ESC in Barcelona – Covid Edition

Have you ever heard about European Solidarity Corps projects? Or maybe…have you ever think about becoming an ESC volunteer? Probably yes! It’s an amazing opportunity to gain new experiences, to meet open-minded people, to learn languages, to live abroad and see many new places. What is more, this opportunity builds cultural awareness, self-confident, creativity, ability to take actions and make a social impact.

Hell yeah!

My project looked like a fairy tale: sunny Spain, wonderful Barcelona, amazing beaches, mountains, an office almost in the city center, fiesta, fiesta, fiesta and …… covid-19. Hell yeah. How did I survive during social isolation and not go crazy? Is there any possibility to continue activities during a lockdown? How to stay positive (not covid positive) and take the most you can from this opportunity? Here are some insights.

The beginning was difficult, like for all of us. There was information in the media about the first cases, there were first rumors about border closures, but such things are not possible. Such things only in movies. One day I visited Girona, the next I couldn’t leave the house. So far from home and family, alone in a foreign country where hotels were turning into hospitals because there were not enough places for the sick. After a week of general panic and checking if I have breathlessness, cough, fever – it came time for rational action.

My tasks were mainly based on graphic design, so I could easily continue my work remotely. In addition to the tasks that I did as part of my ESC, I decided not to waste time and develop my skills (of course, no exaggeration, time for Netflix and just laziness was also important). From time to time I did yoga on my rooftop,  I was  painting a bit, finally I found time to catch up on some reading and learn Spanish.

After two long months, the day came when we were able to leave the house for a walk. Day after day, week after week, the Catalan government suspended further restrictions and we returned to normality. Finally, I could go back to do sports outdoor, meet my friends, travel around Spain. But that time did not last long, only three weeks of “normality”! Unfortunately, the number of new cases of covid-19 has started to rise again, and it is still so.

Nowadays we have to be flexible and try to work and to live a normal life. Besides many restrictions I had possibility to I walk a lot in Barcelona, visit museums, participate in open-air boxing trainings, go to the beach from time to time.

One year in Barcelona, and I feel – it’s not enough. The pandemic has definitely had a negative impact on my ESC in Spain, but instead of wondering and worrying, it’s better to appreciate what you have. Such projects, even in times of plague, teach us a lot, especially about ourselves J

Kasia.

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