Volunteering for Peace in Barcelona

SVE Rebecca (1)Hola!!!

El meu nom és Rebecca. That is what I am able to say and write in Catalan, therefore, I will continue writing in English and sharing an overview of my EVS-European Voluntary Service in Barcelona with Fundació Catalunya Voluntària.

My name is Rebecca and I am from Armenia: a small mountainous country at the crossroad of the East and West located in the South Caucasus. Thus, as Armenia is not a member or candidate member of the EU, a long procedure is needed to complete to get a visa in order to travel to Spain (Catalunya). For that purpose, prior to my departure to Barcelona, I travelled to SVE Rebecca (2)Moscow to apply for a visa at the Spanish consulate, but as one document was missing and my flight was booked to Barcelona, I left Russia without getting a Spanish national visa and arrived in Barcelona with a 5 day valid Schengen visa and hoped to stay for 9 months.

I got to know the office and the staff members of the Foundation. Even if the visit was short… it was very exciting, though. I had to travel back to get a visa. The only possible option was to get a 90-day Schengen visa, to be obtained from The Lithuanian Embassy in Armenia.

So, finally with the new visa with 90 days of validation, I arrived to Barcelona and the first week was spent in Vilanova I la Geltrú as a support person/rapporteur in the ToT “Understanding and Working with Conflicts” Vol.4.

SVE Rebecca (3)The phase of the EVS project was going smoothly, with interesting tasks of: compiling reports and making preparations for the upcoming “Volunteering for Peace” Training Course. However, of course, something had to happen, not a big issue to deal with but a relatively impactful one. I think, you already guessed: problems related to my visa.

After many visits to the police to prolong my stay in Barcelona, I failed, and it was time to pack my things and go back to Armenia to be issued with a new visa.

Now I am in Barcelona and the work at the office is going in a constructive atmosphere. However, that is not everything: there is another life beyond office work. For the first time in Barcelona, I learnt to have a supreme and full responsibility over myself and my actions, to develop more tolerance and respect towards others, regardless of their race, gender, and conviction. Apart from new changes in an emotional state, I learnt what IKEA is and that comfortable furniture can be found there, and might be useful when one day I own a nice apartment in Barcelona. SVE Rebecca (1)I am getting used to kiss people twice once you meet them, got to know a tasty and delicious local cuisine; participated in a carnival in Vilanova with streets full of: candies, nice music, dances and endless joy and happiness; watched a marvelous football match between FC Barcelona and Villanovans at Camp Nou. Alongside with all, I did not learn either Catalan or Spanish very well to be able to communicate and write, but… I promise my next post will not be in English.

Rebecca