Volunteering Teams in Italy - Julia's impressions

Sweet, subtle scent of tangerines, morning dew on the grass, quiet symphony of birdsong, first rays of sun breaking through the branches and feeling of slightly sore muscles after previous days of work… That’s how life goes in L’Arca! 🐑🌿🌸

One month ago instead of starting a career, I’ve decided to move for two months to an Italian farm and live in an international community and it was the best decision I could’ve taken.This year was really special to me, after 5 years of studies I finally finished my master’s degree, did my Erasmus+ student exchange and moved out from the city where I spent my whole adult life. As many people my age I felt a bit lost with overwhelming, huge life decisions that I had to take. I already had a lot of plans, but happy accident made me bump into a team ESC volunteering opportunity in Italy. Without futher ado I decided to apply as it seemed like a perfect opportunity to reflect on life while working a physical job and getting inspired by others.

The place stole my heart the very first moments of my stay – a beautiful farm surronded by nature, a view of the see and the nearby mountains and plenty of friendly animals. I really love waking up with the first rays of sun and the rooster crowing, walking by the amazing peacocks on my way for breakfast, feeling the aroma of all of the plants while working and seeing how my muscles are getting stronger every day.However the main value here for me are the people. Each day I can draw inspiration from a different person. Here are 20 of us and we have created a weird kind of a family, where everyone is needed, valid and valued. Our host and at the same time manager is Anna, a very honest, direct and big-hearted person, always willing to talk and share her life experience with us. Besides getting to know our cultural differences we also see how unique backgrounds each of us has and even the most mundane conversation can always change into a huge dose of inspiration for our life choices or a great amount of understanding and support. Moreover our group turned out to be a pretty artistic community. Very often we just sit and play guitars, ukulele or piano and sing together, which I personally love!
If you’re still wondering about applying for this project probably you’d like to know how our work looks like. Hear me out! 😊

Each day we wake up around 6am, to start working at 6.30. Of course our work is not the easiest. Each day we divide into a few teams – for example some people help in the kitchen, some help with the harvest, others are cleaning the soil around the trees or putting fertilizer there.  We work for 6 hours with 15 minutes of break. Then we’re eating lunch together and till the dinner at 7pm we have a lot of free time. In October we often went to the beach, as the weather was really hot and sunny or we sightsaw nearby cosy village. Sometimes we also participate in a workshops that are organised for us like ceramics, learning how to make italian pizza, tortelli, tortellini, theater and Italian classes. Apart from that during our first week we had a great opportunity to integrate while rafting!

Taking everything into consideration I would really recommend this project, especially if you’re not scared of hard work and you love to commune with nature! 🌿

#EUSolidarityCorps #Italy #Volunteering Teams in High Priority