by Inês Sarti Pascoal, Portugal
When I think about group team and how it applies to our EVS project, I separate into two ideas. First, our group of 15 volunteers are sharing a house. Like roommates, but because we have a whole house to share, I would call us housemates.
On the first floor we have the living room, a kitchen and two bathrooms almost functional. Yes, almost. Most of the people aren’t using them because they don’t lock so easily. On the second floor we have the 5 bedrooms, a functional bathroom and another kitchen. The only rule the KANE organization said to us, is that the house has to be clean. So, we schedule 3 groups of people to take care of the cleaning, each group has a different week to manage.
Even if it is all defined, we are just humans. And we are from 7 different European countries (Croatia, German, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), different ages (from 18 until 28 years), different cultures, religions, ways of living and eating, bla bla bla… It can become hard to find a same language we all talk. And I’m not talking about the spoken language, that is the english. I’m referring to what people feel about each others actions. Because what is clean to me, can be dirty for other colleague. What is bad to me, can be extremely good for other, and so on.
I think one of the main goals of projects like European Volunteer Service is that its participants become more patient, understanding and most of all, respectful with each others. The objective in our house, is to be able to live one month with different people, respect them, and party all together (or who wants to party!!…).
Besides the everyday living, and probably more important, we have a job together. Because we are here in Kalamata with KANE and RadiKala, to be part of a new and an innovative project: build boats with plastic bottles!!! There is no other project like this one in the world. And because it is pioneer, everyday the project suffers adaptations to the work dynamics, schedules, materials, etc. And it is just normal on a project running for the first time.
What to expect from this? We can learn a lot about new topics, with some interesting people, but also we can bring new ideas from our owns, and experience what it is to develop an idea into a product. We just have to be flexible and calm.
We started on Monday the job and our first objective is to have a boat built by 3 p.m. this Friday. I believe that if everybody gives their best and we work as a group team, we will have our boat ready this Friday.