Letter from an ex volunteer to PRAXIS
My experience of European volunteering in Greece was certainly dynamic and exhilarating.
I would like to tell my best memories of this experience, let’s start from the beginning.
When I arrived in Thessaloniki, it was about nine o’clock in the evening and a certain Kostas was waiting for me at the airport. This person had the task of taking me to Serres, a small town in the north of Greece where the project was based.
Telling him that I had eaten nothing during the trip, he took me to taste a typical Greek food named "Bougatsa", explaining that what I was eating is a typical food of that city.
From there a great friendship was born.
That welcome gave me an idea of the family in which I was joining.
The most positive thing that remains to me about Greek culture is an immense hospitality.
Exactly from this hospitality, friendships were born between me and local people.
I am really glad about having took part on this project with guys from all over Europe, facing difficulties due to different ways of thinking, different cultures and different origins.
An aspect that shouldn’t be underestimated is that before leaving I had some prejudices about other nationalities, these same prejudices were extirpated by the end of project.
The classic stereotypes about nationalities turned out to be unfounded and not true.
Considering the educational and social gain of this project demonstrated on my person, we can therefore say that the name "bringing down the barriers" for our Facebook group is completely appropriate.
I learned a lot from my work on the radio, but what I'm really proud of myself is that I opened my horizons, I went further. I had direct contact with people less fortunate than me who were denied a fundamental right: "freedom".
I have learnt listening to them that we should appreciate more what we have.
I would define this like best experience I have ever had. It has been for me the first time living abroad, i met so many people an gained so many friends.
I won’t forget the football matches with sub-zero temperatures in which I took part with greek friends, the evening spent with guys chilling out, our adventures in other greek cities.
A special mention goes to Edina, a volunteer who was close to me, a strong shoulder to rely on, who helped me to pass difficult moments and shared moments of joy with me.
I am grateful for the opportunity I received, I really thank everyone.
I would like to take advantage of this article to publicly greet my friends Kostas Boubas and Giannis, Giuseppe Pino (the barber), Kostas Savvoulidis and all the families who welcomed me into their home.
See you soon Serres!!