October 2018
ESC-diary in retrospect, month no. 2

– 3rd of october, wednesday –
It was a strange day – the new volunteers arrived, so we got to meet them, but one of the previous volunteers left. We made a goodbye party for her and decorated the kitchen. It’s strange how you can know someone for only a month, but already feel sad when they leave, because you spent so much time together in this one month.

– 6th of october, saturday –
I loved this day, a lot. In the morning, I went with two of my roommates to the farm where the other volunteers lived. They had a pumpkin festival at the farm and there were many activities and we could eat pumpkin soup. It was very nice to see where they were living and working. In the evening, the other volunteers and I went to a costume party in Villa Vagabunt, a house for artists. I wore my penguin pyjama pants and painted my face with colourful make-up. The house was really cool – different artists made different rooms and outside there was a tree-house with two stories. We spent a long time talking at the fire and returned home in the middle of the night.

– 11th of october, thursday –
I added a little Dutch touch to my Austrian life by baking pepernoten. They didn’t taste exactly as the original ones, but everyone liked them. A couple of days later, more Dutch things entered my life; my best friends sent me a box of Dutch things, including pepernotenstroopwafels and my favourite chocolate.

– 13th of october, saturday –
I decided to take a day just for me – something I had missed a lot, since I spent all my time in Austria around people. And I loved this, always, but as an introvert it’s good to sometimes take time for yourself. After a productive morning of running, cleaning and doing the groceries, I took the train to Lindau. Wow, I fell in love with Lindau and even to this day it’s my favourite place around Vorarlberg (it’s just across the border, in Germany). 

– 14th of october, sunday –
It was time for another hiking day. I went to Lünersee with the other volunteers. The higher we got, the more difficult the hike became. Not necessarily because the hike itself was that difficult, but the wind was crazy. Really, I never experienced wind like that. When we got up to the lake, it was absolutely worth it for the view. However, we couldn’t enjoy it all that much, because the wind was so strong. One of my friends held my hand because he was afraid I was going to blow away, and I was a bit afraid of that myself too. We decided we have to go back, on a day with calmer weather. We just missed the bus, which meant we had to wait nearly two hours. What better excuse to do a little hitchhiking competition? We divided into two groups and my group arrived to Dornbirn first and won!

– 15th to 20th of october, monday to saturday –
Before 6:00 in morning, the other volunteers and I were in the train already, on our way to Vienna for the On Arrival Training. It took us six and a half hours to the main station and then we still had to go to the location of the training – we arrived just in time. We were staying in a nice hotel and the training location was like a small palace, nothing to complain about. We got to know the other volunteers and the days until Thursday in the training were great, but also exhausting. We did many exercises in groups or alone, we had nice dinners together, we went to a bar with part of the group and we laughed a lot. I had some very special conversations and I met some very special people there. In the end, we wrote nice notes for each other and when I read mine I almost cried.

The Friday and Saturday after, I stayed in Vienna with a friend that I met during my Erasmus semester in England and we explored the city together, sometimes also with the people I met in the On Arrival Training. On Saturday, I returned to Dornbirn with my roommates, exhausted from these crazy but cool days.

– 24th of october, wednesday –
The days after the training I felt super meh. No energy at all, no motivation to do things and I went to bed every day around ten. I think I was overwhelmed from all the impressions of the week in Vienna and it left me feeling very emotional. What better thing to do than cuddle the cat?

– 26th of october, friday –
I went hiking up Pfänder, the mountain of Bregenz, with one of my roommates on my free day. The weather was great and once we reached the top, we sat in the sun for a long time, having a little picnic. My roommate took the cable car down and I walked down – a perfect opportunity to take pictures and go at my own pace.

– 28th of october, sunday –
Again, hiking! This time at Rappenlochschlucht with the other volunteers and some people they met in the training. After, we took the cable car up Karren. Do you see how great the view from the top was? We saw exactly nothing. For me this was pretty cool, because I already saw it during day- and nighttime and looking into the completely white sky felt surreal. It was scary and impressive at the same time.

– 31st of october, wednesday –
My roommates and I celebrated Halloween. I liked this – I very enthusiastically put make-up and then we went to a bar. My roommates slowly left; only one of them and me stayed in the bar. We met some people and decided to go to a club a bit outside of the centre with them. It was such a fun evening! The next day my roommate and I wanted to go hitchhiking to Linz, so we only wanted to go for one beer… Guess who were the two people who partied until 5:30 in the morning? 

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