Ola! I’m Francesca, an italian girl who found this really nice project on the ESC site.
When I finished high school, I wanted to do a volunteer experience abroad, to help where possible and learn a new language and a new culture and maybe find out what I'd really like to study after this year off.
I leafed through pages of projects to find one that could fit with my abilities and my time availability.
Work in Progress Team Work New Home
This project of AJD was my favorite one since I read the informations about it since and the blog made by the volonteers that were here before us. After seeing Viana do Castelo, the city in Portugal where I was going to live, i decided to apply.
I left my country only 2 weeks after they told me I was selected for the project, so the preparation before departure was full of anxiety. The team of the association, however, made it more confortable, giving me some informations that could help and being present for whatever I needed.
When I arrived in Portugal, I waited for the bus that took me from the airport of Porto to Viana do Castelo, where three people were waiting for me. They hugged me like we were friends and suddently I felt less worried about spending a year abroad.
They took me to my new house, in Darque, a town between Viana and Deão, and the place where I was going to work: I arrived in the afternoon after lunch and one of my flatmates was there waiting for me. We went to one of the bar near the house so we could talk. Then I tidied up my room and went to the grocery shop to by some food.
At the end of the day I met two more of my flatmates. They are two young boys and they are very nice and extrovert: one of them is from France and the other one is from Cyprus.
I immediatly felt at home and it didn't take me many days to adapt to the environment. The first responsibilities included the Portuguese lessons and playing with the children during the afternoon in the association: since they discovered my passion for drawing they became very curios and passionate; from that moment, every time we see each other they ask me to draw something different. Since the beginning they have been very kind to me, as well as all the people and the volunteers who are part of AJD.
I am easily discovering the city and making friends very quickly, thanks to the surf courses during the weekend and the meetings during the week.
I found everyone very helpful and kind: for any problem or doubt there is someone to turn to and who will surely find a way to help you.
It's been an intense two weeks, I feel like I've been here forever and I feel like I know this place like home. I am very happy to have chosen this project and I am really curious to see what awaits me.
Imagination The Endless Ocean Playing