Last week I took part in my first ESC training at the Agrykola Youth Hostel. Together with 15 other volunteers from all over Poland, who like me have "just landed" here, I spent a whole week in Warsaw. We had the opportunity to learn and gain a lot of new skills and experiences through this training, but also shared what abilities we have already gained during our stay here.
But most of all, we had the chance to meet many new people and their cultures. There were volunteers from Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, and Greece. Through this whole week of spending time together during sessions, team building activities but also just eating lunch or going out together we build up lots of connection with each other. We shared experiences or challenges we face in Poland or talked about things like culture shock and how to deal with it.
An important part was also learning more about Poland, its culture and language. In the mornings we always had Polish lessons and got some tips on how to learn Polish independently after this week. We also explored Poland and talked about the different places where all the volunteers were staying or what we want to visit in Poland. Through interviews with people in Warsaw about a variety of topics, we got a great inside of a lot of new things first-hand about Poland, its and culture and what polish people think about it.
The training furthermore gave us a lot of space to reflect on how we define volunteering for us, what our responsibilities as volunteers are and how we want to spend our stay here. We got lots of inspiration and ideas on how to create and structure our own projects or get more involved in the local community.
It was an amazing week, where I could gain a lot of new experiences, skills and inspiration for me personally but also for my project in general. I connected with lots of the volunteer’s and can’t wait to visit them!
PS: here is a small collage with some impressions from my last week <3