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A burek of adventures: four pearls of wisdom to share

As my time in Amazonas comes to a close, with just one more month remaining, I find myself reflecting on the valuable lessons I have learned throughout this year full of excitement. Before saying goodbye, I wish to share these insights with you, hoping that they will inspire you and future volunteers to carry on this important work.

Connecting people

The slogan of a famous Finnish telecommunication company represents a great opening for what I learnt about the communities around me. I had the chance to meet some of the people of Trešnjevka, Pešćenica, Dubrava, and Zagreb as a whole. I really appreciated seeing them take part in the activities of Amazonas and enjoy their time with us. I learnt here how important is the role of a community leader, someone who tirelessly pops out new ideas and turn them into something exciting and engaging for the local people.

The best thing? Anyone can become a community leader. It’s not a permanent role, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. It takes a bit of courage and optimism, dedication and creativity, but it rewards with lots of people around and new experiences.

Belong anywhere

The motto of the debated accommodation provider makes me think about the benefits of living abroad. And the value of friendships made on the way. I love not being at home. It compels me to adapt to new traditions and values and allows me to explore and always stay in new places that I never saw before. Living in a foreign country fosters adaptability, open-mindness, and is a growing and fulfilling experience. I recommend it to everyone, especially since there are many ways of doing so for everyone’s expectations.

The best thing about new places are the people. They open the doors to unknown customs and cultures, and become friends that you may not see for years, but that you will remember and, who knows, meet again after a long time.

Because you’re worth it

When I applied for an international volunteering experience in Amazonas, I was so confused about what my tasks would be. I had never heard of capoeira before. When I was asked during the interview what I liked about their programs, I just kind of made up an answer. Yet, this did not prevent me from carrying out an array of different activities throughout my experience. Ideas are not meant to sit there forever. They are meant to be put into practice, whether you are sceptical or not about the success. Trying might be scary, but once the adventure starts it leads to an interesting ride.

When venturing into a new experience it is possible that you will need to pretend that you know what you’re doing. The statement by this famous cosmetics company helps here, reassuring you that you are capable of reaching your goal, even though you might not think so at first.

A diamond is forever

…And unlike a diamond, knowledge and good memories cannot be stolen. Spending a year abroad is a priceless experience that will remain with you for a lifetime. There is so much to be learnt and endless things to do. I won’t say you will become a new person, but for sure it helps restructure your beliefs, values, and the way in which you see yourself.

I’m very glad I got to spend this year in Zagreb with Amazonas. I’m equally sure that I will see Croatia again, but for now it’s time to go. Thank you all for being part of my journey. I hope I was able to entertain you and share with you my knowledge and experiences through my articles!