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18Maggio2018 YOUTHQUAKE: learning about a new culture and working on sustainable development

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di Eloïse Bodin, volontaria nell’ambito del progetto Youthquake

I arrived in Italy one month ago in the beautiful region of Marches, in Macerata and will be there until the end of August. This volunteering was for me the opportunity to take a break in my career for a bit while learning about a new culture and working on sustainable development.

Working at Gruca

Being a volunteer at Gruca Onlus means that there isn’t such thing as a typical day. Everyday entitles for new activities and the creation of new projects.

Activities include working in a second-hand shop, which allows us to work with Italians in the heart of the city. But we also work with handicapped people and on permaculture or organise visits within the eco-museum and promote sustainable development.

One of the main activities consists in the creation of a play that tells a local (and true) story about the citizens of Macerata. The project is a beautiful way to preserve and enrich the local cultural heritage. But it is also a big challenge for me as my part is entirely in Italian, a language that I didn’t speak at all one month ago.

Living In Italy

Italy was a country that always attracted me for its culture, food and landscapes. And so far, I have not been disappointed! It is wonderful to see that such an isolated and quite small city (40 000 citizens) is so full of culture, events and constant animations. And there’s a reason for that: half of the citizens are students! There are so many opportunities to meet people from all over the world but also to attend various events like art fairs, concerts and European Aperitivo.

As I work and spend my days with a lot of Italians, I feel part of this country and learn everyday about the habits and the culture of Italy’s regions. I quickly realised that each region has its own traditions, food and even language. Hanging out with people from Sardegna, Roma or Sicily has allowed me to be exposed to millions of stories.

I’ve also had the chance to visit and travel around. I have spent lovely days in Bologna and Rome with so many things to see and to visit. And I am planning to go to Florence and Bari in the upcoming weeks.

Learning a new language

Knowing Italian has always been a strong wish of mine and being here for 5 months is a fantastic opportunity to learn it fast and well.  Being here is a daily challenge because every meeting and activities take place in Italian. But this way I am learning very quickly how to speak Italian and I hope I will leave this project with a great level!

I am excited about the upcoming months here in Macerata! Being here is a great opportunity to open up to a new culture, meet amazing people and learn about sustainable development and cultural heritage.

I encourage everyone who wishes to take part in a very different and rich adventure to commit to such a project.

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