Dunja, a participant of the cultural exchange program, sends us her regards from Spain and shares her experiences:
“As someone who does volunteer work, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from Spain during the projects, and as the enthusiasm for their mentality, cheerfulness and positivity did not transpire, I decided to start looking for an opportunity to spend a bit more time in that country.
I will never forget the night when my friend sent me Center for Affirmation and Development’s link, because I assure you that it has given me the most beautiful experience of my life. The decision to get out of the comfort zone is not easy, but I decided to apply and start my adventure. First of all, I want to thank the girls from the Center for their exceptional approach, as it gave me complete confidence and assurance that my decision was the right one.
I’ve been in Manresa, a small town near Barcelona, for almost two months. If I were to say that my expectations were met, I would be lying, as they were fulfilled to a much greater extent. First of all, the choice of the family couldn’t have been better. I live with a mother, who is two years older than me, and her child, who is a year and a half. At the airport, they welcomed me with wide smiles and hugs as if we had known each other for years, and our relationship has been like that from the very first day until now. In our small family, everything is a matter of agreement. We grew fond of each other so much that we spend a lot of our time together, we go on trips, we travel… Everything we do, we do it so as to make everyone happy, be it tidying up the house, which is always accompanied by good music and a lot of laughter, or going shopping, playing with the child, and even teaching a year-and-a-half-old English, which can be quite interesting (as ‘Really?!’ is still pronounced as ‘Lilly?!’). I met members of the immediate and extended family who live in Mallorca, where we spent one weekend. We planned the other one for December, because they welcomed me as one of their own, and I did too. My, so to say, Spanish mother became my lifelong friend. In addition to sharing child care, she and I share secrets, interests, thoughts, and plans for further trips together. She is always there for me when I am experiencing homesickness – to ease my pain, talk to me, and give advice. She included me in her social life, where I met a lot of quality and interesting people, and on that occasion perfected the language.
What is also very important to me is that I can have my peace whenever I need it, and an opportunity to travel with a friend from Serbia, whom I met through the Center. Also, this is a great opportunity to really get to know yourself, how well you adapt to a new environment, to broaden your horizons and discover many new possibilities, as you never know where the path may take you. I am sure that I will come out much richer, more fulfilled and more confident in myself after this experience. I’m sorry that I can’t describe my enthusiasm as I’d like to. What I’d like to say in the end is that I would recommend this program to everyone, because they certainly won’t have regrets, and I’m sure that this is not my last time here.”
Would you like to visit Spain? Do it now!