August 2019

by Carmen Moreno 

Girls and the wild: only four words but combined in such a way that my curiosity didn’t take long to wake up when reading about this project. Being someone who quickly jumps on the wagon of trying new things, the idea of living in nature for one week while sharing ideas about gender equality with people from different backgrounds sounded like an exciting adventure to me.

I have to confess however that during my flight to Sofia, right after the cabin crew gave the security explanation, I couldn’t help but wondering how come I took the decision of spending half of my holidays in a village with a population of eight people surrounded by people I didn’t know in a country I’ve never been to. It was not easy but I tried to remind myself that the  best experiences in life occur when we step out of our comfort zone.Too close to a clich?, not sure if such thought was helpful at all.

What made my fears go instantly away was meeting the rest of volunteers, coordinators and participants once we arrived at the workcamp. From the very first day, one could feel the good vibes, the willingness and passion we shared to build something together. A light sparkled among us and didn’t stop twinkling during the whole week we spent together in Vlahi.

Not everything was a bed of roses though as we all faced some barriers along the way. We learnt about the importance of respecting each other’s own pace when it comes to trying new things as well as to listen to our needs and be able to communicate them assertively. This experience taught me as well the importance of being flexible to respect different points of view. It was also truly enriching to gain insights around topics such as gender roles, self-love or gender stereotyping from different perspectives during the workshops, especially when we shared personal stories among us.

In my flight back home, when the pilot announced we were ready for takeoff, I had very different thoughts. My head was full of fresh energy and new ideas but there was one feeling standing  above all: I felt very grateful (and proud) for having had the chance to contribute to this wonderful project. Clicheing apart, every accomplishment starts with the courage to try.

August 2019

 Posted by Shirin at 14:32 Volunteer activities

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