How a walk can become a special memory

Josef from Austria

Sending organisation: Grenzenlos e.V.

Hosting country: France

1. What surprised you the most during your workcamp?

  • I was surprised to be the oldest group member.
  • I was surprised by the lack of a common language, which sometimes led to isolation

2. What was the biggest fear you had before the project and how did you managed to overcome it?

  • Fear: Will the group except me and my dog?
  • Personal approach:
    • I addressed the issue, that I was oldest group member directly and clarified my role as a participant (not parent like role etc.)
    • I made sure, that nobody was overwhelmed by my dog.
    • I showed that I was interested in the group and its members

3. What did you learn or what did you bring back with you (new knowledges, new feelings, memories, etc.)?

  • Exciting: Many nationalities working together
  • Interesting to discover similarities and differences between people and their different adaptation to same situation.
  • Special memory: I took small group of participants for a walk across fields and through the near by forest , which I have discovered on a walk with my guidedog previously.

4. What advice would you give to someone about to take part in a workcamp for the first time?

  • Before the workcamp: Get yourself informed (e.g. on age group).
  • During the camp: Insist on using the English language (or other common language)
  • Stay communicative, don’t withdraw from social activities.
  • If problems arise, address them directly – if this is not possible, involve your organization.

5.. Anything else you want to share?

I truly appreciate the opportunities of international exchange the program provides and that this endeavor is inclusive to people with disabilities. It would be great, if the proportion of people with disabilities in the group was bigger.

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