Life as a European volunteer in Stuttgart, Germany
During this month I had the opportunity to participate in many activities and also to start to understand how this city works and also J.W. Starting with the activities, the main one was the ON arrival seminar. Each person who does EVS needs to participate and go to this on arrival seminar and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to attend it. This occurred in Aulendorf a small town located in the Baden-Württemberg region with approximately 10.000 inhabitants. During the 6 days I spent there I had the opportunity to understand how this program works and what the main goals are. Also, as it was supposed to happen a representative from the national agency from Germany was there to explain us how the things should work and also ask some questions about our personal projects and if we were satisfied until now about it.
Besides having seminars everyday it was a week full of fun, because I had the opportunity to know other people from several different countries of Europe that could go from Spain until Russia. And we, with all our differences could gather and even with the existing language barrier we could understand each other and have a really good week. This was a week plenty of good experiences because when you gather with so many people from other counties, the right thing to do is to take advantage of it and learn, learn new things; maybe things that you would never learn in other context because each person has his own story to tell. To end up with this topic I can only say that it was a really good week where for sure some new friendships were created.
Also during this month I had the opportunity to see Stuttgart , visit this city and also some places nearby and what I can say about it ends in a positive opinion. Stuttgart is still growing and it is possible to see that they want to maintain this path , this is a city where Mercedes-Benz and Bosch with some other brands have a remarkable power over the city. It just took me one hour walking through the city to understand it. Stuttgart is a very international city and this, together with the presence of such companies in the region, make Stuttgart a special place to live; a place where cultures meet but sometimes don’t mix. The best way to move inside the city for sure is the public transport system or simply use the bike lanes that are everywhere along the city. I would recommend the car only for travelling between cities and even when this happens, the Germans implemented a good system where is common to share free places in the car contributing this way to reduce the traffic and making the things work in an effective and simple way. This month was a funny adaptation phase where I needed to get used to eating earlier or just to know that everything is closed on Sundays, small things of course, but important because when you discover that you have an empty fridge on a Sunday morning you can’t do much about it then 🙂 (as the saying in Rome do like the Romans) Same here, I just need to adopt some different life styles that I was used to but I believe I’m in the right way. I had also the opportunity to see other places in the region of Baden- Württemberg and I still have so much to see yet and I can’t wait for it. Like the geographer Tuan said “Place is security, space is freedom; we are attached to the one and long for the other.” I already feel that I conquered the place but still pretend to conquer more places in space and I still have plenty of time to do it. Hope to write soon and enjoy even the smallest things because that is what I’m doing or what I pretend to.