dai volontari in evidenza

169 days in Austria and counting

By:Saúl Olvera

The last post I wrote that growing hurts. And now that feeling couldn’t be more accurate these days. There are already 169 days since I’m out of my country and arrived to make a big change in my life that I didn’t expect: to volunteer in Austria. Of course several decisions were settled before I arrived, but I couldn’t measure the magnitude of the experience. Honestly I can say that I underestimated it a bit. And that’s a lesson that I just learnt, experimenting in different levels. I want to tell you one story of why I said on the beginning of this post that now is very accurate.

Austria is a mighty country, full of magnificent mountains covered these days by a hypnotizing white color. And, as it was expected, the whole volunteers of the region had a ‘mountains day’ to have fun and learn other part of the inherent culture of Austrians, thus they took us to a very nice place named Bergeralm, very close to Italy. If you’ve never been in a big and very snowy mountain, the sensation of going up is already stunning and being there duplicates the feeling. Imagine diverse slopes full of diverse people of a very big age range, where you can see from 2 year old kids to 70 year old couples, all of them dressed with a really professional look and clothes.

For me that was the first time I was on the very top, so it was kind of a movie scene, ready to descend with the skies on my feet and with the adrenaline and motivation on the top. The first hours were nice, learning of how to slide myself smoothly and how to break after a not that steep slope. Everything was nice until the point that I started to underestimate (again in life) the possibilities. So, I went to the top, to a slope not for beginners and I couldn’t manage it and felt down. My ski didn’t pop out and the boot wasn’t very tight. So, the ski twisted with my right foot and I got a hard injury on my ankle.

By now, I already have 3 weeks and a half with a plaster cast and crutches. Fortunately nothing serious happened, but something more than my ligaments were damaged: My motivation and the sense of being useful. At this point, I was thinking to give up, because a revolution on my mind become stronger when I needed to face myself with a lot of free time. Nevertheless, speaking is always a good first step to try to figure out what is going on, and nothing better than speaking with your coordinating organization and your hosting organization as well.

All of this brought something new and positive for my experience in EVS: I could enjoy the panorama of where I live with tranquility; I discovered that I’m not that lonely as I thought, because some friends came to visit me and brought me food to home; I managed to create new tasks in my current organization, which made me feel useful again. So, yes, I can say 169 of very diverse and learning days, but still counting!

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