I am not a writer so this is not an extraordinary story. It is just an article;it is my story. I am a small countryside girl from a country which is small by itself, but is very rich in natural and cultural resources. My country is Nepal. The story is about a girl who left her city, country and continent and decided to travel, to get out of her comfort zone and gain experience. But my travel was neither for studies nor for any work. I came to volunteer as I think that volunteering is helping others hoping that my help would make a positive difference in someone else’s life and at the same time developing personal and professional skill.
My journey began on 21st November 2015 when my bags were packed and I boarded the plane. I moved from Godawary, Lalitpur, Bagmati, Nepal to Vico di Santa Fede, Genoa, Liguria, Italy. The travelling experience was very exciting and long too.
When I first step my foot on Genoa the feeling was amazing. I was thinking “Is it real?” “Am I really in Genoa?” The roads, streets, houses, people, everything felt weirdly amazing. And, the most interesting fact is that I live near to the sea port. The very first day, I arrived on the evening, Acela (my volunteering colleague from Mexico) took me out for the dinner. It’s Italy. So, we ate pizza. On the way home, we did a quick city tour starting from Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Palazzo Ducale, Piazza de Ferrari along the UNESCO protected street Via Garibaldi to home. Next day, Acela took me for lunch at Giardini Luzzati. It is a restaurant where we eat lunch, provided by hosting organization. And, I went to the workplace where I met with the children. The day was actually confusing but was special though. Then the days were long while the weeks became short. First one week, I was sort of dependent on Acela. But,later she went to Berlin and I had to be independent. I got lost on the streets, bought one product instead of another. It was crazy. But, somehow as the weeks passed everything started getting normal. I traveled to Pisa, Camogli. Camogli worth more than Pisa for me all because it was my first sea experience. And on the end of the first month, there was EVS on arrival training on Vitorchiano, Province of Viterbo, for one week which turned out to be effective as I got to know so much about Italy and personally made some friends too. Lastly, the first month was exciting and it acted as a great teacher that taught me things about life, personal as well as professional life. Being far from my family time, I learned to take care of myself. Be it finance or health or my home, those things made me feel independent, confident and helped me grow as an individual. Talking about my work and its progress, though I had some volunteering experience back in my country, this responsibility which I was given has helped me understand and gain skills that will be useful in future. I have learned many great things and I hope to do so in future too through this opportunity.
As the first month passed on struggling, learning, making mistakes and failing. In the second month there was a little progress. I learned a little more and struggled a little less. That month I did not travel anywhere as I wanted to stay and study Italian language. But, I did went for Christmas dinner as well lunch. During holidays, I watched number of English movies with Christmas stories. I didn’t know what it was like to celebrate Christmas, but I experienced it for real that day.
Talking about my professional part, my hosting organization is Il Ce. Sto located in Genoa, Italy. This organization basically works with children and refugees. This association is a place of co-existence and integration of different ethnic groups, generational differences in an atmosphere of fellowship and mutual respect. And, I work with children from 5-17 years old.
Expectations ! Everyone kept asking me what were my expectations, did I meet my expectations and all about expectations. But, in reality I really did not expect anything, anything at all. Because, I knew from the start that everything is going to change, everything will be different and time may not always be good but the year will be an adventure. So, I never expected anything, I just wanted to go with the flow. And, today after these months I am feeling very happy and blessed to get this opportunity.
And about learning experience, it is a little progressive. I am taking two classes for learning Italian language. One of the class is more practical while another one is practical as well as theoretical but I want to take another language class because these are not much effective. I really don’t know if I am doing good or not but I know there is always a part for improvement and I am trying to improve the things that I can.
In the end, this experience is simply amazing more than these words can explain. And, I wish that the coming days will be more fruitful. I learned to talk with people, being social, working in group with cultural diversity. So, I feel blessed getting this golden opportunity to work under European Commission in Erasmus + project.
Godawary, Lalitpur, Nepal.