Blog dei volontari

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Volunteering opportunity at Convent Centre 2022-2023

IL BLOG DELLE VOLONTARIE DEL CORPO EUROPEO DI SOLIDARIETA’

1. Calabrian Adventure by Joana Condado

 

Joana and friends 2Joana and friends 1

 

When I arrived in Amantea, I found it interesting that being a small town, everyone knew each other. In the beginning, when I was walking on the streets, local people stared at me, but after a while, everyone has been quite friendly.
In Portugal, in April, we celebrate Easter, but in Italy, the following day they celebrate Pasquetta and each group of close friends go out to the countryside for having a pic-nic and gather together. I learned that normally this specific celebration is a bit “restricted” in terms of invitations since ideally only old friends meet and celebrate, but to my surprise, I’ve got an invitation.
I also learned that in Italy there is a clear distinction between North and South, and among the Southern regions, “Il Calabrese” fascinates me.
Would you believe me, if I tell you that every week a local came to my house door for offering me fresh fruit and vegetables?!? I loved it!

Regarding my project activities, I gave Spanish lessons at an Elderly local association, I also had fun creating a short film about how important Calabria is for the locals and the foreigners who live there. If you want to take a look at it, visit the profile @escincalabria.
Moreover, our project coordinator, had the idea to create a weekly language tandem, where basically every Thursday my colleague and I would go to a bar to practice languages. It was an open activity, there was no commitment to come every week for the students and there was freedom of choice, one time we could chat in English, another time in Spanish, another time in Portuguese, French and Italian.

In my spare time, I studied Italian and traveled a lot. I visited Tropea and Pizzo, breathtaking places in Calabria. I visited Naples and the Amalfi coast, Rome and Florence. And I also took the opportunity to do sports and go to the beaches.
The Italian seawater is transparent and has a crystal blue tonality, which we don’t have in Portugal, although, the is made up of stones and rocks instead of sand as it is in Portugal.

The host organization made an effort to make us feel comfortable. On my very first day, they offered me dinner, pizza of course. They also helped me to get to know other foreigners in the area and other organizations already established in Calabria. More, on festive occasions, families cooked me Easter lunch and gave me an Easter chocolate egg. I’m grateful for all the things the organization has made for me!

Finally, we come to the part that everybody wants to read about: the Italian food!
In the country of ” Vespas”, breakfast is sugar based, in general, they eat different types of cakes and croissants with cream and a cappuccino. Pizza and the ice creams are good and bigger than in Portugal. The best pizzas I’ve tried were in Naples.

I left you with a curiosity that greatly surprised me in this country. From 7 pm to 9 pm, there is a kind of meal before dinner, the so-called “aperitivo”. People go out with friends to have a drink and eat something light, later they go home to eat again! I guess there is a method to every madness 

Best wishes for your excellent experiences and cultural exchanges, dear future volunteers!

2. Incontri linguistici alla Cantina Amarcord, di Amantea

 

di Constantina Kafetzopoulou

Why do we only think of classrooms when it comes to teaching? Of books and homework?
How can a Caffè-Bar become a place where young people meet to learn a language by talking to each other, playing games while enjoying an “aperitivo”? The only thing needed is Passion to bring a change, people who love their job and people who are open to new ideas and concepts.

When I saw for the first time, 15 people from different countries that didn’t know each other and didn’t feel comfortable talking in English, opening up after a while, sharing thoughts, making jokes and starting being friends, I realized that this could be the beginning to many more.

What practically happens when we meet for the English Tandem is that the participants get the chance to learn for free English in a non formal way. Some of the games that helped achieve the goal were Taboo, Speed dates based on certain questions, Broken Telephone and more.

Finding concepts to motivate young people on Learning is not always easy, but once it is achieved, there are many positive aspects except of learning.

C.K.

3. Il mio Corso di Spagnolo per l’AUSER di Amantea

di Joana Condado

AUSER         
At the beginning of teaching Spanish lessons in AUSER, I thought it would be a challenge.
What if my students did not understand something specific how could I explain, at the time I wasn’t very fluent in Italian.

The first day of teaching finally came and all of my future students were there waiting for me. I was impressed. The class went superb, they were warm and friendly and taught me a lot of new Italian words and of course, I had a taste of the Calabrian dialect.

Every Tuesday they welcome me with smiles and tell me a bit about their lives. It is a real pleasure for me to go to AUSER.
We have celebrated International Women’s Day together at AUSER, where they offered me a lovely rose and invited me to a party.

Our Spanish course it’s not just a language course, every Tuesday afternoon it’s our time together, it’s a place in time when they enjoy each other’s company and have fun.
I would like to state that the most successful and happy people in life, are not the best ones in terms of results, but instead, the ones who have more commitment and live it to the fullest.

Thank you to all my students and the Director of AUSER Prof. Tonino Perricone for showing me kindness all the time.

J.C.

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