Two neighbour countries together in Finland
Portugal and Spain. These are the two European neighbour countries that arrived together in Finland. Inês Caldas and Victor Guardiola Ruiz are the youngsters who started their journey in Seinäjoki, in February, with the main goal of finding a new way of living and will to experience different challenges and cultural customs. The first month has already passed by but their journey is only in the beginning.
Victor Guardiola Ruiz is always wearing a smile. He comes from Murcia, in Spain, and his greatest passion is dancing bachata and salsa. Living life in a healthy way is a priority for him, always concerned about what he is eating and never forgetting his daily excercise. Victor is working in the youth office of Seinäjoki and his main tasks are helping in JoJo, in the skate hall, the library and also in the office. Connecting with people is what he cherishes the most about his role on this EVS project. He is not a beginner in youth work because in Spain he is also a volunteer in Murcia Youth Department – his sending organization.
In a funny way, very characteristic of him, Victor describes himself as a positive person: “never give up” it´s his catchphrase as well as “Victor you are crazy” (Yes, he speaks of him in the third person). Being in Finland will help him reach many of his goals such as improving his English skills; improve himself as a person and a citizen, try to become even more healthy then he already is and enjoy life for once, without following the rules of society (studying, getting a job, basically everything in a row).
For the next 6 months, until August, the most challenging issues Victor will face are missing his family, something very important in his life. His father Carlos, mother Katy, his oldest brother “Carlitos” and the youngest one, Alejandro. Food prices will also be something that Victor believes he will struggle with. In Spain food is much cheaper than in Finland and he really likes to eat healthy. “Four tomatoes for two euros?” that was the most shocking thing for him during his first week in Seinäjoki.
Victor is happy to have started this new journey of his life in a country like Finland. He loves the snow, people and specially their relaxed behavior towards their jobs. He says that “Spain isn´t like that, people stress all the time about everything”.
Right next to him in the world map there is Portugal. As many might think, these two countries are not the same. Inês Caldas comes from Arcos de Valdevez, in the north of Portugal, and her main goal for her EVS project is to learn how to live life in a relaxed way, such as living one day at a time. She is also working in the youth office but in a different place as Victor´s. Inês will be helping the communication and marketing department to develop and find new strategies. Being able to work in the communication field is very important to her due to her passion of communicating with people. She truly believes that words can change life somehow and she is into this adventure called “finding out where you fit in”.
There are a lot of professional and personal challenges for this Portuguese girl. She wants to learn as much as she can with finnish people and improve herself as a person and as a human being. One of her favorite tasks will be reporting her EVS and finnish life experiences and photograph the city and country. Like Victor, the cost of food and the finnish cuisine will be rough to overcome, since food is relatively different in Portugal and “much cheaper”.
The snow and nature landscapes are her greatest joy to be in Finland such as finnish relaxed behaviors towards life. “Portuguese people are very emotional when it comes to daily life and details. Finnish people seem more rational and shy”, she says. She´s very glad for this new opportunity in her life and feels lucky to be worth and valued from finnish peoples.
This journey has only just begun and it will definitely change the life of these two Latin neighbor volunteers.
Teksti: Inês & Victor