WINTER IN MARIJAMPOLE

RodrigoWhen we came to Lithuania we could go to the gymnasium and meet the teachers and students only for one week, due to Covid restrictions. Since then, we started to look for new and online ways to participate in different activities. It wasn’t that easy because the students were really busy with the school. I had the idea that creating a cinema club with them and watching and discussing movies with them it was a good idea that they might enjoy. We made just a few lessons because, as a said before, they were really busy in the evening too with their homework so they were not joining.
In the meanwhile, we found some activities that were really interesting like participating in different online activities during lessons time or meeting with our tutors on Fridays’ evening for a cuisine exchange: we ate Lithuanian, Spanish and Georgian food and learnt from each other in those meetings.
At that point, Christmas was getting closer and we didn’t have any plan to spend our time on that dates. I thought that the best option for me was going back home and see my family and friends as long as the situation in Lithuania was that bad. I went there and I still could participate in the online activities we were having like the meetings related with the Tolerance Day and the Independence Day, where students and volunteers we shared a little bit of our cultures and point of view; those were really nice meetings.

So, the longest winter of my is over, finally.

Eka1And I guess it's time, to sum up everything that we did here, during our volunteering project and share it with you.
First things first and I want to say that time went so fast, but looking back to my memories I realize how many things we did, how many new experiences we gained here, in this small but beautiful town.
I often shared the history of my country with students. You can't even imagine how grateful I am for this opportunity. I recognized common things between Georgia and Lithuania when students were sharing their presentations about their country. Once We had a presentation about independence's day and even dates were the same for our countries. After presentations we had a quiz and students did it very well. I was so proud.
From time to time Me and Rodrigo where moderating student's discussion. In these activities, I was impressed, not only because of their English skills, but also how smart, how bright-minded they are. They are shy, and first I was afraid to force them talking but I know that they all have things to say out loud, to share. That's a reason why covid-19 annoys me, we could motivate them more if we could meet in real life, not in teams.

Rodrigo Manglano (Week 14/12/2020)

RodrigoA week full of emotions. It started with the On-arrival training and before being part of it I didn't know what was that. During this online training I could meet other volunteers that are working in Lithuania with similar programs as me. I could learn from them how they're managing their projects and the difficulties because of the restrictions. Even though the programs are quite different, we still could share experiences and feelings during the last two months in Lithuania. Also, we were following the instructions and advices from two coaches who tried to explain to us everything about volunteering here: our rights, musts and tasks.
While I was in this online training I had to prepare everything for going back to Spain for Christmas. It's something I didn't want to do: I wanted to travel around Lithuania or the Baltic countries, but that's not the best either for me or others with the situation we have. So I decided to go back to Spain and stay calm and safe at home with my mother and my siblings. Of course I'll need to have a few covid tests and to be sure that I can visit my mother.
The last two days I've been sharing with some students the differences between the Christmas traditions in Spain and Lithuania. We could have nice chats about this subject and we could share a few cultural details (12 dishes for a dinner is probably too much ^^ ). It was really nice to listen and to see the faces of a few students and I could feel that I'm still being part of the community. I'll try to have a few more lessons next week before the holidays so I'll be able to meet more students online.
Right now I'm finishing the last details to travel to Warsaw where I'll take the flight to Madrid for Christmas and I'll be back in a few weeks.
STAY SAFE and Merry Xmas