As a volunteer it is only natural to wonder why in the world am I doing this here and now. Two months have now passed, I will try to draw an honest picture of my experience so far. We all have a good reason to volunteer, give time to the community, feel useful, have a break from real life etc … For me it was mostly boredom, not the most noble one but still, a good reason. The project came to me pretty randomly, indeed, the day I had the interview with my sending association (I wanted to go to Ireland for a year or so) they received an email from Kurjen Tila. In two minutes time my long time project to live in Ireland was erased from my life and I accepted to come in Finland, because I will never be asked again :” Hey do you want to live in an ecovillage 2000 km away from home for 7 months?”.
(I’m only going to speak about my own experience, very down to earth as you will see.)
1/ The perks
2/ The disadvantages
3/ The conclusion
Thesis, antithesis, conclusion. The most simplistic kind of argumentative work possible, the kind that gets you a 2/20 in college. Now you know why I failed college.
Part 1: The perks.
First and foremost, my schedule went from chaotic to waking up with the sun and going to sleep when it goes down. Well not the finnish sun, the regular sun. Well not that there are multiple sun. Well there are somewhere in the universe but it is not the topic. It is nice to feel like a normal human being, active.
I went from being with my fellow earthlings (out of work) for an hour a day to 12 hours a day, quite a big change, right? I thought I had decent social skills, I actually thought it was my talent to socialize and feel comfortable with people. The least I can say is that it has been challenging in many ways, but all good. I discovered some deep part of myself, not all good. Learn about yourself, good or bad, I consider it as a perk. Workwise I acquired a bunch of useful handiwork skills such as nailing, cutting, gardening, painting. How cool is that?! (I got more tanned and sharp than ever before, also)
Part 2: The disadvantages.
Life is very slow in here, it allows me to think a lot about my future, which I did not really expected, harsh sometimes to remember that I will have to go back to my average life in 5 tiny months. City life seems so far away from me now, going to the movies, having drinks on a terrasse of a pub with friends, hanging out at some friends’ flat etc …
This bubble we live in is like sadness, comfortable yet not the solution to our problems.
Part 3: Conclusion.
70 days may seems like a weird number of days to draw a picture of the experience so far, as I’m writing this article it’s 30°C outside and the sun is killing me. Yes, I’m definitely hiding under a cold rock to avoid a possible death by melting.
Volunteering has been so far an interesting experience and I assume it’s only the beginning.
So far, So good.