Do you remember how enthousiastic I was about the first training? Well, from the 25th to the 28th of June in Copenhagen, we have taken (almost) the same and did it again! The only drama within sight was that the training happened at the same time as the 3 last days of the end of the Spring Term 2018. Bye farewell diner, bye last parties, bye last sharings… Which finally happened being good for us! No sad atmosphere, just love with volunteers. No tears, just memories. Let’s go.
For these 4 days, we stayed in the hip, colorful and popular area of Nørrebro in an hostel called Globalhagen Hostel. Nørrebro is my favorite disctric of Copenhagen, so I can say that the training started pretty well. Of course, the standing was different than the one of the Scandic where we stayed in March, but it’s because Scandic was particulary exceptional. We’ve been split into 3 groups, 2 groups of 7 girls and the group of the 9 boys. Means more people for one bedroom than before, but it was ok, as long as now the group already has its dynamic to make each volunteers enough confident together.
I think the group was happy to meet again. Some of the volunteers from the first training were not here, and we had 2 new friends joining us plus one new coach. That was for the surprising part of the training. Of course, some people match together better, but the atmosphere was good and friendly.
As usual, we ate every diner at a restaurant, but for this time, the vegan diet was honored : on the first night we went to a turkish buffet in th heart of the Latin Quarter called “Ankara”. The second night happened at a vegeterian buffet also in the city center. Finally, the last night ended at a brand new Copenhagen Street Market located near the Opera, in the harbor. We ate every lunch at the restaurant of the hostel, it was really healthy and green food, sometimes vegeterians meals.
As in Vejle, we used to start the day or the afternoon with a little team building game, to wake everyone up and continue creating links between each others.
But as this second training was shorter than the first one – we actually had only 2 full days of training + 2 1/2 days – it means we also had less workshops and lectures. The difference between Vejle and this one was that, now, we were supposed to get used to Denmark and so to have an opinion and some experience about our project. That’s why this workshop was more about “How to improve our conditions and experience before the end of the project”.
We talked about our experience of the Danish society by sharing facts and point of view for a better understanding of it, conflict management which can be useful when there is some disagreement with coleagues, we started to think about our Youth Pass and all the competences we personally earned, and of course, about our future “What’s next after the EVS programme?”. It was interesting to see how difficult it was for some volunteers to project themselves after the EVS. A lot were saying that, even if the EVS programme as changed a lot of things in their life, it doesn’t mean that they still have a perfect path to the future. To me, it was quite easy simply because the EVS was just a gap year, and even if it has comforted me about my future plans, I wasn’t lost when I started it.
We also had some tours around Copenhagen, I guess it was more interesting for those who are not living near the city, because I already have seen all the places we’ve been, except the National Museum. But it was still cool to share it with my friends, and acting like the cool local guide. On the first day, we went to the Round Tower to enjoy the landscape of the capital city.
On the second day, we went to the National Museum for a guided tour of 1h30 around the Danish History. But, fun fact, it was the same day same hour as the world cup game between France and Denmark. No way for me to miss that event, it’s just one time in a life that you can support your native country from your welcoming one. And, other fun fact, the Museum decided to screen publicly the game on its backyard. It was not fun facts anymore, it was destiny. So we just ended at watching the game, Rhoy and I as the only ones chearing for France in a red crowd. A life experience.
The last day/trip has been my favorite. We went to the free town of Christiania, worldwidely known for its rules and its hippie way of life. It’s an independant community located in the heart of Copenhagen. Actually, I was not that much motivated by the idea to go there for maybe the 10th time of my stay in Denmark. But this time was special because we had a guided tour of the place by a local inhabitant. It was so interesting to discover less touristic secret places while our guide shared stories and facts about this mythic community. It was the first time I had a deep understanding of the purpose of Christiania, out of the main opinion. I also realised how stupid I’ve been before, coming so many times but not even trying to see out of the mainstream. We ended the day at that really cool Street Food market that I’ve mentioned before, eating great food with a view.
I will for sure miss these meetings with people that can understand what I am experiencing as a volunteer here. I’ve made great friends during these two trainings, and I definitely hope to see them again, but even more, that these trainings will be as useful as it has been for me to future volunteers.
Lucile, 2018 Spring Term volunteer