Lina, Sefa, Nairouz & Joran

Lugar: Arenas de San Pedro, España.

Fecha: SEP 2017 / AGO 2018

Hello everybody!

We’re the 4 new volunteers for whom a new adventure has begun in Asociación Jóvenes Solidarios here in Arenas de San Pedro. Since the 15th of September, we’ve moved in with our host families for our first month en el pueblo. We can already see that it’s a perfect way to begin our integration in the community.

So far, everything seems slightly overwhelming: new faces, new names, new language, new places… It will certainly be a month of readjustment for us. But that’s what makes it exciting and ideal for fast learning as well!

And a little bit more about us:

I, Sefa, come from Turkey and for the next month will stay with Alfredo and Angelines. They have two sons: Beltran, 16, and Gonzalo, 13. They also have a smart dog named Tizas, whom I often take for walks in the forest. For my first weekend here, I went hiking to Arenal with my family, and later to Candeleda too. It was fun eating different kinds of fruit on the road and visiting an authentic Spanish village with a stunning view from the mountain. Between lunch and dinner, we visited the monastery and its garden, which I enjoyed very much.

Hello, I am Naiouz Al-Ghishan from Madaba, Jordan, I am 26 years old, I have BA in Visual art, I was a volunteer at Asociacion Jovenes Solidarios (AJS) in Arenas de San Pedro, Spain.

I would say its a lifetime experience, ESPECIALLY starting your first month experience living with a

Spanish family, before I got there I was afraid and not comfortable with the idea “living with a family” –

what if they don’t like me! What about my privacy and their privacy! What if I want to go out at night is it ok or not! Is it going to be comfortable! OMG, they have a son :O- but when I met my family (Miguel, Maiky and their son Arturo) I felt in love, I forgot about all what I was thinking before. Living with a family means more interaction with the Spanish culture, food and language,also I saw how hospitable and friendly Spanish people are and whenever I needed them they where there as I am their own daughter…After this first month I moved to live with the volunteers in our own appartment but still our

families kept in touch, we had dinner every week together and had many activities together, so if you have a doubt to have such an experience because you have to live with a family for a while I say that’s bullshit just go and do it. Regarding the culture difference, did you know that people really use the white lines drawn in the streets?

The experience in AJS is great, especially when you work with the team of AJS, they are helpful, supportive, pushing everyone to be better and motivated us always, I love that they have a message, they believe in it and you can see how they really do, working with them, with the youth and the kids is just amazing nice experience, AJS also gave me the chance to be a Youth leader for a youth exchange they had and they let us participate in a training course they did, AJS is full of nice and amazing surprises that can encourage the volunteers, the youth, the children and their team itself to work on ourselves and think more openly “out of the box”.

I would say this EVS experience changed me for real, though I had my collapsed moments but I survived, you just need to learn how to be more independent away from your usual surrounding, family, friends and what was normal and not normal in your culture, you need to watch closely and learn and deal with a new reality, new stories and new language, IT IS HARD, for God sack I came from the Middle East totally different in food,how to eat the food, people and social life, parties, culture,language and as I said how to drive a car or cross the streets, but in the end this difference tought me how to adapt, be more independent,share, watch and learn.

Here’s a little bit more about the other volunteers and their host families:

Lina from Lithuania lives with Lorena & Arturo and their two children (Lucia, 9, and Arturo, 11). Arturo is the principal of the primary school Zorrilla Monroy, where we’ll be holding our English classes and other workshops. Their house is also the place for the best fruit salad in town. Also, Lina has already went with them to Teruel, a marvelous city in the region of Aragón.

Nairouz from Jordan lives with Maiky & Miguel and their son Arturo who’s 11 years old. They have a rural bed & breakfast, and the most relaxed dog in the world. Nairouz is also lucky because Miguel is known as the master of paella! They’ve all visited Toledo recently and, of course, went for cervezas and dancing.

Joran, a true patriot from France, lives with Teresa & Juan, and their 14-year-old son Cristian, who is also a member of the AJS youth group.. Juan is a secondary teacher at the IES Valle del Tiétar. The family is very welcoming and has made Joran truly feel like a part of it.

And they are not just white line they have a name (walking cross) ! It is really usable and useful ! crossing the street in Spain drove me crazy, I was always confused and shy If I pass near a walking cross (you know the white lines in the street thing) cars in Spain STOP for me even if I didn’t want to cross just because I am standing or walking nest to it, so ehrn they stop for me I was crossing anyway even if I didn’t want to because this is incredibly nice and respectful, you know, COME ON In Jordan we dont have rules for that I always saw these lines ,I read about it for my driving license exam, it was something about waiting for people to cross bla bla bla, in the end I never let them cross but I passed my driving license exam, but in Spain hohoho I had to Stop for people and people stop for me, they are so cute and nice, kutchy kutchy, diffently I’ll miss that.

About the experience in general, well, starting with language classes, I had the best Spanish teacher, Roland, he is my heart, my life and my love <3 the best and the most fantastic, amazing and wonderful teacher in the whole world , he is always there for any question if I ask about a word he told me the history of this word, where did it come from and how to use it.

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