Lär känna Lommas volontär!

Vi har fått ett meddelande från Océane som är Lommas volontär från Frankrike. Hon skriver om sin första tid i Sverige och om hur livet ser ut för en Erasmus+ volontär.  På MUCF:s hemsida hittar du mer information om volontärprojekt.

Welcome to the diary of my volunteering in Lomma.

It’s been three months since I started my volunteering, so this is the first time I’m writing about my feelings and the beginning of my experience. I am now starting to get used to life in Sweden and to take my marks in the city, whether it is in Lomma or Malmö, I am starting to have my points of reference, which allows me to be at ease and to install a certain routine. The same goes for the weather, which isn’t necessarily a big change compared to the north-east of France (where I’m from), although it’s been windier and we’ve had snow here! I was so happy to be able to walk and play in the snow, like a child. Indeed, it’s been a long time since we had real snow in France, so it felt good to be able to enjoy it. 

As far as work is concerned, I got used to the place and my colleagues quite quickly. To put the environment in perspective, I work at three places of work, all are fritidsgård, with different colleagues and children, which I think is great because it breaks my daily routine and allows me to meet more people, and also to be in a different atmosphere. Speaking of activities, I was able to propose and lead several. In particular creative activities, so far the children and I have made bracelets, pins, clay objects, finger puppets, painted cups, boxes.. We also made Halloween decorations, dug pumpkins and had a party for the event. At the moment I prepared activities for Christmas. I was about to forget the sports activities, like gymnastics, basketball, ping-pong and more. I also took a climbing course and I am learning to skateboard. In addition, we know how to relax by watching films together and even the World Cup matches with the older children. Moreover, with them, evenings can be as calm as they are lively. I organized an evening on the theme of France. We often have parties like that, cooking pizzas or roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on the fire. Besides all this, I also intervene in French classes for high school students, in order to introduce myself but especially to speak about the European Solidarity Corps, with the aim of making them aware of the different ways to go abroad.

Speaking of food, this is a subject that often comes up when I say I am French. Indeed, I can confirm that there are quite a few differences between Swedish and French gastronomy. For starters, at breakfast they eat bread with butter, cheese and strawberry marmalade, a mixture that I find very strange to say the least. Other than that, I can’t say that Swedish food is bad but I can’t say it’s great either, it’s just ok. In short, they eat potatoes, lots of potatoes and sometimes fish when it’s not meatballs. By the way, one of the obvious differences between France and Sweden is the time they eat. Basically, we have two hours behind the French schedule, but you get used to it quickly. It’s a bit like the time difference at nightfall, which is also much earlier, but honestly I live it very well, it’s nice to walk around Malmö when it’s dark with all the lights, and it’s even more beautiful now that there are Christmas decorations. Otherwise, to finish with the differences between the two countries, I can talk about the people in general. It’s not that they are cold or unsociable, but they are rather individualistic in the sense that they have a kind of privacy bubble around them. It’s hard to explain but they have their personal spaces and will only talk to you once they know you. It’s a bit weird at first but it’s like everything else, you get used to it and you don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t talk to you. Anyway, nothing disturbing, it’s even quite funny to try to find the differences between the two countries.

Moreover, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of other volunteers coming from all over Europe and even further. Indeed, one month after my arrival I participated in the On arrival course in Stockholm, which consists of a week-long meeting with other volunteers who are located in the country to talk about the volunteering mission, determine objectives and basics to know about life in Sweden. We also had the opportunity to get to know each other and play lots of games together. In short, it is a time of sharing and getting to know new people, and why not create new friendships.  Moreover, one of the organisations that welcomes volunteers, called Awesome people, had a meeting with other volunteers that I didn’t know, which allowed me to expand my network even more. This time it was in Örebro and we visited the city after having a presentation of their organisation and playing escapes games to learn more about democracy, a fun way to learn more about this topic. We all stayed together in a big house in Kopparberg, a bit like a flat share, it was great to live all together for a few days. We had a great time together, especially at Christmas time. In short, I enjoyed all these moments with them and we plan to meet again soon, so I hope that there will be more meetings like this, and that some of them will come to Lomma.

Finally, I would like to add all the excursions I do in my free time. Indeed, I try to visit one place every weekend in order to discover as much as possible and thus learn more about this great country. So far, I have visited quite a few cities in Skåne but also in Kronoberg and Halland where I visited Öland. I also use my free time to go hiking in the national parks and the many nature reserves and green areas in this country. Not forgetting Copenhagen, which I have visited several times.

That’s it for the last three months, which have been busy to say the least. I’m really happy with the start of this experience. It’s gone by so quickly, which I guess is a good sign, and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for the next few months.

See you,

Océane Dommanget