Jon back to Spain – VT17 follow up project

When I first thought about my Follow-Up plan, the moment was so far in the horizon, so my ideas were also far, but above my head.

In that moment, my plan had to be a very big event, perfectly planned, with a lot of assistants. With time my planned modified itself, and the final idea was really different from the first draft due to new needs and to the good advices of my coordinators. From a theatre play written and directed by me, I went to something as simple as to be part of my sending organization, Mille Cunti, for one week, offering everything I learned in Romania during my EVS project. More simple yes, but also more easy to enjoy.

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So on my way back home, from Madrid to Málaga, I passed by Ciudad Real, where Mille Cunti is settled. Miriana Squillaci, the president, offered me to stay in a flat with other EVS volunteers during one week, so everything reminded me to one year ago when I arrived to Bucharest. My new flatmates ended up being three amazing girls from Poland, Italy and Turkey.

My Follow-Up was divided in three main ideas: a theatre workshop, like the one I did for my colleagues in Bucharest, an origami workshop for kids, and to participate in the formation of the Spanish newcomers in A.C.T.O.R. Due to the schedule of Mille Cunti, I had to adapt some details, but in general everything was as I planned.

The week started with a Cluedo organized in Cervantes Museum, in which some psychiatric patients had to find a murderer solving puzzles and asking questions. My role was the one of the police man, trying to help them all the time. That afternoon I had the chance to meet all the volunteers in a teambuilding afternoon organized in the park, in which Luis, my friend and ex-volunteer in A.C.T.O.R., could participate.

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The next day I was part of the formation of Julia, Rubén, Jesús and Ruth, the four new volunteers that Mille Cunti was sending to A.C.T.O.R. in Bucharest. Along with Miriana, we tried to solve their doubts, to advise them properly and to remove some fears. It was an interesting process since the last time I was in the opposite side of the screen, with those same fears and questions. One year after, I realized that every fear was useless after all and I didn’t know how lucky I was yet. In the afternoon I participated in a languages tandem in which I could practice every language I know, included Romanian!

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Thursday was an important day. First I visited the pediatric part of the local hospital to do clinic animation with kids. There was only a couple of girls, but was enough to teach them all the origami I learned in A.C.T.O.R. and to have a lot of fun. It was amazing how easy was to communicate with them after one year working just with Romanian kids. In the afternoon I imparted my workshop for the volunteers. It was a satisfying experience because I had a lot of memories from the one I did in Bucharest with my old friends, and everybody seemed to enjoy and to learn something new. Everything went easier than the first time, because my structure and explanations were improved. I hope everyone enjoyed as I did with them.

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Finally Friday was a sad day that started with a wonderful Turkish breakfast organized by my flatmate, and finished with the farewell. As always, people was the most important part of the experience, and the worst part was the short time I had to spend with them.

This experience helped me to get over post-EVS depression, because I met a group of wonderful people from a lot of countries, and they received me as a part of their international family. In only one week I had dozens of little experiences with all of them, from living together to going out, dancing, playing and even watching fireworks.

I am really happy with my decision, and I encourage every volunteer to try to accomplish their Follow-Up, because is not another form to fill, but the final experience connected with your EVS in which you can give the best of yourself and even open new doors in your life. Thanks to every person who did that week possible, and to Mille Cunti staff and volunteers for being such an amazing organization from which I could learn that much.

You helped me to open my eyes, and I will not forget it.

Jon

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