A workcamp in France was my first volunteer experience. And just one of the best times in my life. I wrote the following report after I came back from the workcamp in 2008. It is really nice to read it again and to remember everything. Now I tried to translate it into English and I publish it here.
France was always a country of my dream. And this summer I went to a workcamp inFrance, in small Alpine village. The most of all I liked the atmosphere of the life in workcamp: from the beginning you are considered almost as a family member, as an old inhabitant of this town. French countryside it’s something fantastic! I liked it much more than French capital (where I dropped in at the way back). The main thing is that you don’t feel like a tourist, but you organically join the local daily life and local culture. Needless to say that you practice your language skills (in my case I practices French, English and Polish), find new friends and just enjoy the awesome beauty of the Alps!
But of course there was also a work… In the mine… The work was hard and definitely not for girls. But one can survive it, especially when the Europeans while working sing “Katiusha” in Russian! In general we were working with fun and only 4 days per week. I didn’t want to leave at all, I didn’t want to part with friends, with my already home town, with the mountains and even with the mine. But now I know that I like to be a volunteer, and I can discover more and more new corners of my beloved Franc eand of the rest of the world.
In the evening I leave Kharkov. I’m happy that I finally go!
I leave Kiev. It is a pity that nobody sees me off on the bus. Finally I start to worry, because I go abroad for the first time and completely alone.
We are standing at the Polish border the whole night, the Poles are not lazy and check all our baggage. It is obvious thatEuropewait for us with outstretched arms. I have a look a little bit atPolandandGermany, in particular at the high fences along the road.
Morning. I’m alone at Paris subway. It’s a real nightmare. They could make at least some escalators there. With several changes I reach la Gare de Lion. I buy the tickets (never thought they would be so expensive) and leave Paris in one hour. By two trains and one bus (with changes at Grenoble and Gap) I reach Argentiere-la-Bessee. On the way I get to know a Bulgarian girl Zori. We hardly find our workcamp, but the main thing is that it really exists!