Elena in Bremen // 1st Report

After four months of volunteering the feeling of arriving in a cloudy and cold Bremen at the end of January still feels very fresh to me and even though time passed I still think dearly of that scared and confused girl that left her hometown to embark on an almost unknown adventure. 

I´m sitting down to reflect on these last months in Bremen and it feels like yesterday when I was reading Deutches Tanz film institute application and thinking to myself “imagine doing something like that”. 

I started this volunteering in TAFI fresh from my university graduation where the cinema courses were mainly theorical. I had no practical experience with cameras, lights, editing or  dance theater but I was eager to learn and TAFI gave me this opportunity from the beginning. 

My colleagues and my previous coworker-volunteer have been welcoming and helpful since the beginning; even though sometimes the hours-long meetings in German can be a bit disorienting. 

The Elena of four months ago didn’t even know how to set up a tripod and the Elena of today has experienced a day-long shooting; all of this can definitely be overwhelming at certain points but sitting down after a long day and reflecting on these moments (considering the little experience I have) bring me a huge sense of accomplishment.

Seeing the small progress I made in just four months is making me look forward to what’s ahead of me and all the challenges I’ll go through. 

One of the most important things about these four months are definitely the people I’ve met along the way; before coming I was expecting (or hoping) to create new connections but what I’ve actually found within the volunteers is a sort of community. 

The friendships I have back at home are way different than the ones I’m making here; another volunteer inviting you for tea after a difficult day can be extremely fundamental especially when your family is kilometers away. 

I’m starting to feel more comfortable day by day with everyone and I’m looking forward strengthen these bonds.

These first months have been full of ups but also full of downs; living in a foreign country can be challenging. In my case my life back at home used to be very different and here in Germany I had to face a full working schedule and life on my own for the first time. 

The sense of being lost is still present in certain moments but it’s getting more and more bearable everyday; I didn’t come here expecting all of this to be easy and I’m trying to remind myself that it’s all part of the process.

Bremen is starting to feel a bit more like home every day and I’m trying to savour every corner this city has to offer me; especially when it comes to the huge amount of green areas which is not something that I was used to back in Bologna.

At the end of the day everything can be solved with a walk in burgerpark and loud music in your headphones! 

I´m looking ahead for what is about to come and what will happen in the next months. 

Elena is hosted by Deutsches Tanzfilminstitut (TAFI) financed by the European Solidarity Corps and Jugend für Europa.