On-arrival training

Going to an unknown place alone and far from your home can be pretty scary. Or great if that’s your thing. But either way you still wanna feel like you belong somewhere or you’re integrated in something. Making friends ain’t easy, specially if you stay in a small town like me. Which is why you’ll have “on-arrival training” for volunteers of European Solidarity Corps.

In normal circumstances it would be a whole week spent in some town with other volunteers who also live in the country you’re in. A week full of activities involving music, general knowledge, art, dance, theater, sports and all types of activities focused on your personal experiences and getting to know you and the other volunteers. But because of the pandemic all this has to happen in online platforms. Which is less fun and gives you back pain. However, the training coordinators really put effort on the activities in order to make the week more dynamic and less boring. And they actually did it. They were so creative with all the activities and every day they would put a smile on our faces with simple things like a song or some exercise to warm up our sleeping bodies. (But keep a big cup of coffee nearby, trust me it will help a lot.)

Among all the things we did, my personal favorite ones were the cultural exchanges, the polish lessons and the various classes given by the volunteers according to each one’s talents or knowledges. If you are either an introvert or an extrovert, you will find joy in the training due to the wide range of activities the coordinators provide us with. And if you don’t feel comfortable with something, they will help you and find ways to make the experience more pleasing.

I always put personal relations on top of everything, which is why the most important thing in this training was to get to know new people and share experiences. You will definitely feel more like home after this. It gives you a feeling of belonging, stability and tranquility. And also gives you friends whom you can spill your daily tea.

I really hope the next one happens outside the screens like it’s supposed to, but till then we’ll keep on having fun online 😁

Mafalda Andrade


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