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Fish Out Of Water

“If I had known this would be so great, I would have tried it out a little earlier”, that’s right, even though it hasn’t been easy being away from my family and it is a bit out of my comfort zone, and although it has been a sacrifice feeling sometimes very lonely and not understood, it has definitely been worth it. Yes, it has been worth it, worth the people, the moments, the laughs and the places. Of course, feeling emotions (sometimes all of them at once) is part of being human, it can be difficult but in spite of everything it is nice to know that all of this exists in our being and is just a part of being human. And yes, I would have gone on this amazing adventure earlier, but nothing in life comes too late or too early, everything happens just in time.

A volunteer in Germany

I’m going to be a little more open with you guys in this blog. Of course, being a foreigner in any country you risk being bullied, either because of your language or your culture, and sometimes it’s hard to deal with that, but trying to not let it affect you is the best thing to do and for each person that bullies me, five are with me supporting me and is what’s really incredible. I am writing this to you guys because I want to be honest with you guys and not paint a surreal panorama for you guys, because these things do happen and they always will but it depends mostly on ourselves if we are going to let it weaken us or if we are going to not let it affect us, but let it strengthen us . You also have to understand that many of these people have not really experienced or learned about other cultures, and if they have, it did not impact them, because for me, a person who does this type of volunteering or “social aid” and visits other countries, you have to have a humble and conscious heart, unfortunately for those bullies it’s not the case.

True friendship

I told you guys that I went to a seminar in January where I met a group of latinos from Bolivia, so I became friends with them and while I was there I was able to visit a couple of my friends that volunteer in Hamburg, I had a wonderful time with them and fell in love with Hamburg. It is a wonderful place, the people there are super friendly and open, there is no stress at all and the only thing you can feel is a tranquility accompanied by unparalleled and intangible peace. It is definitely a great place to escape the chaos and speed of living in the city. Also, my friend “Lucho” came home, since he was also living in Berlin. We gathered with my German parents and we all had a nice chat while having some afternoon coffee. I think that is what opening up to people is about and to know that we have each other's backs.

Language skills

I’m at the stage where I feel like a fish out of water. I have done all kinds of different jobs from cleaning to translating documents and even helping a little with accounting, I also went to a school to present the weltwärts project and spoke German in front of thirteen young adults and two professors, it has been to my liking to demonstrate what I am capable of. To see that every day I learn and practice more German, to see how I can transmit happiness to the people around me. It is so incredible to see that something as simple as a “good morning” can change a person’s face and make them happier, for example I have a neighbor who always take her dog for a walk and always looked so serious and down while she was walking until after several days of seeing her, I thought “why don’t I say good morning to her” and I swear that her smile when I said it made me so happy and since then she always smiles when she sees me and says good morning to me too. Now I’ll return to the opening sentence of the blog, “If I had known this would be so great, I would have tried it out a little earlier”, a while ago I stopped fearing and worrying about what others might say about me and began to be me or an improved me. And while I understand that not everything I give is reciprocal, it makes me feel good to do good and to know that everything that is done from the heart can reap in unimaginable places and people.

Cristel and friends

In February it snowed a little and I swear that I felt like the happiest person in the world to see it since it was my first time ever seeing snow, it was fantastic. And so the days go by, getting closer to feeling warm again, but I understand that it is fair and necessary. It is beautiful to see how the leaves grow, as everything turns green and the flowers bloom, people begin to change their moods, there is no doubt that the weather is changing. I also know that my time in Berlin is coming to an end, in a few months I will have to say goodbye to this amazing volunteer adventure that has been an amalgam of experiences.

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