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The On-arrival / bye bye training

The On-arrival / bye bye training

Just one month before leaving Sicily, when I thought they were not going to call me, the blessed e-mail arrived! Finally I had been called to go to Rome for one week, the week where all the EVS volunteers were speaking about their best experiences: the on arrival training!

At 4:30 am on Wednesday I left home to catch a bus, a plane and a train to get to Magliano Sabina, a town near Rome.

In the station I met several volunteers who were waiting a huge yellow bus (American 50s movie style) to appear and to take us to the hotel. It was a roadside hotel, strategically placed near highway to not let us “waste our time” going out to buy a pack of gum, or worse…

The first night we arrived to Magliano Sabina we were welcomed by the Mayor in the city hall. After he talked about a project they have done with New Zealanders who worked in the village, we listened to a concert of a local youth band. Then we woke up poor Octavio who had fallen asleep during the concert because of jet lag, he had come directly from Peru, and we went for a few beers on account of the mayor to the local pub.


The training was almost always the same: in the mornings we had Italian lessons and in the afternoons we had sessions focused on how to be the perfect volunteer. The truth is that everything we talked about in this training was close enough to what I had heard when I did the training before coming to Sicily. Somehow, after being here for 4 months, topics did not seem as abstract but real and I think I took much more out of it. These topics also helped me to think about the YOUTHPASS I’m going to write in a couple of weeks and also about which things I want to improve in the month that I will stay in Sicily…


The weekend was funniest. The truth is that the staff was very bravo. On Saturday night we went to the wine festival. We took the Simpson’s bus to go to another little town, where there were only four streets filled with candles, flowers, scenery, food and all the wine you wanted for only 5€. Here I have to make a special mention to “Merchedes”, the winner of the night, who captivated all the old local men. They even came on the stage and called her for a dance… When the party was over, I think it was when we drank all the wine, we left and went to the hotel, because the next day we had a trip to Rome… Only half survived…


The walk we did in Rome was no so much pretty as I though, but we were there only  4 hours so… We saw the Colosseum, the Foro Italico, the Trevi Fountain and some squares and churches… We all left with the desire to come back!

The group of participants was definitely the best thing. At first it was a shock because two boys and two Turkish girls had to go. It was their second on-arrival training (you can only participate in one). Then a girl who was sick felt worse and she always stayed in her room, another girl grabbed a bowel infection… It was a little bit like the Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie. But in fact in the end we were so few that we made a very good group and we felt like family.


We were: Meral, Kubra and Esra, three Turkish girls who were really funny and always with a smile on their faces. They were always making us laughing, they read the future in coffee grounds, taught us how to dance… Lea and Magdalena, two German girls who spoke Spanish better than me and Melina, also German. They all were lovely girls and always ready to help you. Andres from Sweden and Karolina from Poland were absolutely delightful. Octavio from Peru, who was always asleep in the mornings, woke up at the evenings just to laugh. Diana from Venezuela taught us all how to dance salsa, bachata, merengue… Veronika a revolutionary-crazy-girl ;) from Czech Republic. Nuria from Catalunya, who came to the training the day after she had broken her arm, did her best every single day. “Merchedes”, also Spanish, was the joy of the group. Enrique, the Spanish guy, whose permanent and contagious laughter made us also laughing the whole training… And Fulya, Kaan, Mete and Fulya who had to leave the training on the second day, but not before teaching us how to dance the traditional dances of Turkey. Elena from Bulgaria and Vanessa from Argentina who were almost all the days sick.


The truth is that I would have liked to stay there longer or even to do volunteering with them because all of them gave off a lot of energy, they got many good ideas, they motivated each other, we were laughing and joking all day…

The last day we said goodbye in a stylish way: with champagne, limoncello, beer, wine, and music. We did it until the trainers sent us to our rooms.

The super breakfasts, walking down the highway or gradients of 90º after lunch, lying on the grass, thinking new plans to get free coffee, the energizers, our special “Italian”, secret friends, eating the apples of the decoration… No doubt this has been the best week of my EVS! Thank you all!




About Laura

Como diría mi amigo Alejandro, soy una "romántica de la vida". Me encanta viajar y descubrir sitios nuevos, sus gentes, sus costumbres, aprovechar y aprender de cada experiencia y sobre todo disfrutar de cada pequeño detalle y de los placeres más sutiles del día al día...

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