was SLEEP. My new colleagues Marine (from France) and Joao (from Portugal) and Encarni (organizer of the project) met me at the station and we went to our new home. I was sure that I will speak a bit to introduce myself and then will go sleep. but… nop! They prepared for me dinner and also our tutor Jose was going to visit us!
Next day i woke up with awful pain in throat, i have no idea why, think that it was period of adaptation! So first week i felt myself very bad ((( and could not enjoy my first impressions! In first five days our tutor introduce me his and now our town, and a few people with whome i will work, live, meet all day. It is nice, calm place locate near Cordoba, in 35 minutes by car or 1 hour by bus. So… my new life started!
25 and 26 of february My first days at my work! I was excited, though had an awful pain in my throat. I had no idea that I will like this work so much, children met me very friendly and my collegue Jonhy was helping me very much and with language and with children. We had groups from 3 up to 8 years old. He introduced me to everybody and explained that I am from other country and they need to speak with me slowly and clearly )))
27 of february For our Arrival Training in Seville (which we needed to go in 6 days after my arriving) we need to prepare food or from our countries or from our place where we live in Andalusia, so we decided to organize a little party with our tutor for become better acquainted and to tried our native dishes. Of course, i prepared tipical plate of Russia – salad Olivie – in spanish « ensalada rusa », but realy this salad in Spain doesn’t have anything common with our native salad! And as i like cooking sweats i prepared truffles 🙂 It was very good party, warm and funny.
28 of february-4 of march we went to Sevilla for one work-week for our first meeting with all volunteers of Andalusia. It was « Formación a la llegada del Servicio Voluntario Europeo ». For me to have +25 degrees in february was very strange, but I was happy!
There we had a lot of activities and different games. For me it was realy funny! Each day we had new and new activites, I knew a lot of new things about EVS and my rights and my possibilities. Also we had excursion around Seville and had a dinner in one of the typical place in it, after we had a short trip around places with music, we were dancing all night! My dream was and is to dance tango! I hope one day I will be able to do it! Flamenco isn’t « my dance », I prefer dance with a partner and I don’t understand the sense of flamenco 😦
We had a lot of impressions, but also were very tired, because all day from morning up to late evening we had things to do! But we tried to use each moment to enjoy that time.
We had very good team of organizers: Sara, Clara, Felipe, Ana Belen, Javier. They are very funny, helped us a lot. We had a lot of fun together.
After this course all of us had a lot of impressions and plans for our projects. So life started to run, day after day and so fast, realy I hadn’t time for anything and I had a lot of my own plans.
12 of March Birthday of our roommate Joao with our neighbors and new friends!
So a little bit about relations with my roommates. I want to say for those who are going to do EVS – better to do it when you are young and don’t have any « home habits » and can change your life style easy! Because for me it was and now I am still here so – is difficult. Here I need to live with 2 people completely different (thanks that one of volunteers didn’t come, because we need to be 4!). I will not write bad things, that had happend here with me, but before choosing your project, please make attention where you will live (how many rooms is in a flat, how many bathrooms, with family or independent) and with whom and what rules are there. It is very important. You can’t know what will happen, but you can prepare yourself before! 😉 But don’t be afraid, normaly all is very good, just I am not a easy person and I have my own problems whitch doesn’t depend from my project)))
21-27 of March Semana Santa
All week we had vacations. My friend from Valencia came to visit me and celebrate her birthday! So on these days we had a great journey to Salamanca (Villa del Río-Córdoba-Mérida-Salamanca-Madrid) with my roommate and tutor.
3 of April Feria de la Tapa – Snacks Competition
This day was food competition in which me and Marine were asked to participate. And as I like cook cakes, so I was asked to prepare cake for organizers. But it was competition of snacks, the main thing in Spain :), so i decided to prepare snacks too. I made сheese biscuits with avocado and pistachio nuts, tuna and caramelized onions. And how I was surprised when I won the second prize! My spanish friend said – « And should come Julia from Russia to show how to cook snacks to spanish! 🙂 »
In april i started work in swimming pool with old people in their classes of swimming and, of course, i was continuing work in sports hall, where with small children 3-4 years old we played active games and with children 5-8 years old we trained different kinds of sport, like basketball, volleyball, tennis.
In april we had a lot of guests – parents of Joao, parents of Marine and others volunteers from Arrivel Training course. So we had so many different kind of food that week :P, most of all I liked franch dishes, so many delicious!
Our volunteers team started to think about our common project for Week of Europe.
23 of April I with my collegue Jonhy went with a groupe of children to other village to participate in sport activity in Doña Mencía. There are children were trained types of sport like – rugby, rhythmic gymnastic, hockey, dzudo. It was first day of hotness for me! My face became a little bit red!
30 of April I with my tutor went to a little excursion around village to find a « magic tree » which is very popular in this place!
And at night in our village was celebrated holiday of Cruzes. It was competition between groups of people who made crosses from flowers or other materials, near each cross was a little or a big party.
1 of May Unexpectedly I knew that my friend from university was in Cordoba, so we decided to meet. We didn’t see each other for 8 years, so of course, just in Spain we could find each other 🙂 Next day she came to my town, it was very strange journey for her, because her train didn’t open doors in my station and she went to next one, but i didn’t knew about it, so I decided that she changed her mind and staied in Cordoba. And how I was surprised when in three hours my boss called me and asked if Olia is my friend and that she had lost! So he broght her to my house and we went to eat and I was listening her funny story about her trip!
9-13 of May Week of Europe
After these long vacations we had to prepare activities for children for Week of Europe. We prepared two presentations for children of 11-15 years old and for 16-17 years old. With younger children we were planning to make a game in Power Point about all countries of Europe and for senior presentation of our EVS and our thoughts about voluntaring.
At the end it was good and children liked it! We danced and sang songs. I put in my presentation very popular song in Russia among young people now – it’s name « Name 505 ».
15 of May San Isidro
On this day people wear fancy costumes, singing and dancing and making a great bbq party. On the streets arrange festive parades, carnivals, fairs and competitions. We with our friends have our bbq like others, so many diffrent kinds of meat i have never eat in my life! We made t-shorts with our names and the name of our team -« Los sin carreta », because we hadn’t our cart.
28 of May Traditional drawing districts (Arte por Barrios) I took part in drawing of district, but now this tradicion has just a few participants, it is very pity, because could be a great competition and funny pastime! Our team used dust of crayons of different colors with water for draw the street.
31 of May The last day of my work in Sports hall. At this moment of my life I received very bad news from Russia, i was and i am crushed but children helps me not to think about it. We had party with drawing faces! It was one of the most memorable moments! I had no idea how i will work without my little stars!?! I love all of them and doesn’t matter that they can cry, behave very bad and don’t listen you, it doesn’t change my opinion about them!
6-10 of June Intermediate evaluation in Mollina (Malaga)
So 36° degrees and « a bit » of hotness! The place was great, we had a wonderful swimming pull, good accomodations and a lot of diferent food! There were about 100 people: about 10 tutors and others are volunteers from all over the world – Croatia, Italy, France, Ukraine, Germany, Greece, Poland, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Turkey – it is just what i remember, were more countries! All of us were divided in groupse. I was in the groupe – yellow. We had a great team leader – Tea! Thanks for her!
About this activity… For me just part of « what is youthpass? » was usfull, another parts wasn’t new and just made me more sad, because we need to talk about things that influence on my work and mood and like i said before I had very bad news and couldn’t remember them without tears, so I was glad to went away before, because I had a short trip to Rome!
10-13 of june in Rome
In Airbnb I rent an apartment, it is not far from city center and near 40 minutes by foot to the main station – Termini. We had a gift – like breakfast – was so nice!
There we saw gay demonstration to celebrate gay marriage law! And also we saw Mass of Pope in Vatican. The city is very beautiful, but very expensive and poor tourists always pay more because don’t know a lot of their tricks. And also with airlines – lowcost you need to be extreme caution! I didn’t know that need to do check-in on-line and we paid more than was cost of our tickets (((((! So after perfect weekend I was very sad for my mistake.
In my work I had mini-olympics with children. There were high jump, throwing,