Maria: Team leader, graduated in Law. She is 26 years old and lives with her parents in the neighborhood of Sant Andreu. She works in a store and she sees youth exchanges as «bubbles of happiness». A cheerful girl who likes to receive all the attention in any place and moment.
Alba: The youngest of the group, she is only 18 years old. She is from Vigo and lives in Barcelona. She is studying Psychology at the UAB, a degree that does not excite her very much, so she is thinking about changing to Architecture. Very quiet and calculative.
Ali: 20 years old, lives in a sheltered flat. He came from Morocco when he was 12 years old, and during these 8 years he has returned there only once, when his mother died of cancer. A very shy boy, with many lacks. I would dare to say that he has some kind of depression. Despite living here for many years, he does not yet speak very well Spanish, neither English.
Ibrahim: A 19 years old boy who lives in Catalonia since many years already. Hyperactive and with a good sense of orientation. He is studying a superior grade about people in situation of dependency and drug addiction. His bad jokes make you like him; a proof that, as a child, he has had love and affection from his surroundings.
Everything started with a misunderstanding. I receive an email with the details of a youth exchange, which could be interesting for my students. But when I read the information, I find out that the minimum age of participation is 18, so I decide to apply, hoping to be among the selected ones. And to my surprise, they reply me saying that I have been selected to participate in the project, in Greece!
First thing to do: Going to the headquarters of Fundació Catalunya Voluntària and provide them with the documents needed. Secondly, I have to get to know the other participants, so we meet up at Plaça Universitat. We drink a coffee and talk about logistical issues such as tickets, suitcases, schedules and, above all, the Spanish dinner that we have to do for all the international participants.
Departure day: We arrive at the airport and wait for the others, but they seem not arriving, so I almost lose my patience. Finally, we take the plane. The flight seems short and we arrive in Athens, excited by the discovery of a new country. Once at the hostel, we leave our things, put on the sneakers and go for a walk. We climb to the Acropolis and buy some cakes. We eat so many that we did not have dinner that day! The next day, we take a bus which takes us until a house where our youth exchange would take place.
The week was very enriching, the theatre workshops were very interesting, and the Greek organization facilitated us everything, paying attention to all of the details. Definitely, I would repeat again this experience!