Life as a European volunteer in Stuttgart, Germany
Every European volunteer has to take part in a week long on-arrival and a bit shorter mid-term seminar. Locations can be very different and times as well. My organisation signed me up for a seminar in a great location, small town near Munich, Benediktbeuern. Bayern was one of my dream places to see in Germany and who would think that I will live in a monastery there surrounded by mountains and lots of domestic animals that I get very excited about ?! 😀
Apart from picturesque views we also had a great team of 19 volunteers (4 are missing in the picture below) coming from different cities and towns in Germany and world:
It was a great experience to work and have fun with people who are in the same situation with you and have similar views on life. No wonder we felt close to each other and made quite a few good friends there.
The whole week included a lot laughing, jokes, entertainment and workshops that felt like fun activities due to our cool leaders Rebecca, Nicolas and Anna. They didn’t love picture taking so can’t share any pictures of them so you just gotta believe me they are cool :P. During the day we had discussion about issues we can face during our stay in a foreign country, peculiarities of German mentality and life and European values. We talked a lot about our projects, our future plans and how to solve any conflicts we can have at our work places. Had a chance to participate in plenty of cool ice-breaking and name games that taught us many things about each other and ourselves at the first place. Some tasks required to seek for compromises more than usually and some required more actions and showing off our leadership skills.
In the evenings we were watching some movies, playing pool and kicker, climbing, drinking beers and learning something new from Spanish to Turkish dances to German silent language.
The highlight of the week for me was a trip to Munich. We got tickets for groups of 5 people, found travel mates and went for the adventures. And despite the cloudy and a bit rainy weather we had a blast getting on top of the Rathaus, drinking some Bayern beers, shopping and meeting new people.
Another cool thing we got to experience was The Leonhardi ride (Die Leonhardifahrtt) is a part of the procession on horseback in the heart of the Old Bavaria and West-West districts. The motive for the blessing of the animals, especially the horses, is their role, which plays a burden and work animals for the rural population. The event happens only once a year at the Monastery Benediktbeuern we were staying at. Of course, there was lots of beer, sausages and Glühwein. Just check out all those kids, women and men on the horses and their national outfits.
After this week I got motivated more, learned how to compromise even more, started to appreciate my organisation and my project even more and gained some new friends that I hope to see in Germany and other countries.