My name is Rita Mendes, I’m 26 years old and I’m portuguese. Four months ago I decided to start a completely different year in my life, after finishing my Master Degree in college. A new experience, a new challenge, out of all the things I knew and all the people I usually deal with.
I came to Lithuania, to a small town called Biržai after living several years in Lisbon.
Working at the local museum and castle have been a really great pleasure. My background is on the engineering field, physics and bioengineering, and here I’ve been able to learn I lot about totally different fields as languages and history. My main work here is to give English lessons, help with exhibitions and educational workshops and prepare and give tours in English. I work with a spanish/polish volunteer, Natalia, which background is completely different from mine. We’ve been able to learn a lot by exchanging academical experiences. All the museum’s staff, with special attention to my tutor Lina, have been great to me and always disposable to teach either Lithuanian or the local traditions and history, as well as all the tiny things we need to survive properly here.
In Biržai we are six volunteers coming from very distinct places and lifestyles. It is incredibly rich to share experiences and knowledge with each other, from food to languages or just a simple way of seeing the world according to our traditions and cultures. We are all of different ages and in general we work in different projects here. It has been great to know each other in time and do a lot of activities together in our free times, since traveling along Lithuania or other neighbor countries to just enjoy in our flats.
Not everything is good, and in that moments we need to find on each other the friendship of sharing this kind of experience and it’s great to see how we’ve been able to construct that kind of support among us. Despite the time that passed I think there is still a lot to come and is quite soon to take conclusions, so let’s wait and keep going. Until now, labai gera patirtis.