Nothing short of awesome!
I cannot think of anything that could have prepared me for this. It's been two months already, and in this pandemic-ridden time, I could not believe it when I realised it. I never really thought of myself as a volunteer, but after thinking about it and discovering the European projects, I thought I'd give it a try, and let me tell you, thank God I did!
This has been two of the most creative, fun, lovely months of my life. I love exploring anything, and a new city, beautiful as it is, is always a challenge. Small streets meeting big highways, bridges over the river connecting parts of the town, parks meeting lakes, and I can only call this a marriage between nature and mankind.
Surrounded by green, mountains, rivers, and lakes, my experience in Bratislava has been nothing but extraordinary! Getting lost in the green parts, only to find myself again close to a skyscraper, towering over me, signaling I am on the right way. The trams and buses always reminding of an excellent inner communication network, they are always on time, and ready to take you anywhere you wish. But that's not what I'm here to talk about...
Volunteering... Ah, such a heavy word, isn't it? To be honest, it's the greatest job I've ever had, if I can even call it that. The people here at work took me in as one of their own, always smiling and ready to take on whatever challenge shows up.
We work at an underprivileged neighborhood, with children of all ages, trying to show them a brighter side to life, and trust me, a smile on them can make you feel like you had someone caress your heart's feathers.
From playing football, board games, and table tennis, to creating and organising events about drug awareness, internet safety, and sexual education, it covers so many different areas and the fulfilment I feel every night when I get home can not really be matched by anything I've lived, and I've had quite a life.
I am looking forward to going on summer camps and spending more time with the children. I already feel like I am bonding with them, and it can only get better from now on. I can't wait to see what else my experience here will bring. I'll see you all in a few months! In the meantime, be aware and be loving.
Text a foto: Lazaros Antoniou