13 JULIO 2016
Hola! Hello! Welcome!
Palma EVS, Week 1
After my first week in Palma de Mallorca, I'm finally ready to start my blog about my 1-year-long European Voluntary Service (Servicio Voluntario Europeo) with Acción Balear as my hosting organization. I'm Ádám, a 24-year-old guy from Hungary. My goal is to offer you readers some insight and information about EVS (SVE) and to share my experiences as a volunteer. So, if you are thinking about doing an EVS in the future, or you want to know more about Palma/Mallorca/Spain, or maybe you are just interested in this subject, then stick around and hopefully you will find my blog helpful and maybe even entertaining. :)
July 5th - July 10th
My plane landed at Mallorca on Tuesday. Near the exit I noticed a guy holding a piece of paper with my name on it. It was Pierpaolo, the other EVS volunteer at Acción Balear from Italy. He is also my flatmate for the next year. After introducing ourselves to each other we quickly met up with Xavi, who is managing the EVS connected programmes at the organization. After a 15-20 minute ride and seeing the beautiful city of Palma for the first time we went to a friendly corner café where we met Maria Antonia, who also works at Acción Balear. She was also the person I was in contact with when I was still in Hungary, waiting to start my EVS. After we had a little chat and finished our food at the café, we went to the office for the first time.
Maria Antonia, Pier, Xavi and me
They showed me around the place, I got a few papers to read and after a while Xavi, Pier and myself left the office to go to the apartment where I will be living during this one year. The place is close to the office, about 15 minutes of walking distance. In the apartment I met Susana and her 2 small daughters, who will be our temporary flat mates in the next couple of weeks. After checking out the flat Xavi left and we decided to go the closest beach and have a dip in the sea. After we got back to the flat, I unpacked all my stuff.
So after waking up at 5 o'clock in Hungary, getting to Vienna airport by 8:30, flying to Mallorca and spending the rest of the day in Palma, that's basically how my first day ended. It was eventful, tiring and awesome.
We spent most of the 2nd day with Xavi, who was guiding us though the city and showed us a lot of places. Shops, bakeries, the local market, the cinema, the metro/train/bus station, etc. In the evening Pier and I went out searching for a bar, where we could watch the first EURO 2016 semi-final. At the end, we decided to try Cervecia Tramuntana. We ordered a mug of hand made beer each and a big plate of nachos and had a great time. Mainly because of the bar itself. (The game was kind of disappointing.) It's a great place to have a drink and I can't wait to get back there again.
On the 3rd day we participated in a meeting with Siolé, an organization that helps HIV patients and people without a home. Unfortunately my level of Spanish is very low and my Catalan is pretty much non-existent at the moment, so I only understood a few words every now and then. Thankfully I'm a good listener, I don't mind to listen to people speaking around me, even when it's in a language that I don't speak (yet). After the meeting we went to visit Palmajove, where we were nicely welcomed by the people working there. It seems like a great place to find information about local programs & activities. After the meeting we also found this place, where the neighborhood was preparing for fiesta. Later we went to Playa del Arenal. It's an enormous beach full of tourists and you can easily get to it by taking a bus.
The "Sombreros street"
Next day we left the city to see an organization that is working with the protection of black vultures and learned a few things about these huge birds. After we got back to Palma, Pier and I went to the Es Baluard Museum. Some of the art creations were a little too much for me, but overall it was worth checking out. After dinner we headed to Parc de la Mar, where Bar Flexas organized their 12th fiesta. It was a great party and we stay until 3 o'clock in the morning.
On Saturday we went to see Insólit Festival. With the help of a little map we had to discover 4 art creations that were set up in separate small courtyards. We also went to see the Santa Eulália church and the Sant Fransesc basilica nearby.
The 4 stops of Insólit Festival
On the 6th day we completed a required Spanish language assessment. As I only started to learn Spanish a few weeks ago, I obviously didn't do great in the test, but it will be very interesting to look back at these results when I will do the closing assessment towards the end of my EVS. At the afternoon we got on a bus and went to relax on beach Illates. It looks brilliant. Easily my favorite of the 3 beaches I have tried so far and I can't wait to visit that place again to take some pictures.
And that's where I finish this rather long first post. In the next one amongst other things I will write about my first "proper" week in the office and other organization(s) that do some great things.
Thanks for reading, I will be back next week!
If you have any tips, comments or questions, you can reach me on Twitter (@radawz) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org