“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you may just find what you need”, Mick Jagger.
Have you noticed that we always rush not to lose time? Wish to be more was always a desire for “us” which I guess is the main factor that humanity always gets better and developed on any present to compare to any past and for even better future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”.
I am a volunteer in Spain from Armenia for one year in a beautiful city called Malaga.
It’s a historical city with a history of 2087 years, yep, almost as much as the capital of Armenia, just a bit younger. To compare to the place from where I come it is more hot so you can probably associate it as “Malaga is the younger hot sister of Yerevan”.
My occupation sounds like “assistant of the president of the NGO” which involves quite diverse responsibilities some of them I never faced in my life before. But no one ever said that life is easy so I am quite getting used to it especially with the desire to learn and experience new skills. Just in this case I don’t have other choices and, to be honest, it makes me more motivated.
It has been already two months that I am experiencing this new chapter of my life and I let me publicly announce about my excitements how interesting it is becoming day by day.
Intercultural experience is always amazing if you are not afraid of changes. 21th century is full of sources to theoretical knowledge about different cultures and mentalities of seven billion people living around us. But looking at a good picture of pie and tasting it by your own are never the same, right?
Practically feeling the various aspects of any culture only shapes vision about the world and Spain is not an exception. Differences are almost everywhere: food, dances, music, hospitality etc.
But I prefer to let you know about my best experience yet: meeting people. They are warm and friendly, communicative and helpful. I am volunteering in the organization called Arrabal-Aid and in that peaceful kingdom (it is really like a big family) I could never imagine that I will have so much kindness and support. As soon as I arrived my mentor Julio, as a professional guitar player sacrificed pretty much of his time to help me with choosing a guitar and we end up with a decision to buy it from Amazon and another amazing college whose name is Ali ordered it for me. Before that I never even new how to hold one so thanks to them I am also developing some extra skills besides my obligations. I already got lucky enough to have a trusty friend who is not from the organization but still is always kind to me with any support or help.
Thanks to Javier I can feel myself as a local inhabitant even if still I don’t have a resident-cart. Punctuality of Spain reminds me my country so I will not talk about experiencing anything new but just will add that it is the reason why me and some of my other new friend from abroad don’t have a resident cart yet or they just got it (There is a hope that at the beginning of this month all of the volunteers will finally have it). Spanish people are very communicative even if they are not shining with English language skills but don’t run with conclusions because I feel my fault here as well as my Spanish language skills are even worse. So yes, I am also trying to improve one more skill which definitely will be beneficial and for me and for people around me. Spanish people have really big patience and Juan from my organization is a great example for that. During first days I bothered him so much about issues which are not anyhow connected with work in Arrabal-Aid and although he is always busy he always helped me as well, I even think sometimes he even regretted for the waste of his time on my concerns but still, he supported for which I can not be not thankful.
Here are around twenty people like me who decided to do EVS in Spain who are from Armenia, Ukraine, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, France, Germany etc. Besides the program we have pretty much in common as well: kindness, educated, tolerance, goal oriented skills, motivated about Spanish culture and my favorite one — all of them also understand fluent English. Logically they were the first people with whom I was trying to explore the new city of my life and time made us really good pals and now we are living like a huge family with too many sisters and brother
But in this case some people may wonder “Does it true that you can learn also about other cultures besides Spanish” and I would say “That is definitely more than true” because now we even cook together.
Arrabal-Aid is the organization which invited me to do my EVS in Malaga. The Organization is bigger than the average imagination about Non Governmental Organization. The main goal of organization Is to help and develop their community with suggesting different possibilities.
With diverse ways they are fighting against discrimination, unemployment, luck of education and/or information etc. Staff members all are unique and experienced in different fields. In our office building Arrabal-Aid invites volunteers to participate in classes of economics, computer science, management, English learning etc. outside of the building they are organizing events, workshops, training-courses, conferences and more just to rise awareness of people who want to know, learn and improve themselves. I am usually trying to think about new projects and events to implement for community and also I am always ready to help them with anything that they may need.
According to working agreement we are supported with several good comforts. We have a good health insurance conditions, nice big flat with everything necessary to live in, organization takes care of covering the main utilities costs, we are provided with free bus-using possibility. The only complain is that why the time is going so fast.
Describing our free time, I will try to be very short. It is usually full of adventures. Visiting nearby cities and beaches, exploring ancient places, museums (on Sunday the entrance is for free), and of course night life is Malaga is worth to try.
To be hones before applying I was full of doubts. Well doubts are always following us when we have luck of information about something. I created so much expectations before coming, some of them happened to be true, the rest, well, almost true, or nothing like true. I still have doubts about so much things, even about tomorrow. Will it be like I want or something strangely unexpected will happen (I am also experiencing this, not the worst feeling I might mention, but not the best as well) . Bust still, let’s be positive about upcoming opportunities and run to catch them. Of course we can’t know for sure where exactly we might end up. But maybe it is better than being stuck in one place. And maybe we should try because time is always limited? Maybe that’s why we always run to not lose a time or an opportunity. Maybe that’s why we want so much to experience our dreams, to be more in our present, better than in any past for even better in our future. Maybe that’s why we are called human “race”. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Jagger?
Anyways, let’s keep trying…