My volunteering project kicked off in March, and I was surprised by how stubborn winter seemed to be! Landing in Poland, I was greeted by snow and bone-chilling weather. Despite the freezing temps, the whole scene felt fresh and beautiful to me.
We began by familiarizing ourselves with the local partners in Poznan, and it was fantastic to explore the city, meet its friendly people, and experience the warm welcome. Then came the task of sorting out our schedules, and figuring out where each of us would dive in. I ended up working in alternative schools, using non-formal education to teach kids about various social and cultural topics, giving Spanish lessons, presenting about my country, and lending a hand in events like Intercultural Coffee, where we took kids and teens on a global journey through different activities.
As summer approached, we geared up to welcome a bunch of new volunteers for a two-month project. We organized their arrival and welcoming activities. Once they were here, I found myself in the role of a team leader, collaborating with my teams across different spots in the city. Our main focus? Facilitating activities and supporting events for those spending their summer in Poznan. It was a tough gig, but incredibly rewarding. I met some amazing people and better my leadership and facilitator skills.
With the arrival of fall came the beginning of our volunteering season. We bid farewell to the summer volunteers, schools reopened, and we reconnected with both familiar and new local partners. During this period, I delved even deeper into my creative and artistic facilitator abilities, drawing on the knowledge accumulated in the previous months. It felt good to settle back into a more routine schedule and reunite with our cherished people from different places. We had a blast participating in various events marking the start of the second half of the year, including Halloween celebrations.
Post-Halloween, winter hit, and what I initially mistook for winter was already upon us. We organized numerous activities related to the year-end festivities, sharing how Christmas is celebrated in different cultures. It was a delightful season, brimming with art, creativity, and, of course, tasty food. We said goodbye to our Poznan pals for a few weeks over the holidays, but soon enough, we reunited with fresh energy and a wealth of experiences to share.