We are the new EVS volunteers of Beyond Barriers Association in Tirana, Albania.
Primarily we should start by introduce ourselves;
My name is Alberto and I come from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.
It’s been already three months ago since I took my decision to come here in Tirana, and two of those that I have been living in Tirana. I am getting better and better every day and as well discovering new things that I like. Looking through the map of Albania I can find many similarities with the map of Sardinia and maybe this is one of the reasons for which I am feeling so comfortable.
When I decided to leave Italy, I was asked by loads of people about what I will do in Albania. Well my answer always was the same: to live and learn in a new culture. In Cagliari, I have been always working, since I stopped studying architecture and I got a passionate about psychology, which makes me happier and always looking to find something positive in every part of my life. In my point of view, the Albanians are similar to the Sardinians, sharing the same agro-pastoral origins, and maybe the same ideals. If you are a foreigner in Sardinia you will always have one open door and always will be a guest, the same as in Albania.
I am João and I come from Portugal, the most occidental country in all Europe. Well any description of me is bound to be fairly boring, but since you’re obviously still reading, I’ll try to make it slightly fun. But don’t expect much :D. I was born and raised in Lisbon, i have studied International Relations at the Technical University of Lisbon and i have spent one year abroad as an erasmus student in France. I like travelling and exploring exotic countries, beer degustation, stars watching, animal communication, rice sculpture, making robots, exploring volcanoes and underwater caves, among others. My country is completely different then Albania and consequently both people, Portuguese and Albanian are as well completely different and that is the main reason why i have choosen Albania to do my EVS.
Our activities in Beyond Barriers basically consist in going Three times a week we are go to Luigj Gurakuqi special school, where we work with children with disabilities. This was our first real experience in direct contact with children with disabilities. The first approach was not easy but after few hours that we have spent with them we realized that it is not needed so much to make them happy. You just need to be happy to make them feel happy as well. Unfortunately we don’t know the language but we are able to communicate with them through drawing, painting, and of course playing football! The other days are passed in the office working on projects of the association, writing reports, and writing modules to future training courses. Special word to all the personnel of Beyond Barriers – 5 Stars them all!!!
This adventure will keep going in Albania … this is only the beginning of a long jorney! Keep you posted.
Alberto & João