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30 Dicembre 2019

Hello, my name is Marita and in this blog post I will share my thoughts and emotions about greatest experience in this summer!

Everything started in the end of June, I send my application – motivation letter to my sending organization in Latvia (Radi Vidi Pats), they answered my email after some days saying that I should have interview with my hosting organization. At that time I was super busy, but I manage time for interview and I was not ready for it at all! At first I thought that it will be very long process for hosting organization to choose the right volunteer, but in the end of interview I ask question “am I already accepted in this project?” and they said, if I am alright with this project regulations, then YES! Wow, at that time I could not believe that…

After little bit more then one month I was already in the plane for direct flight to Catania, Sicily! And then, went out of plane, get my luggage, found bus stop to go to Palermo….but wait even in airport Sicily took my breath away – my favorite plants cactuses were growing almost everywhere and some great view to very big mountain, what I later figured out was part of real volcano!
I still had time before bus arrive, so I went for walk to check around, I found cool café and I went in there and took the best street food that I have tasted ever – “aranchino” (from that moment I start to get addicted from aranchinos 😀 ).

delicious rice ball – aranchino

interesting trees in Sicily

From Catania to Palermo (nearest city where was my volunteering house) it was 3,5 h drive by bus, at first I directly fall asleep, but in the moment I wake up I thought that I am still sleeping! Breath taking away beautiful mountain views get my attention so much that I just could not go to sleep anymore! 🙂

When I arrived our group leader, Ibra took me from bus stop to big volunteering home. There I meet for the first time 2 other volunteers with who we worked together for all month. At that moment when I arrived they were making pasta and it was really nice to start know each other, honestly at first moment Paulina (volunteer from Lithuania) and Zaher (volunteer from Syria) looked adult and serious for me, but after some while “ice was broken” between us!

Latter we meet other volunteers Lucas (volunteer from Spain) and Romein (volunteer from France)! We start to have conversations very quickly and actually we all spoke in very similar level of English, communication in this volunteering camp was super easy and understandable.

Fruit and vegetables shopping in local shop

Our every working day (monday – friday) started at 9 o’clock. At that time we needed to deliver water bottles (what we fill with water in before day evening) and plants to port, where we insert them in organization boat. Imagine everyday we went to work by boat! Wow…

When we arrived to island sometimes I got really quick swim with all clothes to have more refreshing working! Then we manually went to water plants and plant some new ones almost every day. Usually it was not very hard job, because we were doing it all together, but sometimes weather was too hot to be very active.

Our second working team and our working director Vincenzo (wearing green hat) and from him to right side boat driver Salvatore

One thing that suppressed me was plastic trash on island (it was so a lot not from people who comes here and throw something, but because of wind and big waves, so at second working day I started to wear working shorts with the biggest pockets, so I could collect as many as possible garbage.

To work and back we were usually going by one boat, but for two times, I did not want to hurry up, so almost every day I leave island with second boat, in that time when we were waiting for the next boat we were exploring waters with other volunteers, started to call sea creatures as our sons or daughters! Also me and Paulina were collecting seashells and stones, after few days we had them so much so we started to make bracelets from them.

We had pretty lot of free days in first workcamp, because of bad weather, so we took most of it – went to nearest reserve “Capo Gallo” where we excellent spend time and get to know each other better, we also took small trip around Isola delle Femmine. At first two weeks we really enjoyed time near to beach, often after work we went swimming together, took ice cream and played game that we will always connect with these memories – UNO (it was interesting how we complicated rules every time when someone start to get bored!).

With Lucas, my funny Spanish friend!

Trip to Capo Gallo reserve.

We also tried water diving near to Isole delle Femmine.

In first workcamp (first 2 August weeks) we did such a great team job, we cooked foods by groups and separate other household jobs at second workcamp it didn’t went so good. I think one of the main reasons for it was that we did not had so good communication between us, but you know there is not good or bad workcamp, both of them had good side and bad side.
For example in first workcamp we really had timetable for cooking, but in second workcamp we were more flexible to job separation and in that time when you have already live together with 6 different people in one flat it is just understandable to have time alone. I am really grateful for this, because in these weeks I had one of the best hike in my life, where I really start to feel world power!

Speaking about myself, emotions, what I did in free time, I can surely say that I was not bored at any time, and how can you be if every where you go you see something new?
As I write I had this super cool craft hobby for all this time when we worked in island and when I had the chance to collect beautiful rocks and shelves. Also this hobby remained me about my home, because at home I am doing similar crafts! One day at Palermo city I even found shop for crafts and from that moment I started to get really in to this crafts! At end of volunteering I gifted handmade bracelets to all my friends these were my souvenirs!

The hobby that took my breath away in Palermo was roller skating! At the moment I got to know that it is possible to take big luggage with me, there was no questions to take roller skates or not! Before I packed my luggage I get to know is there some skateparks or some roller skating team, so at the time when I arrived I already know that I will have some great events where to meet roller skate friends! So I took place in two roller skate events – first one was on my second volunteering week, funny is that I explored Palermo city for the first time on roller skates! The second event was night ride to nearest beachside and back to city, in the end we went for about 26km! Number at this time when I am writing still looks very big, important is also that I started to exercise roller skating just 2 months ago, at first it was very challenging for me, but the great company and swim at beachside went so well!



But what about this one month, what did I understand about myself?
There was one evening when I had great talk with my group leader and actually at that conversation I figured out my life goals.
First – CREATE, be creative that is how I put in shelves my thoughts, clear my mind.
Second – TRY, big inner voice, who all the time is saying to try different things. And I will listen to this voice till I will be died, because this is the only way how I can find that I really like (also what I really do not like 😀 )
Third – ENJOY, be with me, be my friend and never ever let anybody throw away my dreams, sometimes just do not care about other voices, just sing with my soul voice!
Forth – THANK YOU, always remember to say these words, because it is just magic key to open another great door!

I think these kind of projects are perfect just because I met so a lot new people, who did not know me at all, I really get that feeling I can be myself…

Meeting my mates again!
Recently I was one my Europe trip and guess what… I met both of my one month volunteering friends! I visited Paulina at Kaunas (Lithuania) and Zaher at Miskolc (Hungary).
We are good friends also after project although we are so different and I hope it will stay like that!
See you soon 😉


In Kaunas party with Paulina

Exploring nature in Hungary with Zaher!