Half a year in Senigallia, Italy – an ESK Report
Already more than half of my volunteer service in Senigallia in Italy is over. Time just goes by too quickly! My life here has totally settled in and it almost feels like I've been living here for ages. One reason for this is that the Italian language became very familiar to me.
1) la lingua italiana
I am amazed every time I think about the fact that now - after only half a year - I can speak another language without difficulty. I have definitely developed a great passion for the Italian language and I enjoy improving my language skills even further.
I am especially happy that we are the only flat share of all volunteers here in the area that actually speak Italian with each other at home. At the beginning of my volunteer service we of course communicated in English, but after a short time we started little by little to talk to each other also in Italian. As a result, all four of us felt much more confident and we started to be less afraid to speak freely and without thinking much. Speaking Italian in the shared flat was definitely one of the best decisions and it now comes naturally to us.
However, not only the language, but also my leisure time activities contribute significantly to my amazing time here.
2) Vivere il momento
Having breakfast or coffee with friends in the morning, strolling through the weekly market, having a spontaneous aperitivo in the evening after work, or playing darts and foosball in a bar? Walking alone on the beach, settling down at the harbor with a good book or rather learning Italian together with other volunteers in a café? It sounds like a vacation, doesn't it? It feels like it, but it's actually what I do during the week. Since my working hours fall in the afternoon, I have the entire morning free and can start the day quite relaxed.
A lot of things come up very spontaneously here. The city is quite small (about 45,000 inhabitants) and everyone lives pretty close to each other, so it's easy and quick to meet for a coffee. The rhythm of life is very relaxed here. Therefore, it also feels like we four girls are always late...oops.
Furthermore, I have found a soccer ("calcio") as well as indoor soccer team ("calcetto") with whom I train weekly and which brings me lots of fun. I enjoy every single day here to the fullest! Almost every evening I can look back on the day and think of something nice I experienced that day. Plus, I already have a few trips planned in Italy: Rome, Puglia, Cinque Terre and Florence, my anticipation is great!
3) Le Rondini – Homework help and leisure care
As I told you last time, our work as volunteers is to help the children and teenagers with their homework and afterwards to offer them diversified leisure activities. For example, today we planned to make flower garlands from crepe paper as spring decoration.
I was happy to see that the children were waiting and welcomed us back for work after our Christmas break at home. Over time we got to know and understand each and every kid in the group, so we now know how to support them based on their individual strengths and characteristics. Sometimes it can be challenging, but also rewarding at the same time. It is especially good, if we can provide 1:1 support for their homework.
Of course, the day-to-day life here is also influenced by the pandemic. During winter we had to wear face masks even outside, all clubs were closed and all 50+ citizens were obligated to get vaccinated. I also had to be quarantined several times because I was a contact person until the virus hit me myself a few weeks ago. I had to cure my infection completely isolated in my room for almost two weeks. Meanwhile I am healthy again and the Covid restrictions were loosened – only the “greenpass” (your vaccine record) still has to be demonstrated in many places.
In the beginning of my voluntary work, I was afraid that the pandemic would influence my stay here negatively. However, I must happily admit that a volunteer stay like mine is definitely also enjoyable during the pandemic. At the end the positive aspects outweigh the negative once.
I am very thankful for the chance I was given and I would recommend everyone to take advantage of such opportunities. I am looking forward to my remaining months here and do not want my stay here to end!
Baciiiii e arrivederci!