November 2018
ESC-diary in retrospect, month no. 3

“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?” This was the cliffhanger of my last ESC-diary in retrospect. I know, I know, it was very hard to guess the correct answer. For those of you who didn’t guess it: it was me, together with my hitchhiking partner.

– 1st of november, thursday –
So our plan of starting to hitchhike at 8 in the morning didn’t quite work out. Instead, with a huge hangover, we started our journey around 2 in the afternoon. Our first ride arrived within a minute of trying; how much luck could we have? The woman didn’t take us too far, then we had to wait a lot and only got two very short rides. This is when things got good again: a very nice guy with a very nice car stopped for us and said he could take us for around one and half hours in the right direction. He was very kind, but he also decided to drive over a mountain instead of through the tunnel, which meant lots and lots of curves. I had to focus so hard not to throw up. He started to joke that he would drop us off at the top of the mountain, but he did it for so long that I was actually scared we would stay on the mountain top. In the end, we made it to Innsbruck and realised it was already dark outside and no one was taking us anymore. We opted for our backup-plan: taking the train to Linz.

– 2nd to 4th of november, friday to sunday –
The trip to Linz was very nice: my Turkish ‘sister’ cooked Turkish food for us, we visited two of our friends in their workplaces to see what kind of volunteering they did, we had a nice game and food night… The hitchhiking was complicated and we had to wait a lot – again we made it to Innsbruck before taking a train home.

– 7th of november, wednesday –
The life of a volunteer is so hard sometimes… We had a wine-tasting in work to decide which wines we would serve during the World Gymnaestrada 2019.

– 9th of november, friday –
There was a big market in Dornbirn, so together with two friends I went to check it out. There was gluhwein and my friend managed to drop his full cup. We held a funeral for the wine, by making a cross out of small twigs and placing them in the mug. People were looking at us in a very judgmental way. There was a photo booth and we took this adorable picture there. In the evening my parents arrived to Dornbirn; they were visiting me for a weekend.

– 10th to 12th of november, saturday to monday –
I showed my parents some beautiful sights around Vorarlberg. We went to Lindau and Bregenz, to Rappenlochschlucht and we went a day to Brand, where we found a very beautiful waterfall. As a volunteer you don’t eat out that much, so this was another big advantage of having them over – I got to explore some restaurants in Dornbirn. It was nice to have visitors from home!

– 5th of november, tuesday –
Every month we had a meeting in one of the organisations that had a volunteer. November was our first month to go to a hosting organisation – this time to a place where disabled people work by making crafts that are sold in the shop and also by baking cookies and cakes for the shop. It was really cool to see the place of another volunteer in real life instead of only hearing stories about it.

– 23rd to 25th of november, friday to sunday –
On Friday after work, I really needed a break, I needed to leave the house. I had a really long day at work and when I came home, my friends had heated up their leftovers in the microwave for me <3. Nobody seemed in the mood to go out, but somehow I managed to convince two of them. Then two more volunteers, who lived a bit more far, came to us and we all went out together. After, we did a sleepover in the Kolpinghaus, because they couldn’t really go home at this hour. Poor one on my yoga mat. Saturday started with coffee and a hangover; then I went to visit the volunteers in the farm. The other Dutch volunteer and I baked pepernoten, typically Dutch cookies we eat for Saint Nicolas on the 5th of December. After, we went to a Christmas market with a few of us. The weekend ended with a free time activity for volunteers on Sunday: we made Christmas cards and it was very relaxing to just do some crafts and talk.

– 30th of november, friday –
If I read back now through all the things I did in November, it seems like a really amazing month. And don’t get me wrong, it was, in a way at least. But November was also a month in which I felt more down, very emotional and in which I found it hard to motivate myself sometimes. I worked a lot of hours in November and many confusing things were going on. 

On Friday the 30th, I had my first Friday off work, as a way to get my overhours more down. It was good that I talked about this and that we found the compromise of Fridays free. I promised myself to use my Fridays wisely; every Friday off I would go somewhere, even I wasn’t in the mood or didn’t feel motivated. The first Friday off, I hiked up the mountain in Dornbirn, to see the first snow of the season. Very amazing!

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