I wouldn’t even thought I can open up so much for people I don’t know that well…
The training in Poniewież was my very first Erasmus trip, that’s why I hesitated before applying to the project. However, I decided to give this experience a go, out of pure curiosity. I was wondering what Erasmus actually is, what new information I’m going to get about mindfulness and how I’m going to deal with my English there. But what this trip gave me – I couldn’t imagine myself, even in my most courageous thoughts!
During this 5-day-long trip, I’ve met many cool people and, to my surprise, I was speaking English with them pretty easily! Thanks to the climate of our workshops, we’ve become a good team very fast. We’ve formed a safe community in which we’re been talking about our experiences freely. I didn’t expect that I can open up so much for people I don’t know that well and that I’ll get so much genuine and authentic support.
There were lots of talking, so the language anxiety has decreased in the first week of this experience. The members who weren’t as good in speaking English as others, either asked their new friends for help or they’re talking with their body language. So, if poor English skills are the reason you refuse to have experiences like this one, please, don’t think of it as an excuse anymore.
The training in Poniewież was being held in a farm that was colorful and full of quiet.
The hostess and her crew were making sure we’re feeling comfortable there. She’s always
in a good mood and her little dog Spirgas (its name means “the sound of pork rinds on a pan”
in Lithuanian) was there, full of energy. She’s talking a lot about our place of training, where we could feed and look at alpacas and pet a pony named Lady. Fields and forests full of flowers and greenery, storks that were flying around from time to time, as well as little butterflies were supporting us in training our mindfulness and to-be-here-and-present skills.
I highly recommend these kinds of trips, because it’s a great way to break down your language barrier and to meet people from different cultural backgrounds. Besides, you can gain knowledge and experience in a variety of topics (it depends on the training’s theme). We also have the opportunity to “meet” another country, its culture, its cuisine and traditions.
Natalia, 22 years old, „Retreat” training within „All about the burnout” project