You could also say “Meeting kind of a new family”!
So I had my On-Arrival-Training from 22.September until 27.September in Dilbeek and it all started good with me staying in the train, listening to the ticket inspector who’s telling me that I’ve got the wrong ticket. (I still don’t get the Belgian public transport system but who cares haha) The inspector lady was really nice and I just had to buy another ticket plus 7€ and while I had this small incident I’ve met the first person from the OAT and we found out that we both have the same home country. We started talking and tried together to find our way to the hostel.
It hit me like a truck when we entered the hostel and I’ve seen the other volunteers. (Some information for understanding my reaction – on my Pre-Departure-Training were 9 volunteers and 2 trainers.) At the OAT were 41 volunteers with 3 trainers!! I haven’t expected that much other volunteers! But my intuition was right, that there were many Germans haha. Germans everywhere.
The first day was just for getting to know each other, learning the names and what each volunteer is doing in his/her project. Do you know how hard it is to learn 43 names in a couple of hours? I suck in learning and remembering names and this was just to much for me haha. I tried to give every person a nickname (wanted or not) so that I had to remember names as short as possible. We had also several Elena’s, so if I didn’t know a woman’s name I would just say Elena because the possibility that it’ll be right was quit high haha. #Genius
Every evening/night we had a party in the basement which was a really cool party room with bar etc. It was amazing! We were listening to music all over the globe, were learning more about each other and slowly started to build a volunteer-family. Since we were partying every(!) night most of us had like 3 hours of sleep maximum every time. Even the trainers were partying with us.
The following days were full of team work, evaluating, fun and more and I won’t describe everything because you have to experience it yourself and I forgot the most. HAHA.
Saturday was our project day which I described in my VLOG and our last day was about networking. We made a map from Belgium and marked our place in it and how much people we can host. So when we want to visit a city in Belgium or each other we just have to look on the map and we know where to go. On the other side we’re planning meetings for the holidays. Therefore the volunteers who’ll stay in Belgium at Christmas will meet and celebrate it together and for example on Silvester those who aren’t going somewhere will probably celebrate it together in Amsterdam.
It was a really great week and even if my year isn’t over, I know that the OAT will be one of the best parts of my EVS. It’s great to know that there are people that understand you and twho are going through the same situations than you. Also I’m not feeling that alone anymore than the first two month. It’s getting better and better now and I’m looking forward to see them all again at the Midterm-Training!