Cristina, from Romania, is at Agora Aveiro

I found myself thinking that i have so much luck to be surrounded by the people I am. Some of them are super-inspiring, others have become family, there have been also others who, even in passing, left deep impressions on my soul.

Cristina arrived in September, from Romania, to EVS the coordinated by Agora Aveiro, at Maternura. After almost 9 months, we asked her to write a brief summary of her Portuguese life. We share it with you here:

"I'm here in Portugal, Aveiro, 8 months after my arrival in September. It has passed so little and at the same time it happened so much. I barely remember what it was like at the beginning, but I remember the overwhelming sense of happiness and enthusiasm that came with thinking about what this EVS project would bring me. Well, it brought me everything. All kinds of emotions, from sadness to euphoric states of mind. So many things have happened so far and so many more are about to happen. So, let me start at the beginning. My volunteer project consists of "working" with children in a nursery school. At first I was stressing because of it, so many expectations. And, as we all know, the greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment. So after a while, I started to think and act in a more flexible, more global way. So I realized that my EVS is not restricted to the technical part, the Maternura. It's much more than that. At one point I realized that my EVS really had much more to give me outside the doors of the Maternura. And that's when I started learning. Learning about social interactions, about Portuguese culture (for which I'm in love), organizing events, managing conflicts (or how to avoid them), managing my small monthly budget, walking slowly through the streets instead of always running , and finally to enjoy each of the sunny or rainy days that life brings.

I found myself thinking that i have so much luck to be surrounded by the people I am. Some of them are super-inspiring, others have become family, there have been also others who, even in passing, left deep impressions on my soul, some are still known to be there whenever I feel the need to be among people. The children I work with are a special part of my project, with a special place in my heart. At first I had the idea that it was I who had to teach them. But in the end they ended up being the ones teaching me. Those little human beings have so many things to teach us, "the adults." To be ourselves, for example, or to be honest and free, sing and dance whenever we want, choose what we love to do, and then love what we choose. I know, it sounds cliché, but it really is like this. And, of course, they teach us how to love unconditionally. My favorite part is when they, from nowhere, come to us and give us kisses, even if they are all dirty. It doesn't matter anymore if they leave snot on our cheeks or a bunch of mud on our t-shirts. It is so genuine to give them a hug and make this exchange of affection.

In addition, during all this time, I have traveled in and out of Portugal. This country has not stopped surprising me with its nature, monuments, cities, people and events. All the places I went to are unique. I tried capoeira classes, for 3 months I went climbing, went to the theater (a Portuguese play), visited museums and I swam in the Atlantic Ocean. These are things I did for the first time in my life.

The emotions and experiences that I have are incomparable, unique in every aspect! Of course there were moments of sadness, "saudade", nostalgia. There were moments when I wanted to give up everything, this "unique" project. I felt that this was not taking me anywhere, but fortunately I was wrong. Most of the time, I miss my family and friends from my country, Moldova. It seems like I'm losing something in me (the connection, maybe), but taking everything into account, everything I'm experiencing here is worth it ".

Agora Aveiro

10-07-2017