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The feelings before a departure are the ones I like the most. I have already felt them a lot of time in my life, but everytime there is something different… Different places to see, different people to meet! What is always the same is my enthusiasm and my positive attitude, the same I had arriving here in Greece, ready to take on new challenges.

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The first days in Thessaloniki has been a mixture of waiting and exploring: waiting for the covid test`s result and exploring this amazing and historical city. The see, the upper town, the city centre, shops, bars, pubs and restaurant full of people, coming from everywhere in the world. Thessaloniki is going to be a good place where to spend my next 8 months, I am already sure of this!

I took my time to relax, to enjoy the city and to start to know my flatmates, Giusy, Manuel e the two David! Following all the corona measures, we spent time together walking along the seaside, exploring the city, we enjoyed some dinners at the restaurant and some bears at the pubs. I also had the chance to randomly meet some Volunteers from other projects and to spend a nice time with them.

Then it finally came the time to start to be operative, to start to Volunteer. This is when I met my lovely coordinator Maggi, willing to know us as much as possible and to address us to the best project. In fact, ARSIS is a well-known Organization that manage a lot of projects in support of the most vulnerable people all around Greece. I must admit I feel so proud to work with such a team.

I decided to start my experience at the House of Arsis and I was so happy to know that I could have support other ARSIS project being a French speaker.

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It is not easy to describe the sense of peacefulness I felt in my heart the first time I see all the children and the youngsters at the house of ARSIS, all smiling at me and curious to meet this new foreigner came to support them. 

I started to feel full of ideas, full of enthusiasm, being aware that this experience will change my life much more than I will change the life of the vulnerable people I am here to help, youngsters with such a need of knowledge and of growth.

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I feel in the right place, at the right time.

I am ready, Thessa! Thank you for welcoming me like this!

Ilaria Moioli – ESC Volunteer (Sep. 2020 – May 2021)