My first week of EVS in Milano
“How should I start?” is the first thought that comes to everyone’s mind when trying to express a cocktail of feelings, ideas and impressions. I guess this is why people say that the beginnings are always harder; and, honestly, I believed so, until my EVS experience with BIR and CN in Milano proved me that there can be beautifully easy beginnings!
I arrived in Milano one week ago and I feel that “sono diventata una milanese”, as Liliana just told me this morning :). I know that this wouldn’t have been possible without the friendly approach and help of every single person I met here (from the maintanance man to the coordinator and the director of the association)! I acknoledge the fact that every experience is different and unique, but I am excited to share my first realities in the Città della Madonnina with everyone interested in having an idea about how it is to do an EVS in this city.
Once here, I’ve been welcomed by Bea, a friendly, talkative Romanian EVS volunteer (that helped a lot with my quick integration) and been guided to my NEW flat, where I was pleasently surprised to find a fully equipped appartment, completly new!! “How lovely, I am the first person going to live in this place!” I exclaimed and I just couldn’t wait for Monday morning to get to know what my activities will be and to meet the rest of the people!
Monday arrived and so did my first impression on the community in which I will spend the following 7 months; impression that raises also a question: “Is it in the Italian culture or just the people in this association that take everything “con calma”?! I need to admit that, until now, I thought that Italians are those kind of humans that will rise 3 fingers and say: “ma che…” 🙂 So, con calma, I started to learn and get introduced to the groups of the association, meeting new people every couple minutes.
Next day started with a morning bike ride, when my tutor, Sophia, took me to the Agenzia per le entrate, where I realized that the Italian bureaucracy is similar to the one in Romania (so no surprises here), I observed many people beeing turned around, but I was lucky that Serena, the coordinator, had prepared all my necessary documents, so we solved our matter in no time and returned to the office for a tasty lunch.
The following days were, again, a sweet cocktail of work and fun! I took part in my first activity for promoting EVS and Erasmus+ programs in a high-school of unique architecture; I rekon was constructed during the fascist period. I was surprised by the high interest that Italian teenagers developed in doing volunteering in another country or participating in Erasmus+ programs. Ten years ago, when I was in high-school, I barely heard of Erasmus activities. This means that the above mentioned projects grew significantly in the last 10 years, which is, of course, of great benefit for all the parties involved in this type of work.
The end of the week was quite full and entertaining, I went with Vale, the representative of the group Testicom, to meet all of the other volunteers and I was so excited to receive a symbolic gift (a quatrain of Petrarca, representative for my experience that has just began) from the volunteers of the earlier period. Later that evening, we were invited (me and Bea) to a concert in a cosy bar, where we enjoyed the lively atmosphere of Milano and the great voice of Bianca, a milanese singer.
Hope you enjoyed reading a part of my “diary to be”, that describes my first week of EVS in Milano. I would be happy to get any feedback from you and I promise I will keep you updated! I can’t wait for the next days to come!
(Romanian EVS in Milano, Iuliana P.)