Hello! I’m Firas and I came to Poland on the 13 September 2022 , coming from Tunisia to start my first volunteering experience and traveling abroad for the first European country and city that lived on it until this day Krakow.
My first impressions was that country was so cold to me, because I used to live in very hot country (more than 45 degrees), it was already 20 degrees when I arrived there and it took me time until I start get using on this weather, but I was surprised by the city and the atmosphere around it, the green areas, the castles, the museums, the technology and how much this country is evolved compared to mine. For the first couple of months, I didn’t believe I am living here it was wonderful dream and this dream begun when I started working at my Primary School Alexsandry no. 11.
I start working in this school as assistant to the English teachers, helping the students, speaking with them in English and they even teach me how to speak in polish, we did also some cultural exchange; I knew about their culture, religion, holidays, way of living. As exchange I did the same for them – I was like a window for them and polish society. Because they doesn’t have any idea about it. I was help the other teachers in other topics like Spanish, sport, history, geography and even music. Additionaly I did a lot of tasks for them such as doing presentations ( Ex.”Tortilla de patatas” and “Educational system in Tunisia”); being judge for events such as music / food / sport competitions.
In fact I enjoyed to spend time in this school – I never think I will do it before in my country: traveling in school trips (visiting with pupels Berlin (Germany), visiting Auschwitz Museum); celebrating event such as saint Patrick’s day, spend time with small kids in many trips such as “Wisła city”, eating ice-cream with them. It was really wonderful experience to me.
I also ejoyed the multiple activities I did with my hosting organization – Internationaler Bund Polska. With other volunteers from different nationalities, we did and took part in a lot of workshops (ex. our hosting organization prepear for us – “Learning how to learn”, “Learn how to be more consious about ecology with recycling the stuff we have”). Also we were speaking about: our personal volunteering experience at school in general; what is our next steps after this phase in our life (such as working or studying). We did many-many events and spend long time together getting knowing each other, explore the other culture of our country, discover the city and explore the polish culture.
My organization also helped me to learn polish by giving me free polish lessons course (the polish lessons was a part of ESC program) and they gave me the materials to learn and improve myself with them. I still have difficulty speaking polish but in the other hand its also open to me the door to get knowing more polish people around me and doing the daily life routing more easily. I was also helping the organization in other project like the “Carousel event”, delivery staff etc.
My volunteering journey will end in August but the journey will continue. I love living in Poland, especially in Krakow,and I will be miss this experience. But its already part of me, I am not the same person as I was when I started this journey. I learned many things and I still learning until this day. I made many friends and a lots of happy memories that I cannot forget. I will try to use this experience as a base and it can support to me in the future.
Thank for reading me and see you!