Ruth, lived from November to December 2016 an experience of job shadowing in a Russian youth association. Through a text and some photos, she brings us closer to her experience and tells us how her adventure was.
From Moscow with love
I had spent many years traveling to different cities, always moved by curiosity and the desire to meet other people and the different ways of life that exist. Each destination involves different challenges and for each person a unique and unrepeatable experience surely, however the concerns that lead me to undertake a trip or another are very diverse, the chosen destination is different depending on the vital moment in which I am and need or search. I had always looked for European destinations to travel to (cheaper flights and less distances), but above all cities and corners of other continents, since for me they can offer a very different vision to the one I know. However, a city like Moscow had never been on my lists of places visited or pending to visit, and I have to admit that at first when they offered me the opportunity to travel there I had my doubts. A new destination, an unknown language, very cool temperatures (15 below zero), people to know, different activities and thirty days ahead of assured experiences…. Why reject something like that? Well, despite the opinions of some who staggered my decision, I picked up my backpack, bought thermal clothes (not to die of cold), dressed in my best smile and hope and took off from Barcelona to Moscow.
It was my first trip of these characteristics, it would not be a simple tourist or traveler in an unknown country, but an exchange experience: see how they work there and contribute what we do here, in order to enrich each other. The experience was very gratifying, to surround myself with people who spoke in Russian and who, due to many juggling I did or because of my imagination, I was unable to understand ... but even that was incredible, I had the opportunity to attend a training to end Week organized for volunteers in Moscow, and obviously in Russian, luckily there is always someone who with great dedication tries to translate / summarize the content so you can follow the thread. For me it was the best experience I took, sharing with them that weekend and ending at the end of the course crying, excited about all the things we had all shared and how good I felt with them without needing to understand what they said in every moment; It is clear that to understand and feel, language is not the most important, looks, gestures, actions and intentions overcome linguistic barriers, allow you to experiment beyond what you can understand.
After a month reading Cyrillic in the subways and through the streets, meeting people, making the purchase (sometimes intuiting what I bought, because I did not understand what I put on the label, asking for a meal or coffee in the bars, visiting the corners of the city and learning their way of being and doing ... I didn't want to go back !!!! I felt at home, they got me to appreciate and know their customs (that go far beyond vodka, and that even vodka has its ritual and its meaning), that I learned some words and that I began to understand even when they talked to each other. I take some friends, but above all the experience of being able to live with them every day and learn a little more of many things, knowing other countries and other people never leaves me indifferent, I like to contribute and that they give me things and without a doubt, my month in Moscow has been an experience that has helped me to grow and overcome some of my fears. the Opportunity both to Mundus Association for thinking of me for this “job shadowing” project and to the World4you association for the human reception they gave me.
Rusia | Moscú | Job Shadowing | ICYC | Erasmus Plus |