The city that everyone wants to be at once, the city where you can meet Hollywood’s best stars such as Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and the city where you can finally see the “Small” Ben (I know everyone makes that joke, but I couldn’t resist either). The city you can reach by having your passport and UK visa checked hundred times, the city we were getting to almost for 48 hours and the city you can finally hear that incomprehensible weird British accent and pretend like you understand what they say.
My name is Vahe Tumanyan and alongside with my dearest friend and “boss” Nelly Paytyan, we were lucky enough to participate in the International Training Course “ToT-Developing entrepreneurial skills at young people and organizations”, taking place the first stage in London from July 31st to August 07th and the second stage in Brighton from October 29th to November 5th.
In the scope of the training course we met diverse and interesting people, got acquainted with their cultures and exchanged our knowledge and skills. It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn something new, to accept challenges and to have fun with youngsters from different European countries: from a Hungarian psychologist, Italian girl who always got lost to a Turkish guy whose dream was to build a new village for young people who will come, stay there, help to build it and return in the future.
We were surprised to meet a Hungarian guy named Patrick who had Armenian roots and Armenian name Suren as his second. It was such an emotional moment for both of us and we felt Armenian spirit even in London. Along with all these amazing people we got introduced to a new developing phenomenon such as social entrepreneurship, about which some of us hadn’t heard before the training, including me. Following the funny and creative “Marshmallow Challenge” we were also taught about trainer’s key skills and competences, we even organized and implemented sessions ourselves, which gave us invaluable experience for becoming a trainer.
Along with all these activities, we were also given free time to celebrate Halloween dressed up as scary characters, explore London and couple of other towns as exploring new places and different cultures is an essential part of non-formal education. Due to this adventure, I was given a chance to realize my most desired dream of my life: to take part in “Suicide Squad” movie Premiere, meet my most beloved Hollywood actors like Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, even Ben Affleck and take a selfie with legendary Will Smith. It was a breath-taking moment of satisfaction and delight.
I will always be so thankful to my sending NGO – Armenian Progressive Youth and to the organizers of the course who gave me this unbelievable opportunity to gain knowledge and realize my dream. During the following days I also visited the famous Detective Sherlock Holmes’s house at Baker street, tried to enter Madame Tussauds museum (didn’t enter because of the enormous queue out there) and several other places in London.
On the way back to Armenia I thought of my journey, my adventures, and I understood that not only have I overcome all the obstacles in my way, but also I reached the feeling of fulfillment. In the end, no matter what we do, how we do, our final goal for this life is to feel fulfilled and happy even if it’s just for a moment. And I need to say I am one of the few lucky people who felt that way more than just a moment thanks to Erasmus+ and APY. In conclusion, I wish everyone to keep their dreams warm as long as possible with the hope of realizing them all one beautiful day. And always keep trying…