Volunteers are saying “Goodbye”

LDA Volunteers of 19/20 are saying goodbye! At the end of July our ESC ended and we left Brtonigla/ Verteneglio for our home countries. As we are arriving home, we get asked the question “How was your time in Croatia?” a lot. Of course, we cannot answer that question in one, two or three sentences. It is impossible to compress eleven months abroad into a short, polite answer that people expect from us.

Anyway, you probably wonder how we experienced our service as volunteers of LDA, so each of us tried to reflect on it:

When I received the offer to take part in a project in Croatia I realised that the country is a mystery to me. As time went on, I not only realised that I am capable of far more than I ever could have expected of myself but also got a wonderful chance to explore and truly have a feeling of the region where the project took place. Croatia surprised me time and time again and completely changed my views about the area. But the deepest impact was made by the people I met along the way and who keep inspiring me still. I truly hope that the contacts will last beyond this experience. And if I knew about the virus, pandemic and all the other hardships I would face, I would still do the service all over again, no doubts in mind! – Elza

I cannot believe that the ESC is already over. These 11 months have really flown by. In the end, I am happy to have chosen Croatia as my destination for this experience. Beyond meeting friendly people, I have discovered magnificent places. – Riccardo

Croatia? Why Croatia? What did you lose there? This and many other questions people use to ask me, and many times I wondered myself. You can describe to family and friends what you have experienced, what you have seen, the people you have met; but it will be impossible to transmit to them what those things made you feel or how they changed your life. Only if you live it, you could understand. And it is totally worth it.

Croatia and especially Istria is a wonderful place with magic forests, marvellous rocky beaches and lot of history. Working in Brtonigla with the LDA was a great experience from which I learned many things.  The lasts months I have been volunteering there made me a better person for sure and more open minded, and I hope I have helped as many people in this little village as possible. Of course being a volunteer is not always easy, but it makes you feel fulfilled.

I hope I can go to Istria in the future to see its landscapes again and meet my co-workers in other circumstances. – Manuel

I am very grateful that I got this opportunity. During my ESC I have met so many kind people, seen many interesting places and learned a lot. Although not everything went as I expected, I had the best time and can only recommend everyone to spend some time abroad. – Julia

Goodbye, LDA, Istria, Coratia! Thank you for welcoming us, it was a pleasure. We hope to see you again another time (soon)!