Since always I have had the curiosity and motivation to live new experiences in order to know more about myself and everything around me.
Driven by this motivation I had the pleasure to be involved in the Erasmus+ Training Course called “Rites of Passage: Strengthening Our Communities” held in the Asha Centre (Forest of Dean, Gloucester, UK), during the days of March 2th – 11th of 2020.
From my experience, I already have participated in other projects, you never know what this new adventure will ahead you, but the thing that you know for sure is that will be unique and with a lot of stories to tell. The project is 10 days where there are a lot of emotions and mixed feelings, people become your family, and at the end, a thousand memories.
The Asha Centre is a place located within the Forest of Dean, so as you are imagining now the venue is completely surrounded by nature. Everywhere around is green color and this invites you to be peace of mind and remain calm, sometimes even provides inspiration, like
J.R.R. Tolkien, who was inspirited by this magical environment to write its famous novels.
The topic of the project were the rites of passage and how we can strengthen our communities through them. The course approached us to connect with nature and make a bond with the other participants, via the cultural exchange and sharing points of viewing.
Each day we made different activities that invited you to reflect and to get to know a bit more about ourselves, to try to decipher what we were looking for in the course and, somehow, in life as well.
This was reached by making group talks, hiking in the forest, singing cultural chants, even we went into a pilgrimage across Glastonbury, which is a town known by their myths and mystical legends. All the activities were useful to finally make our own rite of passage, which gave meaning to everything lived at the moment.
My time in Asha was a remarkably interesting experience, which taught me more about myself and accepting me as I am. Most of it has been thanks to meet awesome people from different parts of Europe, the feeling emphasis with an individual from another country and to see all the things in common, makes you a more tolerant and open-minded individual.
I have had the luck of being involved in two international projects and as far as I know, I consider the biggest knowledge do you get is not related to the course topic, that is secondary learning. The most important learning is about yourself; to develop new skills and strengthen those that you already have, to meet people from different points of views, be surrounded by other cultures, practice a foreign language, earn self-confidence, live adventures, get out of the famous comfort zone… but I wouldn’t want to follow with the list, so you should discover them by yourself.
Finally, I am incredibly grateful to had lived this experience and I absolutely encourage everyone interested on participate in this type of project, you will not regret it!
Samuel Rodriguez Muñoz