Klara in Bremen // 2nd Report

The last four months of my voluntary service have shown me how much a person can develop in such a short time. Whereas in the first third of the project I still had to get used to my new surroundings, my new work and my new circle of friends, I can now see that since February I have gained a routine and a sense of familiarity. Not only do I move around the streets of Bremen with more confidence, but also in my work, which I have fallen more and more in love with. The last few months have also given me the opportunity to think about my future plans, my goals and aspirations. As I become more comfortable and experienced, the closer I get to the end of the project, the more excitement, curiosity and even a little awe I feel.

The last few months have been all about new friendships, social interactions and a very special connection. Many friends from the first seminar in Hamburg came to visit me in Bremen, as well as my family. I was proud to show them where and how I live and work now, and we explored corners of cosy but diverse Bremen together :). In April, my mid-term meeting took place in Alfeld, near Hannover. Similar to the first seminar, I met some really interesting people. It’s fascinating how such different people can create such a welcoming and extroverted dynamic based on the common ground of the current situation here in Germany. Although the content of the week in Alfeld could have been more informative, the seminar once again confirmed how grateful I can be for my work – not many volunteers are as lucky as I am.

I’ve really grown attached to the Freizi. There isn’t a day when I don’t look forward to going to work. Apart from the regular activities, such as the cooking group and the walking group, which I accompany/guide, the last few weeks have seen events such as a bingo evening, professionally-led cookery workshops, a pizza evening, birthday parties and pilgrimages. My personal highlight was the “Pappboot Regatta”. The Freizi team set sail in Vegesack harbour on self-built cardboard boats and competed against other companies and individuals in the categories of speed and creativity. My colleague and I came third – without going under! I also got closer to my goal of learning more about nursing. My wonderful colleagues taught me how to pass urine bottles and change diapers, for example. I plan to develop further in this area and get a broader overview of the different departments at Friedehorst in the coming months.

One of the biggest shifts I’ve experienced this year is the change in the weather. Everything looks so much more cheerful in the sunshine. Finishing work in the daylight or taking the bus home from work in the sunset somehow makes me feel more energetic and optimistic. Even though the Christmas period in Bremen could be very cosy and idyllic at times, the summer weather that has (sporadically) prevailed since April gives you a completely different impression of the city. I got to know new places like Bremerhaven, the Rhododendron Park, Osterwiese, Kunsthalle Bremen, Grambker See and many corners of Bremen-Nord. The weeks were full of new experiences, like bouldering for the first time, driving a car for the first time, flying from Bremen to Hungary on my own for the first time, and so on. I’m already looking forward to the real summer and seeing how the city and its people change with the change of seasons.

I realised that the biggest transformation in me was that, for the first time, I gained a relatively concrete idea of what the next steps should be. I was able to overcome my fear and start looking at universities and different programmes. The next hurdle is an entrance exam for a possible psychology course in Germany. I have also been visiting universities and looking for student accommodation. The next few weeks will be spent on applications. I will focus on my future and make a plan to look forward to next year. Until then, it’s time to make the most of the last few months of the project and enjoy it – “Endspurt”!

Klara is hosted by Friedehorst Teilhabe Leben gGmbH on our project co-funded by the European Union.