E.ART.H YOUTH EXCHANGE (MY EXPERIENCE)

This week I came to tell you about a new experience as a volunteer but it was not in Faenza, we went to Tredozio to do a Youth Exchange for a week.

It is not the first time that I have participated in a youth exchange but this time it was different. Previously I participated in one in Goersdorf, France last September, which was one of the best experiences of my life. This time I participated in another exchange but this time as a volunteer, as it is one of my jobs this year in Faenza. We were 25 participants from 5 different countries and 5 facilitators.

Our jobs depended on the day of the week. One day I was in charge of cleaning the corridors, stairs, toilets, dishes …. and the next day I was in charge of the social networks. But whenever I could help, I did.

It was a rare but very rewarding experience where I could learn many new things for my personal learning and I could meet 25 wonderful people who will always be part of me.

The main theme of this exchange was recycling and art and how to merge them, the truth is that the activities were very well organised and the participants gave their best to create authentic works of art. It wasn’t all about working and doing the activities guided by the timetable but, in the evenings, we had cultural evenings and each country offered food and drinks from their country of origin as well as games, dances and videos about their culture. For me this was the highlight of the day. After the cultural nights we played music and the party continued.

The first cultural night was the Spanish night, where I was able to participate with the representatives from Spain, where there were two of my lifelong friends, it was exciting to be able to share this adventure with them. First we appeared as the wise men and explained the traditions of the country, then we recreated the chimes from beginning to end but with lacasitos and not with grapes (with Cristina Pedroche included). For food we offered them chorizo, tortilla de patata, turron and sangria. People had a great time.

My colleagues and I organised a guided tour of Faenza for the cultural visit. The participants could see where we live, what our daily life is like, they saw the city, monuments and buildings that characterise it and of course, they tasted typical food and drinks of the area like spritz, ice cream, crescioni, etc.

The best part for me was the GOSSIP BOX, which is a box where you can put all the things that have happened during the week. They are ALWAYS SAFE LAUGHS even though EVERYTHING is out in the open, you can’t keep secrets.

Everything came to an end and the first people left, my heart was broken, as it usually happens to me when I say goodbye, but it is something that I know will happen when I accept to go to a place like this. We all left, we said goodbye, we loved each other, we cried (or rather, I cried)? In spite of having lived only one week, it is something that has united us in a way and I only have words of thanks for all of them. First of all, thanks to Danai (my coordinator) and Ina (my mentor) for giving me the opportunity to participate in this experience from another point of view. Thanks to Kyriakos and Gyorgyi, previous volunteers, for their dedication in the activities and preparation of everything, I take the baton from you for future occasions. Thank you Maija for your work, only we know what it is like to be in the other person’s shoes, thank you also to all the participants: Oscar, Candela, Lucia, Victor, Emilia, Rolando, Matteo, Temy, Benedetta, Elisa, Sofia, Margarida, Kika, Mariana, Adriana, Johannes, Jakob, Abay, Anna, Mohamed, Daniel, Vera, Lili, Duci, for being the way you are, for your laughter and moments together, for the talks until 5 am, for the smiles in the corridors, for the daily actions, simply THANK YOU. You all know that Casa Europa is your home until February, after that …only destiny knows.

And so far my adventures in Tredozio.

Thank you and I hope you liked it as much as I did.

DAVID G. CARRASCO

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