Broaden Horizons in Teams

Hello world! I’m Mariam, a 20-year-old dreamer from Egypt, and I’m here to tell you about the
wonderful three weeks I’ve had in Poznan.
I landed in Poznan in early July, eager to set out on what I knew would be a life-altering
experience. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder: how do I go about working in teams? What
signifies cultural exchange? What was the city like and how do you pronounce the ź’s and the
ł’s? By the end of the first week, with the help of my lovely team members, team leaders, and
coordinators, my mind was at ease as I was given the tools to answer all my questions. From
We went through extensive workshops Monday to Friday, and I felt my detail-oriented heart
slowly but surely find its way around CIM Horyzonty’s vision. Our first week together not only
prepared us for what was to come, it helped the team form meaningful connections that only grew
stronger with every summer evening.

Come our second week, the real work had begun. I found myself amidst a newly formed,
smaller team: a wonderful bunch of people I now happily call my friends. On Wednesday we
helped prepare for an accessory workshop in Pireus using the notoriously resourceful
vegetable: potatoes! And the next day we were back in the office preparing for a meditation
evening. I found myself comfortably exercising my individuality. Everywhere I went, the
atmosphere encouraged me to test my creative limits, and I loved every second of it!
However, my favorite day had to have been the Italian culinary workshop we held at Ośrodek
Kuratorski. It’s truly magnificent how connections happen regardless of language, age,
background, or otherwise. That Thursday signified more to me than just Pasta Al Pesto – even
though I loved that part.

By the third week, everything was second nature. I had started to know my way around the Art
Nouveau’s dream was Poznan, and by then it felt like I had a friend from every country. After
our Tuesday meeting and evaluation day at Strefa, we kicked the week off with a painting and
pottery workshop with elderly people, and what a joy that was! Every minute was an experience
that transcended all language barriers, and I was once again reminded of the human strive to
connect. The ladies and gentlemen were eager to let us in on the memories and their lives. By
the end of the day, I felt rich in every sense; I had made a dear memory and a tiny clay plate!
Nevertheless, our Thursday that week didn’t go as planned. No one showed up to our
meditation workshop, even though we’ve spent the week prior advertising, and sending out flyers on
the streets and in coffee shops. Yet, we were reminded not to be discouraged; and even after
what could have been a disappointing evening I found myself learning not to lose my morale.
Volunteering with CIM Horyznoty has opened my eyes to millions of things I’ve yet even to process.
Volunteering is not a career, it’s not a job title. It’s a mindset you completely embrace;
to help whenever you can. I feel blessed to work with such an inspiring group of people, and I’m
beyond excited to continue giving back to this organization and everything it signifies. As I write
this, I know in my heart I have countless beautiful experiences ahead of me. Summer in Poznan
has only just begun!

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