The month of March started for me with the mandatory on-arrival training for new volunteers in Greece. My flatmate and I were in the same training, which made it a lot more fun to attend. Since I had just finished my quarantine a week earlier, I have to admit that it was quite hard to have to stay home to attend the online activities. In fact, because of Covid restrictions, the whole training was held on zoom and other online platforms, which made socializing much harder and less entertaining. But anyway, it made me both very eager to go to work and to enjoy the free time we had outside of the house.
During the second week, I started going to the House of Arsis regularly from Monday to Wednesday. Being able to leave the house and having a routine help me very much to stay balanced and energetic and I am very grateful for it. Moreover, I have really enjoyed getting to know the kids at the House. Little by little, I started to understand more the way my presence there could be helpful, as each of them has different needs. I think it is particularly challenging to understand how to fit in in such an environment because of this specific time we are living in. The fact that they don’t go to school at the moment means that the space they live in is also the space where they study, play, eat, and rest. For this reason, it is sometimes challenging to understand when is a good time to suggest some help for studying or just let them rest and play with them. So I have tried to observe the work of the social workers and educators, to have some kind of guideline to follow intuitively. On a personal note, I really enjoy exploring different types of communications: hugs and play with the little ones, talks and jokes with the teenagers.
In general, my favorite activities are always art-related. I have so much fun painting and drawing and I think it is super helpful to relax and channel some creativity (and well, I do find myself feeling like a kid when I have a jar of paint and a brush).
I have the impression that March was both very dense and very fast. I have bonded with my flatmates and I have met several other volunteers whom I really like. I have had fun and been inspired by some really amazing people I had the chance to meet. Unfortunately, one of my flatmates had to leave before the actual end of her project. We were all sad to see her go, but also very excited for the new job opportunity she’s found. I think seeing a friend leave also reminded me of my own limited time here in Thessaloniki, which I grow fond of every day more. This pushed me to make the best out of my stay. Even in Corona days, time seems to fly so I am very motivated to grasp all I can grasp from my experience in Greece. 🙂