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The first word that comes to mind when I think about the past months in Berlin is Gratitude. Gratitude for the people, the new and old friends, my family, for every experience that helped me grow, for the opportunities, and for the new paths that will come about thanks to the time I lived here.

I never planned to be a whole year so far from my house, but nevertheless, I have always believed that God brings us to specific places to complete His Will. In the end this was not about me but about Him.

I will share with you some of the major points from my year in Germany, and if you know of anyone interested in completing a year of volunteering, you can share this article with them.

How did I live and where?

This year I had the opportunity to live in Schöneberg, Berlín with a German family, very helpful and kind people. Being inside their home meant I had to adapt to their style of life, and learn small items of their house such as how to place plates in the dishwasher, how to correctly adjust the heat (we don’t need heat in Costa Rica), carefully separating the trash and much more. Of course there were moments that were culturally shocking but that is part of living with people who have a different lifestyle.

What was the best part of this experience?

One thing that I enjoyed the most during this time was meeting people from different countries and cultures, listening to their stories, and how they came to live in this great city. Making new friends and creating good connections.

I had the opportunity to meet incredible people with noble and humble hearts, people who hug you without even touching you, I also met people who I learned patience and how we understand different values. I am grateful to all of them for being a great support, listening to me, and encouraging me.

This year, I obtained a new perspective on how to work in an organization that focuses on people and their personal growth. During this time, I also confirmed what my passion is and what I will be trying to work with in the next few years. All of these life lessons at the beginning were tough but in the end of this trip they helped me improve.

Other things such as….

The confidence to walk in the street, during the day, the night, and the early morning.

I mentioned in another article, the public transportation is fast, punctual and can take you anywhere in the city without conflicts with traffic.

Asian food here is very good, but I cannot imagine the original dishes from every country.

What will I miss?

I will definitely miss my friends the most, they have become a treasure to me and I will miss their laughter, our favorite games like foosball and UNO, the conversations, and of course the jokes and eating together.

I never imagined everything I would live through during this time but this is finally the conclusion of a step and it is time to return to my home; all I can say is THANK YOU!

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